Bloomfield Schools Superintendent Salvatore Goncalves and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction Joseph Fleres sent a letter to the Bloomfield Schools Community, detailing the tentative plan for students returning to school in the fall. The plan in its entirety will be presented publicly at the July 21, Board of Education meeting.
In planning for the fall, Goncalves writes that the district’s guiding priorities included two objectives: the safety and well-being of students and staff; and the instruction and learning for students and staff.
The tentative plan outlined below must be submitted to the New Jersey Department of Education for formal approval:
The Opening of School
Any new students to the district will have the opportunity to visit their respective building by appointment with the building principal to receive any necessary district-issued technology and any other materials needed to start in the Bloomfield Schools the week of August 24. To start school in September, ALL Bloomfield students will begin virtually on September 3 and 4. This allows our students and staff to begin all of their scheduled cycles in a uniformed manner starting on Tuesday, September 8. A virtual start also allows our kindergarten students and parents to participate in an in-person, socially distanced orientation to get acclimated to our elementary schools (building principals will be sharing more information regarding this in the coming weeks).
ECC @ Forest Glen:
For students who require an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) the ECC at Forest Glen will operate on an AA Monday/Tuesday – BB Wednesday/Thursday Weekly schedule. ECC students will engage in Virtual Learning on Fridays. In-person instruction will be 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Students considered tuitioned general education students will be offered our state-approved virtual learning plan.
Our grades K-6 plan includes an alternating A/B four Days a Week Schedule. This will provide an elementary student four days of in-person instruction every other week based on an A-B schedule and a virtual learning component on Fridays. The entire district will operate on abbreviated half day schedules (8:30 am -12:30 pm) in order to ensure that our buildings receive the cleaning necessary as recommended by the aforementioned organizations. There will also be a solely virtual learning opportunity that will allow grades K-6 students to have the same access to their education.
Our grades 7-12 plan includes a three-day (Tuesday-Thursday) in-person rotating cycle that will include a corresponding virtual piece on Mondays and Fridays. This will provide 7-12 students one day of in-person instruction per week based on an A-B-C abbreviated (similar to half day) schedule. There will also be a solely virtual learning opportunity that will allow grades 7-12 students to have the same access to their education.
Breakfast will continue to be offered to all students as per federal regulations. Breakfast After the Bell will continue at Berkeley, Carteret, and Watsessing schools. Lunch will be available through a “grab and go” system and available for all other students to purchase when we reopen in September.
Teacher collaboration time is expected to be virtual and flexible (PLC’s, staff meetings, articulation meetings, professional development, etc.). Simply, when the abbreviated student day ends, certified staff will be expected to engage in a certain amount of virtual work (all within the realm of the agreed upon Bloomfield Teacher’s Contract).
Health and Safety Protocols are being developed for face coverings & gloves, infection-control strategies, social distancing, individuals testing positive for COVID-19, facilities & building management, medically fragile students & staff, transportation, return to work policies & procedures, screening & admittance procedures, and contact tracing procedures.
We recognize that anything less than a full return to school presents hardships for our families. We will monitor conditions continually and implement modifications as we inch closer to September and track local health conditions. We will continue to collaborate and communicate, as there are many decisions still to be made.
Please know that we care deeply about ensuring that the start of the school year is a safe, positive, and pleasant experience for all. Although it is not our traditional September opening, we are doing our very best to provide our students and staff the best possible educational experience within the current set of state-issued guidelines.