I hope that everyone found ways to rest over break. I want to thank everyone for all they have done within our current situation and I want to thank the many staff members, administrators and teachers, who worked through last week to ensure that we were prepared to return to Distance Learning today.
We want to keep everyone focused on the here and now. We are having conversations about today, tomorrow, and the future, but we need everyone to stay focused on right now. I am in contact daily at this point with the superintendents across the county, and with others throughout the state. We are working together on our current situation and on plans for our return. But those conversations first and foremost follow the governor’s direction, and second, follow the information that our critical agencies provide. We are making decisions in two-week cycles to ensure that we do not make a decision that is ill-timed or uninformed.
We are looking further out, at instruction and field trips and the events, celebrations, and ceremonies that are an essential part of our district and our community. Administrators are working with staff and when appropriate, students, to identify and plan alternative ways to honor our traditions and to provide our current students with opportunities to enjoy events they have long worked toward and looked forward to. Every effort will be made to hold our special events in the safest and most inclusive ways possible. We are constantly working on tomorrow, but we ask that everyone else focuses on today.
With that said, health and safety come first. As a school district, we are an essential piece of the B-R community, and under these circumstances, we take our role in supporting the health and safety of our students, staff, and the members of the larger community with the utmost seriousness. To that end, we are asking that everyone continue to:
- Stay home as much as possible.
- When you are out, practice social distancing.
- Continue to monitor the information from our health experts, links to which can be found on our Distance Learning Page.
- Pay careful attention to yourselves and your family members.
We are also asking everyone to maintain perspective. Our lives and the lives of our family members, friends, and neighbors hold the greatest importance. Regardless of our other areas of focus, this must always come first.
Mental health is a key aspect of health and safety. We have from the onset, published resources on our main Distance Learning page at www.brrsd.org/distance-learning. They are immediately found on the right side of the screen and support families to help talk about the situation, to recognize when problems may be forming, and to identify whom to contact for help. This includes our district resources for Health and Wellness. As this continues, we are here to help.
Beyond this, obviously we are committed to the learning of our students. Marking Period 4 began today. All of our start and end times remain the same as they were prior to break. Our middle and high school students have moved to an A/B schedule. This is to help minimize the amount of work students (and their families) have to focus on from day-to-day and to provide longer periods of time for lessons, communication, and review. This schedule is not meant to double the amount of work from one day to the next. And it does not require that students be present during these times. They are a guide. Teachers will provide more specific information, but our Distance Learning schedules are built so that they can work for everyone.
This week is a learning week, as we return to distance learning with an understanding that we will be on this platform for the foreseeable future. Moving forward, please know that:
Reminders for Day 16:
- We are in this together. Do your best and follow your teachers. They know the way….
- All resources can be found on our Distance Learning webpage.
- Attendance must be submitted each day by 10 a.m. with our Attendance Form.
- Remember to log in to Chrome as each student
- For Tech Support, email: DLDtech@brrsd.k12.nj.us
Finally, we are working hard to minimize the communications coming home. At this point, the platform has been built, resources are available and growing, and procedures are well established. The most important communications are going to come from teachers. Therefore, barring an emergent situation, district communications will come out on Tuesdays and Fridays only.
I mentioned at our last meeting that our mission and value statements speak directly to situations like this. There could be no better description of the community we need to be now and over the coming months. Our administration, faculty, and staff are all here to work with you to find our way through this: together.
Superintendent of Schools