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Extended School Year Program Update

MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP SCHOOLS

          1014 Route 601 • Skillman, NJ • 08558-2112 • Phone (609) 466-7600 • Fax: (609) 466-0944

                                Department Of Special Services

June 16, 2020

 

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students:

On behalf of the Department of Special Services, I would like to thank you for your patience and communication with us as we awaited guidance from the Governor regarding conducting Extended School Year (ESY) programs for students.  Please know that the safety and wellbeing of students have and will continue to drive our decision making. 

As many of you know, on Friday, June 12, 2020, Governor Murphy issued a statement declaring that Extended School Year programs could, if local educational agencies deemed feasible and appropriate, offer in-person Extended School Year programs under Executive Order 149.  This order provides for “the operation of in-person summer camps that “provide daily multi-hour programming for youths.  Permissible summer programming includes educational programs run by school districts and receiving schools, such as Extended School Year (ESY) programs…”. Following this statement, a New Jersey Department of Education Broadcast titled Guidance For Summer Learning Programs was released. 

Under Executive Order 149, any school district offering an in-person Extended School Year program must submit a declaration certifying the district is able to adhere to the conditions set forth under the New Jersey COVID-19 Youth Summer Camp Standards.  Such standards include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Ensure the health director is appropriately credentialed, is always on-site, and has knowledge and training in infection control (noted above) and COVID-19 Sign and symptoms  

  • Ensure that the program has no off-site activities  

  • Ensure that staff and students are educated on social distancing, hygiene (handwashing, cough etiquette), proper use of face coverings, and staying home when sick 

  • Adequate postings of signage encouraging hand hygiene, social distancing, and COVID-19 prevention materials?  

  • Drop off and pick up procedures: Daily temperature screening and health surveillance activities at the entry for staff and campers         

    • a. Exclude symptomatic staff/students from the site (provide isolation area for staff/students who are already on-site that are exhibiting signs and symptoms)  

    • Groups of students per (maximum of 10 indoors and 20 outdoors)  

  • Develop sick staff/students policies  

  • Maintain routine cleaning and disinfection frequencies (deep cleaning prior to opening and after periods of closure due to positive cases)  

  • Establish emergency evacuation procedures  

  • Where transportation services are provided, ensure appropriate sanitation and social distancing procedures

The question, therefore, is what factors should we consider in deciding whether to hold in-person ESY instruction. The state released a tool developed by the CDC to assist directors and administrators in making (re)opening decisions. The Decision Tool was reviewed by district administrators in collaboration with the Montgomery Township Department of Health.  Based on our current capacity to meet the State’s standards of conducting a Summer Youth Program, the district is moving forward with our original plan to offer a virtual ESY program.  

The ESY program for the 2020 summer will run from July 6-August 6, Monday through Thursday, starting at 8:30 am and ending at 11:30 am.  The program will include live daily interaction with your child’s teacher(s), synchronous and asynchronous whole group, small group and/or individual instruction, live opening and closing meetings, and related services if applicable.  

I am wishing you all the best for a wonderful end of the school year and look forward to continuing to support our students. 

 

Sincerely, 

Kristen Taylor

Director of Special Services

Montgomery Township School District