Blue Jay Broadcast
News and Notes from the Hallways of MHS
Coffee talk with Mr. Guzman
Good afternoon parents,
As you may be aware, our community lost one of our High School students last week. We continue to hold the family in our thoughts. Several groups have come together in support of the family through various fundraisers and donations. The Middlesex Education Association has placed a collection container in the main office of all district schools for any donations to assist the family with expenses.
As a high school principal and also a father, I look for how our teenagers and young adults react and grieve. I want to make sure to understand and allow for variation in maturity levels. I also want make sure to answer questions honestly and provide factual information, as well as to model appropriate responses. My eight-year-old son had slightly different questions than my teenage son; nevertheless, important and necessary to discuss. Please use the resources sent to you last week and continue to have open dialogues with your own children and feel free to reach out for assistance by contacting your child’s counselor if needed.
We are half way through this school year! I would like to share the following:
For parents of a freshman, your child has established academic routines during the first two marking periods. Support them as they try new routines and study habits and continue to adjust to the demands of high school. The year is not over yet and they have time to sustain and improve. Hug them when you see them.
For parents of sophomores, your child continues to work towards their goals and they should have established relationships with their counselors and teachers that will guide them during the next 2 ½ years. Hug them when you see them.
For parents of juniors, this is a challenging year which will help them decide what they might be doing after high school. Please continue to build their confidence and self-esteem. Hug them when you see them.
For the parents of a senior at MHS, 2020 will be quite a year. It will begin in January and continue until you are truly exhausted, but happy!
Your student will or might be:
· Figuring out how to finish senior year on a strong, upward trajectory
· Celebrating college acceptances; hopefully
· Figuring out the possibility of other options outside of college: military, trade school, work
· Worrying about the cost of college. Yes, the kids worry about that, too.
· Getting a little nervous, or a lot nervous, realizing the security of high school is ending
· Wondering about leaving their high school friends in June.
Parents, you may or will experience many of the above but yours may also include:
· Financial worries about the cost of higher education
· Hoping you continue to guide your child in the right direction, for them, without telling them what to do
· Continuing to parent, but from a greater distance each year
· Praying that your child will be able to enjoy a fruitful and happy life after high school
· Your own feelings of nostalgia as your child begins the next chapter
· Oh yes, going to the summer sale at Target if your child is living away at school; got to buy a lot of stuff! (Everyone buys the storage cube J)
Parenting should not be easy; nothing this important ever is, but it can always be joyful.
Don't forget to hug them when you see them.
Alex Guzmán, Ed.D.
Class of 2019 Graduates Return to MHS
On Friday, January 3, 2020, nine student representatives from the Class of 2019 returned to Middlesex High School to lead an alumni panel on collegiate student life for current seniors. Topics of discussion included preparation for college, dorm living, extra-curricular activities and time management. This program was coordinated by the Middlesex High School Counseling Department including, Mrs. Blumetti, Mrs. Powers, Mr. Schmitt, Mrs. Shehu and Mrs. Ulmer.
Pictured are the following:
Lekhini Desai- Rowan, Mara Dunsavage- RVCC, Megan Hode- Kutztown, Bryan Schott- Penn State, Josh Irvin- Temple, Julianna Arocho- Rutgers University, Tulika Desai- TCNJ, Olivia Robel- Scranton, Carly Santucci- Fairlieigh Dickinson University
News & Notes
- Parents, remind your child to bring their school lanyards to school every day!
- Students who are leaving early need to bring a note to the Main Office in the morning so that a pass can be provided to them and they can leave class to meet their parent in the office. If a student is walking, driving or being picked up by someone other than a parent, that information will need to be included in the note.
A Note From Our School Nurse
Influenza (Flu) season is here, and the district would like your assistance in limiting the spread of the virus. Here are some ways to keep your child healthy.
· Vaccinate your child if you have not done so. It is not too late to get the Flu vaccine. It may not prevent the flu, but it will limit its severity.
· Wash hands frequently with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose which are areas that can introduce germs.
· Flu like symptoms include fever (100 degrees or higher), cough, body aches, sore throat, fatigue, vomiting or diarrhea. If you suspect that you or your child is getting the flu, stay home and avoid contact with others. Contact your medical provider if symptoms worsen, but early treatment with antiviral medications will shorten the duration of illness and lessen the severity of symptoms.
· Return to school or work only after the individual is fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications. There should be no nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea for 24 hours.
· Please alert your child’s school with either a medical note that states “influenza” or “flu-like illness” from a medical provider. A notification of “sick” or “ill” does not give a good understanding of the overall health of our school.
We expect to see more cases in our schools as the season progresses. We appreciate your help in slowing the spread of this virus and keeping everyone healthy and safe. If you have further questions, contact your building nurse or go to the CDC website for more information. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
Best of Health,
Amelia Paul RN, CSN
January 28, 2020
Novel Coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV) Information for K-12 Schools
Many K-12 school administrators, teachers and parents within New Jersey are concerned about how the current outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Asia will impact their communities and wish to take appropriate steps to mitigate any risks. The word “novel” means new. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working hard to learn as much as possible about this new virus so that they can better understand how it spreads and its associated illness. The New Jersey Department of Health is also working hard by developing guidance and education materials should this new virus impact our presidents.
What is the difference between seasonal and novel coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses and there are different types of coronavirus within that family, much like there are different types of influenza viruses. Coronaviruses in general are not new, they are quite common and are a frequent cause of respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. Coronaviruses tend to circulate in the fall and winter months, similar to influenza. Most people get infected with these viruses at some point in their lives. The type of coronavirus that has recently emerged in Wuhan, China is a new type of coronavirus and is
infecting people for the first time (which means that people do not have any immunity to it).
What are common symptoms of 2019-nCoV?
Information to date suggests this virus is causing symptoms consistent with a respiratory illness such as cough, fever, and shortness of breath.
How is 2019-nCoV spread?
At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. Chinese officials report that sustained person-to-person spread in the community is occurring in China. Personto-person spread in the United States has not yet been detected, but it’s likely to occur to some extent. Cases in healthcare settings, like hospitals, may also occur.
How is 2019-nCoV treated?
Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for the coronavirus. There is no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
What precautions should be taken for a person who traveled to China?
The CDC recommends that travelers avoid non-essential travel to Wuhan, China. Chinese officials have closed transport within and out of Wuhan. If a person travelled to China in the last 14 days and is sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing they should:
• Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
• Avoid contact with others.
• Not travel while sick.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or
• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand
sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
If a traveler who returns from China is not ill, they may continue to attend school.
What preventive measures should a school take to help reduce the spread of respiratory illness?
NJDOH recommends that schools and childcare settings increase education on respiratory hygiene. Staffmand children (as developmentally appropriate) should all be taught and asked to follow these steps that prevent the transmission of respiratory infections:
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your sleeve, not your hands.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Use alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
• Stay home if you’re sick, especially with a fever.
• Avoid people who are sick.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
Additional preventive measures include:
• Adhere to exclusion recommendations from public health. For acute respiratory illness; fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication. Doctors notes for return do not supersede public health recommendation.
• Separate sick students and staff from others until they can be picked up to go home.
• Provide adequate supplies, including clean and functional handwashing stations, soap, paper towels, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Encourage routine surface cleaning through education, policy, and the provision of supplies.
• Get a flu shot – it’s not too late to be protected!
School Cleaning Procedures
Special sanitizing processes beyond routine cleaning, including closing schools to clean every surface in the building are not necessary or recommended to slow the spread of respiratory illness. Schools should follow standard procedures for routine cleaning and disinfecting with an EPA-registered product. Typically, this means daily sanitizing surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands-on learning items, faucet handles, phones and toys.
Outbreaks involving novel coronaviruses evolve quickly and recommendations from public health officials may change frequently as new information becomes available. Please check the following websites often for updated information.
For more information:
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html
• New Jersey Department of Health website at
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