Hoboken Public School District
Special Edition of The Herald - March 2, 2020
As you know, the news media is sharing continuous updates regarding the Coronavirus 19 (COVID-19). As parents and guardians, this information can be worrisome and may evoke many questions.
School Districts in New Jersey have been asked to follow the guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and to take the lead from the County Education Offices regarding the distribution of information. The Hoboken Public School District, along with districts across the state and nation have been asked to provide parents with guidelines to stop the spread of respiratory diseases such as COVID-19 and to share information from the New Jersey Department of Health. You can find links from both agencies below.
The Hoboken Public School District recently took part in a phone conference hosted by the County Office of Education. During this conference call, schools discussed four topics: School closures, quarantined students, sound facilities-based & hygiene practices, and related bullying.
First, the NJ Department of Health does not recommend school closure for outbreaks of infectious disease. The decision to close a school is a local decision and one that is to be made only after consultation with public health officials and the district medical personnel. Our schools will work with local health departments to ensure that recommended control measures (e.g., exclusions, increased cleaning) are being followed. In addition, the local health department in conjunction with NJ Department of Health may recommend enhanced protocols be conducted to monitor the progression and ultimate decline of an outbreak. If necessary, school closure should be utilized on a limited basis to prevent spread of infection when:
1. Infections are expected to affect large number of susceptible individuals
2. Recommended control measures are inadequate
3. The facility is unable to function due to increased illness affecting students and staff
4. The health department declares an epidemic or cause of ill health to be injurious or hazardous In the case of public schools, the local health department may serve notice of closure recommendation to district board of education. The local health department has the authority to close child care centers.
At this time, there is no recommendation or plan to close our schools.
On the conference call, districts were asked to review their policies on Home Instruction and Communicable Diseases. We were asked to develop plans in the event that a student were to be quarantined. Across the state, districts were told that if a child were to be quarantined in another country or state and out of school for more than 10-days, that student should be dropped from the rolls but should then be re-registered when he/she returns to school. If a student were to be quarantined in New Jersey, districts are responsible to develop a plan to educate the student via technology-based tools. In the Hoboken Public School District, we are prepared to educate in this manner on both a small or large scale. All principals have been informed that plans for remote learning must be developed and ready for any/all students who are in this situation.
The next topic that we discussed was that of facilities-based practices. All of our school principals and PreK Providers were informed that it is critical to have all soap and hand sanitizing dispensers full at all times. Custodians have been informed that door knobs, handles desk and tabletops must be wiped down continuously. While the schools will follow these practices, parents and teachers are asked to remind one another and children of the steps to avoid the spread of respiratory diseases such as COVID-19. The flyer below will be reviewed in our schools and preschool locations and posted in multiple locations. I cannot stress enough that you review these good practices at home. Also, if your child is ill, please do not send them to school if he or she has a fever.
Finally, we were asked to be vigilant about any bullying or targeted actions against any student whose ethnic origin or background is that of a nation that is identified by the CDC as being in need of travel restrictions. This information has also been communicated to all school principals. I have also asked each of our school principals to work closely with their nurses and guidance counselors to help assist any child who exhibits any anxiety or fear regarding COVID-19.
Remember, there is no question that you should be concerned about asking. Our school nurses are extremely knowledgeable and willing to answer any health related questions that you may have. Please feel free to reach out to me to ask any logistical or policy related questions.
Hoboken Public Schools - A District Dedicated to Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships
The Hoboken Public School District will be recognized as a premier educational choice and widely known as a best-practice model for academic growth, high quality instruction, innovative and equitable programs, engagement, facilities and personalized pathways that are essential for college, career and life-preparedness in our ever-changing, interconnected global society.
The Hoboken Public School District will prepare confident and resilient graduates who value academic achievement, embrace challenge, honor diversity, appreciate collaboration, and respectfully contribute to their local and wider communities.
Our District Goals
The Hoboken Public School District will implement a rigorous, relevant and responsive curriculum that meets the needs of all students, fosters personalized pathways for learning, and ensures continuous academic growth.
The Hoboken Public School District will support its diverse staff in professional growth, encourage them to serve as role models, and empower them to provide the highest quality of instruction for our students.
The Hoboken Public School District will develop and implement unique and innovative programs that promote global learning, ensure equitable access, and foster the social, emotional and academic growth of each student.
The Hoboken Public School District will engage and communicate with families and the wider community to bridge understanding and advance partnerships.
The Hoboken Public School District will operate well-maintained and safe facilities that respond to our growing student enrollment, support our academic and co-curricular programs, and promote pride across the city.