Reopening Our Schools

  • March 29, 2021

    Dear Mill Pond Elementary School Families:

    The purpose of this letter is to inform you that Mill Pond Elementary School, including
    all preschool classes, will transition to full remote learning instruction for all
    students effective Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Our return to in-person learning will be
    Monday, April 12, 2021.

    Due to a number of COVID-19 cases being recorded in Mill Pond Elementary School
    over the past week, including both students and staff members, at the recommendation of
    the Ocean County Health Department, we have made the difficult decision to pause our
    in-person instruction and transition to a full remote model of instruction for all
    students. During this time we will continue to monitor COVID-19 related conditions and
    the potential impact upon Mill Pond Elementary School. In addition, we will continue to
    perform appropriate contact tracing, communicate any required quarantine
    recommendations, and perform a deep clean of the Mill Pond Elementary School
    facilities.

    All co-curricular activities will be paused at this time until in-person learning resumes.
    Please be reminded all students will continue their education via remote learning during
    this transition and should engage with their teachers through Google Classroom. We will
    reopen Mill Pond Elementary School for in-person learning on Monday, April 12, 2021.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please email your child's teacher or call the main
    office. Please be sure to leave a message and we will return your call promptly.

    Sincerely,
    Holly Niemiec
    Principal


    March 23, 2021

    Dear Lacey Township School District Families,

    The purpose of this letter is to provide you with an update to the State of New Jersey Travel Advisory. Please note that the advisory changed on March 18, 2021 and now states that individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days are no longer exempt from the travel restrictions.

    Travelers and residents returning from any U.S. state or territory beyond the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) should self-quarantine at their home following recommendations from the CDC:

    • If travel is unavoidable, travelers should consider getting tested with a viral test (not an antibody test) 1-3 days before the trip and again 3-5 days after the trip.
    • If travelers test positive, they should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should postpone travel during that time.
    • If travelers test negative, they should quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
    • If testing is not available (or if the results are delayed), travelers should quarantine for 10 days after travel.

    Thank you and if there are further updates we will continue to notify you accordingly.

    Sincerely,
    Vanessa P. Clark, Ph.D.          William Zylinski
    Superintendent of Schools      District Supervisor & Pandemic Response Team Coordinator


    March 3, 2021

    Dear Lacey Township School District Families,

    I hope this communication finds you well. The purpose of this letter is to inform you that beginning Monday, March 8, 2021 we will require all families to complete a daily COVID-19 questionnaire. Parents will be required to log into the Parent Portal in Realtime each day their child is attending school in-person and complete the COVID-19 questionnaire. The school district will no longer be taking student temperatures as they board buses or enter school buildings. High School and Middle School families will have the option of using the Parent Portal or the Student Portal for students that attend those buildings.

    Each morning prior to arriving at school, the district is requiring that parents complete the brief, five-question form to attest that the student has no COVID-19 restrictions. A separate form is required for each child attending school in-person. Parents will log into Realtime each day to complete the questionnaire.

    The Parent Portal link (for all schools) is www.fridayparentportal.com/lacey.
    The Student Portal link (high school, middle school only) is www.fridaystudentportal.com/lacey.

    Please bookmark these links in your preferred device because you will have to complete it daily. Each of the links can be found on both the district and school websites under NEWS as well as the PARENTS and STUDENTS tabs, respectively. Additionally, each morning prior to the start of school, the Parent Portal Link will be sent to the primary student contacts by both text message and email to serve as a reminder.

    Instructions

    • After signing in to the portal, the COVID-19 questionnaire will appear on the homepage for every student scheduled for in-person school attendance. 
    • If you fail to complete the questionnaire and your student arrives in school he or she may be required to remain in a separate area away from other students until the parent can be contacted and the form completed. Student temperatures may also be taken as a precaution to ensure the safety of all students and staff. 
    • There exists an “opt out” button at the bottom of the questionnaire in order to access the parent or student portal without completing the form. If the “opt out” button is selected, that child should not attend school that day and contact the school nurse.

    The completion of this form prior to your child attending school each day will be a critical piece in keeping our schools safe, especially as we transition to a 5-day a week instruction.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your child’s main office for further assistance with the parent portal or accessing the questionnaire. For information about how to link siblings in the Parent Portal, see this helpful reference guide.

    Sincerely,
    William Zylinski
    District Supervisor
    Pandemic Response Team Coordinator


    February 22, 2021

    Dear Lacey Township School District Families:

    I hope this communication finds you well. Previously you received a communication regarding the District’s school reopening expansion plans to provide students with in-person instruction five days a week. A presentation was made at the February 18, 2021 Board Meeting and the following is intended to provide you with more detailed information and the steps you will need to take or make regarding the expansion. Parents will be sent a survey from their building principal(s) asking them to choose either the five-day-a-week option or fully remote instruction option. 

    Lacey Township High School (9-12) and Lacey Township Middle School (7-8)
    Monday, March 8, 2020

    • LTHS and LTMS students may attend school 5 days per week or attend school fully remote beginning Monday, March 8, 2021.
    • School times will follow the same schedule that is currently in place as follows:
      - LTHS: 7:05 - 12:05
      - LTMS: 7:30 - 12:30 

    Monday, March 22, 2021

    • School times will change to accommodate bus schedules as follows:
      - LTHS: 7:05 - 11:05
      - LTMS: 7:30 - 11:30
    • LTHS and LTMS students will receive a required supplemental block of remote instruction five days a week via Google Meet according to the schedule below:
      - LTHS: 12:00 - 1:15
      - LTMS: 12:30 - 1:45

    All Elementary Schools (Grades K-6)
    Monday, March 22, 2021

    • Elementary students may attend school 5 days per week or attend school fully remote beginning Monday, March 22, 2021.
    • School times will change to accommodate bus schedules as follows:
      - Mill Pond: 8:00-12:00
      - Lanoka Harbor: 8:25-12:25
      - Cedar Creek: 8:50-12:50
      - Forked River: 9:15-1:15
    • Preschool schedule is not changing.


    How will families be able to select in-person instruction 5 days per week OR remote-only instruction?
    Parents will receive survey forms from their children’s respective schools on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 to make a selection. This form must be completed and submitted no later than Monday, March 1, 2021 for all students so that we may plan accordingly. It is important that we receive a separate response for every child in your household.

    Can selections change once made?
    Any subsequent change to the learning model selected must be made as a request to your child’s Principal through the main office of each school. Please note that students are limited to one change request for the remainder of the school year, which must be submitted at least 10 calendar days before the effective date of the change. 

    How will lunch and breakfast be served?
    Breakfast and lunch will not be served in school because schools are limited to the number of students who can be in one space such as the cafeteria. Breakfast and lunch will be grab-and-go. Breakfast for the following morning will be packed with the day’s lunch.

    How will social distancing be addressed for students attending school 5 days a week?
    In order to accommodate students attending school 5 days a week, naturally, our class sizes will increase from class sizes reflective of the hybrid schedule. As outlined in our School Reopening Plan and the NJ Department of Education’s Road Back Restart Guidelines, districts should “socially distance classrooms to the maximum extent practicable….where such physical distancing is not feasible or difficult to maintain, protective measures such as physical barriers between students and arranging seating such that all individuals face the same direction can help reduce transmission.” With this in mind, it may not be possible to have all students seated six feet apart. However, we will continue to follow the guidance provided by the NJ Department of Health to include the following mitigating steps as necessary and appropriate: (1) individual quarantines (2) entire class quarantines (3) individual school closures (4) returning to the A/B Hybrid Cohort Model of Instruction.

    Working together and collaboratively, we are confident that our students will have a successful and safe transition to this planned expansion. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s Principal. Additionally, the Phase II and Phase III School Reopening Expansion presentation from the February 18, 2021 Board Meeting can be found on our website.

    Sincerely,
    Vanessa P. Clark, Ph.D.
    Superintendent of Schools

     


    February 15, 2021

    Dear Lacey Township High School Families:

    The purpose of this letter is to inform you that Lacey Township High School will transition to full remote learning instruction for all students effective Tuesday, February 16, 2021. Our return to in-person learning will be Monday, February 22, 2021 and at that time we will continue with the A/B Hybrid Cohort Model of instruction.

    Due to a number of COVID-19 cases being recorded in Lacey Township High School over this past weekend, including both students and staff members, we have made the difficult decision to pause our in-person instruction and transition to a full remote model of instruction for all students. During this time we will continue to monitor COVID-19 related conditions and the potential impact upon Lacey Township High School.  In addition, we will continue to perform appropriate contact tracing, communicate any required quarantine recommendations, and perform a deep clean of the high school facilities.

    Furthermore, at this time the Ocean County Vocational School District will not permit Lacey students for in-person instruction for both shared time programs and the full-time academy programs. OCVTS will send a separate notification concerning these students.

    All co-curricular activities including sports will be paused at this time until further notice as we monitor the nature of COVID-19 cases over the next several days. We will make a decision on  the timeframe to resume activities during the course of the week.

    Please be reminded all students will continue their education via remote learning during this school closure and should engage with their teachers through their Canvas accounts for meeting times, directions, and/or assignments. We will reopen Lacey Township High School for the A/B Hybrid Cohort Model of instruction on Monday, February 22, 2021. 

    If you have any questions or concerns, please email your child's teacher or call the main office. Please be sure to leave a message and we will return your call promptly. 

    With Great Pride and Care,
    Gregory Brandis
    Principal, Lacey Township High School


    January 29,2021

    Dear Lacey Township School District Families:

    I hope this communication finds you well. Throughout the school year, our School Reopening Committee has been meeting regularly to expand our reopening plans to provide students with in-person instruction five days a week. The date for this expansion is tentatively scheduled for Monday, March 1, 2021. This decision will be based on many factors but will be largely dependent on the response from parents regarding attendance, guidance from local and state health departments, and continuous monitoring of COVID-19 infection rates in our schools and community.

    These plans, of course, must always consider the guidelines provided by both the NJ Department of Health and the CDC guidelines for public schools. Specifically, the guidelines require that we follow social distancing protocols where practicable. What does this mean? It means that students and staff will continue to wear face coverings and all student desks will have clear desk dividers. There may be instances when students are seated less than six feet apart; however, implementing these protocols will enable the district to comply with social distancing standards to the maximum extent practicable.  In addition, the district will continue to implement stringent cleaning protocols in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

    Regarding your child’s nutrition, free breakfast will remain available every morning. However, the expansion to five days of in-person instruction will require us to transition the free lunch service to a grab-and-go lunch at the end of your child’s school day, a system that is already in place at Lacey Township Middle School and High School. Because of this lunch transition, we encourage parents to provide students with a small snack that can be eaten during the day as we will plan for a socially distanced snack period. It should be noted that our preschool program schedule will remain unchanged so preschool parents do not have to complete the survey.

    So that we can plan accordingly, we have created a brief survey for parent input called LTSD Five-Day Expansion Survey. We want to know whether parents will send their children to school five days a week or choose the remote-only instructional model. Please complete a separate survey for each child in your family. The LTSD Five-Day Expansion Survey should be completed by Friday, February 5, 2021. Click the link above to access the survey. 

    Thank you for your continued support. Stay safe!

    Sincerely,
    Vanessa P. Clark, Ph.D.
    Superintendent of Schools


    January 19, 2021

    Dear Lacey Township School District Families:

    I hope this communication finds you well. As we approach the end of the second marking period, I am writing to let you know that you will have the opportunity once again to transition your child to a new model of instruction based on the school reopening guidelines. 

    Parents who would like to transition their child from the Hybrid A/B Model to the Full-Time Remote Model OR the Full-Time Remote Model to the Hybrid A/B Model MUST COMPLETE the Request to Transition Instructional Delivery Model by clicking on the link. Please complete the form no later than Monday, January 25, 2021. You DO NOT need to complete this form if you DO NOT want to change your child's current instructional model.

    This information can also be found on the Lacey Township School District website under Reopening Our Schools. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s Principal.

    Sincerely,
    Vanessa P. Clark, Ph.D.
    Superintendent of Schools

     


    January 8, 2021

    Dear Lacey Township School District Community:

    The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the Lacey Township School District will transition to full remote learning instruction for all students effective Monday, January 11, 2021. Our return to in-person learning will be Monday, January 25, 2021 and at that time we will continue with the A/B Hybrid Cohort Model of instruction.

    The 2020-2021 school year has presented the Lacey Township School District with many challenges; however, we have been successful in keeping our district open with almost no cases of COVID-19 transmission occurring in the school setting. Since returning from the winter break we have seen a significant increase in community-based COVID-19 related cases and quarantining due to individuals having COVID-19 related symptoms. Therefore, in collaboration with and upon the recommendation of the Ocean County Health Department, we have made the difficult decision to pause our in-person instruction and transition to a full remote model of instruction for all students. This action will also allow us to keep school-based transmission of COVID-19 as close to zero as possible. During this time we will continue to monitor COVID-19 related conditions within the community and the potential impact upon our schools.  In addition, we will continue to perform appropriate contact tracing, communicate any required quarantine recommendations, and continue to clean and disinfect our buildings.

    All students will continue their education via remote learning during the school closure and should engage with their teachers via their Google Classroom or Canvas accounts for meeting times, directions, and/or assignments. We will reopen all schools for the A/B Hybrid Cohort Model of instruction on Monday, January 25, 2021. Note that during this two week transition to remote learning, the Lacey Township School District will continue to offer meals to all students via pick-up at each school. You will receive an email from the Food Services Director with detailed information.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to any of our staff or contact your child’s principal. Be safe!

    Sincerely,
    Vanessa P. Clark, Ph.D.
    Superintendent of Schools


    January 3, 2021

    Dear Lacey Township School District Community:

    Happy New Year! As we bid farewell to a very unusual and challenging year, I am confident that 2021 will return us to a much anticipated normalcy. Again, thank you for your patience, understanding, and commitment as we work to get there one day at a time. The purpose of this communication is to update you on pertinent information as it relates to returning to school on Monday, January 4, 2021. 

    Just prior to the winter break, I reminded the school community of the importance of letting us know about any COVID-19 related information so that we can safely open schools on Monday. As we work together to keep our schools safe, please continue to share any information as it relates to travel advisories, illness, or exposure to COVID. Many people have asked, “Are there any travel advisories to or from New Jersey?” The answer is: “Travelers and residents returning from any U.S. state or territory beyond the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging following recommendations from the CDC.” It is essential that you review this advisory at the link provided in this letter and on our website, Note that while the self-quarantine is voluntary, compliance is expected. Our custodial, grounds and maintenance staff have worked tirelessly over the break to clean and sanitize our school buildings and school buses. We appreciate their efforts. I also want to remind you that if you are sick with COVID-19 like symptoms prior to the reopening of school or anytime thereafter, do not come into school and contact your school nurse. 

    Over the break, we continued to analyze the data that was available to us and we have communicated regularly with the Ocean County Health Department. Our current data indicates that, because of our strong health and safety protocols, students and staff are safe in our schools. Additionally, we believe it is important to keep the continuity of learning and routine that our hybrid model has provided thus far this year for students, parents, and staff.

    Finally, as we begin 2021 and look forward to the approach of the third marking period, I want to compliment our staff on how they have remained incredibly focused on our students. I’m also very grateful to the Lacey families who have been supportive of our staff as we navigate this very challenging school year. As always, we are in this together and will continue to make data-based decisions that keep students and staff healthy and safe, while providing the best education possible.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to any of our staff or contact your child’s principal. Be safe and happy new year!

    Sincerely,
    Vanessa P. Clark, Ph.D.
    Superintendent of Schools


    December 22, 2020

    Dear Lacey Township School District Community:

    Let me begin by wishing you all a Happy Holiday. As 2020 comes to a close, we all deserve a well-earned break and so we wish you a restful and relaxing holiday. Once again, thank you for your patience, understanding, and commitment as we continue to navigate this challenging and changing landscape. The purpose of this communication is to update you on a variety of topics as we approach the winter break.

    Please be reminded that during the holiday break it is imperative that you continue to let us know about any COVID-19 related information so that we can safely open schools on January 4, 2021. If you are sick with COVID-19 like symptoms prior to the reopening of school do not come into school on January 4th and contact your school nurse. School staff will be unavailable by phone during the holiday break; however, your school nurses will periodically check email and will do so more frequently as we get closer to school reopening. Please utilize the email system with any questions or concerns as it relates to school opening on January 4th. The nurse emails are listed below along with the email for District Supervisor, William Zylinski who has been overseeing our COVID-19 related response.

    LTHS, Shannon Morganti: smorganti@laceyschools.org
    LTMS, Kristen Patterson: kpatterson@laceyschools.org
    MPS, Terri DiGaetano: tdigaetano@laceyschools.org
    CCS, Amy Clancy: aclancy@laceyschools.org
    LHS, Alicia Crandall: acrandall@laceyschools.org
    FRS, Kelli Vilardi: kvilardi@laceyschools.org
    District Supervisor, William Zylinski: wzylinski@laceyschools.org

    If you know that you will be travelling over the break, please let your school principal know of your travel dates so we can plan accordingly for remote instruction to take place. Additionally, visit the following for the latest travel rules: Covid 19 Information Hub

    Keep the following dates in mind:
    December 24, 2020 - January 3, 2021: Winter Break - school is closed. 
    January 4, 2021: Classes resume on the A/B Cohort Model starting with the A Cohort. 

    As a final reminder, we will follow our usual protocols for informing the entire school community of any school related updates; this includes an automated call, email, text message, social media, and our website. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s principal. Be safe and happy holidays!

    Sincerely,
    Vanessa P. Clark, Ph.D.
    Superintendent of Schools


    December 16, 2020

    Dear Lacey Township School District Families:

    I hope this communication finds you well and getting ready for the holidays. As we approach the season for potentially inclement weather, and the possibility of snow, I am writing to let you know that should we need to close for in-person instruction due to inclement weather, the Lacey Township School District will try something new and transition to all-remote learning. What does this mean? It means that assignments for the inclement weather day will be posted for students to complete throughout the day at home. Google Meets with live instruction that introduces new material will not take place on these inclement weather days to account for potential power and internet outages. However, your child’s teacher may use Google Meets to review previously taught material or to review and/or answer questions if connectivity permits. More information, specific to your child’s classroom, will be communicated by the teacher the morning of the district-wide remote learning day.

    We know school in general during this pandemic has been, and continues to be challenging for all of our families and staff. However, the implementation of remote learning has provided us with a unique opportunity for learning even when we can’t physically be in school. While we all love a good “snow day,” shifting to remote learning not only provides students with continuity of learning, but will preserve the remainder of the school calendar as planned. For example, the last day of school, which is June 18, 2021, will remain unchanged as snow days typically shift the last day of school. 

    While we want students to complete their assignments, we also want to encourage students, from kindergarten all the way through high school, to spend time outside playing in the snow. Research tells us that play is important to healthy brain development and allows children to engage and interact in the world around them. What better way to do this than in the snow!

    As a reminder, we will use our usual protocols for informing the entire school community of a weather-related closure; this includes an automated call, email, text message, social media, and our website. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s principal. Be safe!

    Sincerely,
    Vanessa P. Clark
    Superintendent of Schools


    November 20, 2020

    Dear Lacey Township School District Community,

    I hope this letter finds our Lacey families well and gearing up for the holidays. As you know, Governor Murphy and the NJ Department of Health have recently updated the COVID-19 public health recommendations. With that in mind, I would like to take a moment to share some information with you as it relates to COVID 19 and our ability to continue to keep schools open as the cases rise in our state and nation. 

    Based on the latest COVID 19 Activity Level Report for Ocean County, our region (Central East) has transitioned from Moderate Risk (yellow) category to the High Risk (orange) category. This change requires districts to enhance the method of contact tracing. Our schools will remain open during this time; however, we ask all families to consider the following points so that we can continue to keep our students and families safe.

    1. Close contact is defined as 15 cumulative minutes of exposure in a 24-hour period at a distance of 6 feet or less from 48 hours prior to the positive or symptomatic person developing symptoms or testing positive for COVID 19. 
    2. If you or a member of your household comes into close contact with an individual with COVID 19 you can not come to school, you must quarantine, and you must contact your school nurse immediately.
    3. If you or a member of your immediate household comes into close contact with an individual with COVID 19 compatible symptoms you can not come to school, you must quarantine and you must contact your school nurse immediately.
    4. If you or a member of your immediate household is awaiting the results of a COVID 19 test you can not come to school until you have received the results of the test and have contacted your school nurse for further instructions.
    5. Any families that travel to or return from any of the travel advisory states for the holidays or otherwise, must quarantine for 14 days upon return.

    Our goal is to continue to remain open and provide students with in-person instruction. We believe that if we implement and follow these expectations, we can remain open for our students and continue to offer a safe learning environment for the foreseeable future. Please enjoy a happy and safe holiday and do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. 

    For further information regarding COVID-19 public health recommendations, please refer to the New Jersey Department of Health COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Local Health Departments for K-12 Schools.

    Sincerely,
    Vanessa P. Clark, Ph.D. 
    Superintendent of Schools


    October 30, 2020

    Dear Lacey Township School District Families:

    As we approach the end of the first marking period, I am reminded of the long road that we all have traveled to get to this point. There have been decisions to make, new skills to learn, new habits to form, and a constant reminder that while no plan is perfect, we were able to successfully open our schools on September 21 for in-person learning.

    We now turn our attention to the expansion of our re-entry plan as we consider how all of our students will return to school for daily instruction five days per week. Please know there are many factors to consider when making these decisions. These include decisions made by the Governor’s Office, an increase in the rise of COVID-19 cases, and unknown factors related to the upcoming flu season. Keeping all this in mind, we will begin to return students to school as outlined below.

    November 9, 2020 - Special education students in Grades K through 6 who are in the LLD program will return to school for daily instruction five days a week.

    November 16, 2020 - Parents previously received communication about how to transition students to a new instructional model. Those students who will transition to a new instructional model will begin on Monday, November 16, 2020.

    Our school district is working to move towards a 5 day in-person schedule for all students in the near future. More information will be shared as soon as we finalize those plans. In the meantime, I would like to remind you of a few important items.

    • School is closed next week, Monday, November 2 through Friday, November 6.
    • As of Tuesday, October 27, 2020, there are currently 41 states and U.S. Jurisdictions that meet the travel advisory criteria. As per my communication dated October 7, please be mindful of the self-quarantine guidelines that may impact your child(ren). The list is updated frequently, so please check the most up to date travel restrictions by visiting the New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub.
    • If you have any questions during the week that we are closed related to out-of-state travel or school-related COVID-19 issues, please send an email to: LTSDReopening@laceyschools.org. 

    Thank you for your efforts in keeping our schools and community safe.

    Sincerely, 
    Vanessa P. Clark
    Superintendent of Schools

     


    October 20, 2020

    Dear Lacey Township School District Families:

    I hope this communication finds you well. As we approach the end of the first marking period, I am writing to let you know that you will have the opportunity to transition your child to a new model of instruction based on the school reopening guidelines that were outlined prior to school opening. 

    Parents who would like to transition their child from the Hybrid A/B Model to the Full-Time Remote Model OR the Full-Time Remote model to the Hybrid A/B model MUST COMPLETE the Request to Transition Instructional Delivery Model by clicking on the link. Please complete the form no later than Friday, October 23, 2020. You DO NOT need to complete this form if you DO NOT want to change your child's current instructional model.

    This information can also be found on the Lacey Township School District website under Reopening Our Schools. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s Principal. 

    Sincerely,
    Vanessa P. Clark, Ph.D.
    Superintendent of Schools


    October 7, 2020

    Dear Lacey Township School District Families:

    November and December are typically an exciting time in our students’ lives as they look forward to the holiday season and the possibility of out-of-state travel.  With that in mind, I write to remind the families and students of the Lacey Township School Community of the travel advisory issued by Governor Murphy in June 2020 and the responsibilities it places upon all those traveling to impacted states and international destinations.  According to the Governor’s travel advisory, those returning to New Jersey should self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days if they have traveled from restricted states and territories.  The State maintains a list of these locations, which is available online at the following address:  https://covid19.nj.gov/.  The list of impacted states is updated weekly.

    In light of the Governor’s post-travel quarantine recommendation, it is possible that out-of-state travel will delay your child’s ability to return to school following your arrival home in New Jersey. Students who have travelled to an impacted state will be required to attend school via remote learning for the quarantine period, which will be fourteen (14) calendar days following their last day in an impacted state.  Therefore, until the Governor lifts the travel advisory, I encourage you to take two steps prior to traveling out of state.  First, please consult with the updated list of impacted states when making any future travel plans and consider avoiding travel to impacted states in order to continue maintaining a safe school environment for yourself and others who are part of the school community.  Second, should you choose to travel to an impacted state, thereby necessitating a quarantine upon your return to New Jersey, please notify your school’s principal as soon as possible prior to your travel so that the school may have  advanced notice in order to plan for the delivery of remote instruction to your child.

    Governor Murphy’s travel advisory is intended to protect the health and safety of all those with whom a traveler may come into contact.  The Lacey Township School District takes the health and safety of its students, staff, faculty, and administration very seriously, and requires your help in safeguarding the well-being of the school community.  For additional information on the Governor’s quarantine travel advisory please see the New Jersey Department of Health’s Self-Quarantine for Travelers FAQ. Finally, please contact your school’s principal for questions about remote learning.

    Thank you for your efforts to keep our schools and community safe.

    Sincerely, 
    Vanessa P. Clark
    Superintendent of Schools


    September 18, 2020

    Dear Lacey Township School District Families:

    I hope this communication finds you well as the summer winds down. The purpose of this communication is to remind you that the Hybrid Cohort Model will begin on Monday, September 21, 2020 for all students who elected this learning model. As you prepare to send your child(ren) back to school, please remember:

    • Face coverings will be required for all students at all times while inside a school building regardless of social distancing unless doing so would inhibit the individual’s health. 
    • Students are required to wear face coverings on the bus ride into school in the morning, and on the bus ride home.
    • We will conduct daily temperature screens with No-Contact Thermometers, but we again reinforce the importance of students staying home when sick until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever (temperature of 100 or higher) without the use of fever-reducing medicine. To that end, we ask that parents conduct daily home screenings prior to students boarding a school bus or arriving at school. 

    Our school nurses have prepared an overview of the health protocols that we have implemented to keep everyone healthy and safe. The document, Health Protocols from Your School Nurse was sent to you earlier today via email and is also posted on our website under Reopening Our Schools. 

    Many parents have asked whether the half days on the school calendar have been eliminated. Because our hybrid school days have already been shortened, the following half days on the school calendar have been eliminated: 

    • October 9
    • November 18, 19, 20
    • November 25
    • December 23
    • March 12
    • May 28

    An updated school calendar reflecting these dates can be found on our website under "Reopening Our Schools."

    Finally, we have created another video to provide parents with an Overview of the Health and Safety Protocols that we have implemented throughout our schools and on our school buses to keep everyone safe. It provides great insight to the commonly asked question: “What has the school district done to keep everyone safe?” Again, while we will do everything we can to ensure the safety of our students and staff, we cannot do it alone. It is a shared responsibility in which we all must make a concerted effort to strictly follow health and safety protocols. 

    Remember, we are Lions and that makes us courageous! I look forward to welcoming our students back to our school buildings on Monday, September 21. Have a great weekend and continue to stay safe.

    Sincerely, 
    Vanessa P. Clark, Ph.D.
    Superintendent of Schools


    September 3, 2020

    Dear Lacey Township School District Families:

    We have almost arrived at the start of a brand new school year. To say that it will be unusual is an understatement. I know there is some anxiety and uncertainty, but as always, we are committed to getting through it together, one day at a time. The purpose of this communication is to update you on a variety of topics.

    First, our goal and full intention is to open the school year with the plans already communicated to you.

    September 8: School starts on the remote learning model for all students. 

    September 14: School starts in-person for students who require specific specialized programming and services. 

    September 21: Start of the Hybrid A/B Cohort Learning Model for all students who elected this learning model. 

    An updated school calendar reflecting these dates can be found on our website under “Reopening Our Schools.“

    2020-2021 Health and Safety Guidelines

    Throughout the summer, the NJ Department of Education (NJDOE), NJ Department of Health (NJDOH), and the CDC have regularly updated us with information. As a result, we have updated our school reopening plans and Board policies. Outlined below are several important rules for our students:

    • Face coverings will be required for all students at all times while inside a school building regardless of social distancing unless doing so would inhibit the individual’s health. The updated guidance from NJDOE on face coverings for students will also include several exceptions to this standard including an exception for certain students with disabilities. Students are required to wear face coverings on the bus ride into school in the morning, and on the bus ride home.
    • While we will conduct daily temperature screens with N0-Contact Thermometers, we again reinforce the importance of students staying home when sick until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever (temperature of 100 or higher) without the use of fever-reducing medicine. To that end, we ask that parents conduct daily home screenings prior to students boarding a school bus or arriving at school. 

    Health Measures

    • Buildings have all been cleaned and teachers have been working hard to make the classrooms educationally inviting and ready for students to learn. 
    • All classrooms will have a supply of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. 
    • Our custodial staff will sanitize and clean frequently, with a thorough sanitization taking place on a daily basis. 
    • Student seating has been spaced as far apart as possible. Desk shields and barriers are a measure the NJDOH and NJDOE have authorized as barriers that assist with virus mitigation when 6 feet of distancing is not possible. Desk shields and barriers have been provided as needed. 
    • Physical guides and directional signs have been installed in each of the six schools to help ensure that staff and students remain at least 6 feet apart in hallways, lines, and at other times. 

    Visitors to the School Buildings

    • In an effort to minimize the number of non-essential interactions between school staff and outside visitors, all visitors are required to make appointments so that proper visitor management protocols are followed. 
    • With appointments, all visitors will be required to wear face coverings. Additionally, all visitors will be required to complete a health screen form and have a temperature screen completed before being admitted into the building.

    A common question that is asked is: “How will we keep everyone safe?” While we will do everything we can to ensure the safety of our students and staff, we cannot do it alone. It is a shared responsibility in which we all must make a concerted effort to strictly follow health and safety protocols. 

    Again, the first day of school will be an unusual one, but we are Lions and that makes us courageous! I look forward to welcoming our students to the new school year.

    Continue to stay safe.

    Sincerely, 
    Vanessa P. Clark, Ph.D.
    Superintendent of Schools


    August 18, 2020

    Dear Lacey Township School District Families and Staff:

    On August 4, 2020 I presented the Lacey Township School District plan for reopening our schools. During that presentation, I stated that we were preparing to welcome students back to school beginning Tuesday, September 8. I also shared the Lacey Township School District School Reopening Plan, which includes district-specific protocols related to the 10 critical areas of operation outlined in the NJ Department of Education (NJDOE) Restart and Recovery Plan. Since then, we have continued our preparations to open our schools with health and safety as the most important considerations.

    The purpose of this communication is to let you know that school will open for all students on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 on the remote learning model only. To ensure we meet and exceed the Governor’s minimum expectations for in-person instruction, we will move the start of our Hybrid A/B Cohort learning model to Monday, September 21, 2020. Some of our students who require specific specialized programming and services (that can be difficult to replicate through remote learning) will have the opportunity to receive those services earlier.

    The schedule moving forward for the Lacey Township School District is as follows:

    • September 1 to 3: All faculty and staff will engage in professional development to start the school year.
    • September 8: School starts on the remote learning model for all students. 
    • September 14: School starts in-person for students who require specific specialized programming and services. Details about this will be forthcoming.
    • September 21: Start of the Hybrid A/B Cohort Learning Model for all students who elected this learning model. 

    An updated school calendar reflecting these changes will be issued for the entire school year in the near future.

    An area that we have focused on tremendously is instruction in both the remote and hybrid models. When school closed last March, we had very little time to make the transition to remote instruction. In fact, and I’ve said it many times, we accomplished in two days what should have taken two years to plan and implement. With that said, our team has worked tirelessly to prepare for the type of instruction that will serve students in both a hybrid and remote setting. The four areas we concentrated on are 1) ensuring that clear expectations are set, 2) providing students with engaging and robust content, 3) ensuring that guidance and support are abundant, and 4) providing students (and families) with quality feedback. We will continue to evaluate our methodology to ensure that all students are afforded the best possible learning opportunities and experiences. During our Board Meeting on Thursday, District Supervisor, Mr. Zylinski, will provide a description of what instruction will look like in both the hybrid and remote instruction models. 

    Another item that is on everyone’s mind is whether co-curricular clubs and activities will take place. These might include activities related to music, art, drama, academics, or special interest topics. Research tells us that participation in co-curricular activities is essential for students in emotional development, social skill development, and overall personality development. Recognizing this importance, we will strive to implement these types of activities when the start of the Hybrid A/B Cohort Model begins on September 21.

    Finally, our attention has also been focused on other areas to prepare for school opening. These include purchasing, distributing, and installing safety and health materials across the district, purchasing and preparing devices to ensure equity, purchasing curriculum materials for the implementation of new programs, and planning for staff professional development. 

    As the beginning of the school year draws closer, we will continue to communicate with our families about important dates and upcoming events. As we have witnessed in the past months, information changes rapidly, and we must be prepared to pivot at a moment’s notice. While this pandemic has forced us to think and behave differently, one thing we know for sure is that we want our students back in school, and we want our lives to return to normal. To that end, we are committed to getting there one day at a time.

    Continue to stay safe.

    Sincerely, 
    Vanessa P. Clark, Ph.D.
    Superintendent of Schools


    August 4, 2020

    Dear Lacey Township School District Families and Staff:

    We are preparing to welcome students back to school beginning Tuesday, September 8. Our team has worked tirelessly this summer to put comprehensive plans and safety precautions in place so we are able to safely return to school. The Lacey Township School District School Reopening Plan includes district-specific protocols related to the 10 critical areas of operation outlined in the NJ Department of Education (NJDOE) Restart and Recovery Plan. The plan goes into great detail about the health and safety measures being implemented to mitigate the risks posed by COVID-19. It is also important to know that the plan is an evolving document and will be adjusted accordingly to reflect the revisions and expectations provided by the NJDOE and the Governor’s task force. Please be sure to check our website regularly under the section titled “Reopening Our Schools” for updated announcements and information. 

    As outlined in my July 21 communication, Lacey families will have the option to choose between two instructional models: the Hybrid A/B Cohort Model and the Full-Time Remote-Only Instruction Model. We have prepared a Reopening Our Schools video slideshow presentation to provide you with an overview of both models so you can make the best decision for your child’s attendance in the fall. 

    Once you have carefully reviewed the School Reopening Plan and the slideshow, we are asking that parents complete a short Return to School Commitment Form no later than August 9, 2020. If a form is not completed by August 9, we will assume that your child(ren) will return for face-to-face learning in the Hybrid A/B Cohort Model. 

    We all continue to be challenged by the coronavirus crisis and the obstacles that it has placed in our path. Despite this, I am grateful that we live in a community that is caring, collaborative, and patient. We all share the responsibility to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. To that end, it is imperative that we remain steadfast in following CDC guidelines for a safe return to school. 

    As we have learned over the past several months and weeks, guidance for responding to this crisis changes regularly. We should all be prepared for potential future changes to school schedules, including the closure of schools. As always, we will continue to update you as information becomes available.

    If you have questions or concerns, please send an email to LTSDReopening@laceyschools.org or contact your child’s Principal. Continue to stay safe!

    Sincerely,
    Vanessa P. Clark, Ph.D.
    Superintendent of Schools