The following email was sent to all Hopewell Valley Regional School District families April 22.
Dear Hopewell Valley School Community,
I am writing to update you on the final phase of our return to school plan. On May 17, 2021, we will return to our traditional (pre-pandemic) full-day schedule, five days a week, on all levels. In preparation for this move, we will be welcoming back additional TMS and CHS students to our in-person programming, collapsing cohorts at TMS, and piloting a full-day program in a few classes on the elementary level in the coming weeks. Specific details about our return will be shared by your building principals in early May.
We recognize the importance of this move. I would like to assure you that this decision was made with the guidance of our school physician and the department of health, and was made with the best interests of our students and staff in mind. We have led the way on many items related to the pandemic and as we enter our final phase, we want to be 100% confident that our students and staff are safe.
Student and Staff Mental health Student and staff mental health remain a district priority. This year has been a challenge for all of us, but our staff and students have continually faced unanticipated challenges and risen above each one. As we move forward, we realize that this move will require some adjustment for students, their families, and our staff members. Supports are available to assist any student or staff member through this transition.
We also recognize that some of the mental health issues among school-aged students can be attributed to the lack of normalcy in socialization/relationships and daily schedules. Hopefully, a return to a normal schedule will assist us in identifying and supporting our students who need assistance.
Summer Programming At our last Board meeting, Asst. Superintendent, Dr. Rosetta Treece, and our Director Pupil Services, Paulette DiNardo presented our plan to support students this summer. You can view this presentation by clicking this link.
Plans for September We anticipate the full reopening of schools in September. The ability to begin the 2021-2022 school year with familiarity and confidence will be critical for everyone. Returning to five full days a week of school in May will provide everyone the opportunity to get reacclimated to a normal schedule after more than a year of shifting calendars. It will also allow time to work through potential challenges to returning, be they of a practical or social-emotional nature.
I would like to thank you for your patience and flexibility throughout this school year. I would also like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our staff who worked hard to ensure that this school year has been a successful one for our students.
Thomas A. Smith, Ed.D.Superintendent of Schools
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