Dear Parents/Guardians, Faculty, Staff, and Community Members,
On August 24, 2020, the Classical Academy Charter School of Clifton, notified the County Department of Education, regarding the change of the school reopening plan from a hybrid design to one of remote only instruction beginning September 2, 2020. Since the first presentation and submission by the school was to begin with a hybrid model of instruction, current risk factors have been determined to be too high. The Clifton area currently has seen an increase in new positive Covid-19 cases as of last week and as we have observed throughout the country, schools that reopened have seen new positive cases resulting in quarantines and closings.
From this information received and maintaining the safest opening of CACS for this year, the school has decided to start with an all remote schedule. We will be re-evaluating in person instruction prior to the end of the 1st marking period, which ends on November 4, 2020. Please understand that the Board, administration, and staff of CACS did not decide this without much discussion and thought, using the information available from various sources.
We understand the challenges faced by this decision and the hardships placed on our students, staff, and families, and we share in your frustration. However, our decision was based on the safety, security, and well-being of our students and staff. We realize that in person, face-to-face instruction is the sought-after goal, but we must be prudent and provide our children’s health and safety as our top priority. Districts have been given the ability to delay in person openings for 2020-2021, in cases of health and safety reasons, and this will allow CACS additional time to prepare for a safe reopening.
You will receive more information from the school about remote instruction, but also note that it is subject to change as we move forward. Please continue to check our website and e-mails at your convenience.
Dr. Paul E. Semegran, Lead Person
Dear Parents / Guardians, Students, and Community Members,
I hope this letter finds you and your family well. I am writing to update you on our ongoing planning efforts to reopen schools in September. As many of you know, the New Jersey Department of Education released guidance on June 26. Please review some content taken directly from the guidance:
- Absent a shift in public health data, schools and districts must reopen for modified in-person instruction and operations at the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
- Must comply with CDC, state, and local guidelines. Districts should abide by the advice of local health officials to determine the safest course of action based on local circumstances, which will change as the public health landscape evolves.
- Social distancing will be a guiding principle.
- Many schools and districts will have to operate school buildings at reduced capacity, requiring the establishment of hybrid learning environments (in-person and remote).
- Districts need to be prepared to pivot to remote instruction at any time during the school year.
- School staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings unless doing so would inhibit the individual’s health or the individual is under two years of age. Students are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings and are required to do so when social distancing cannot be maintained, unless doing so would inhibit the student’s health.
In the spirit of collaboration and in order to gain valuable perspectives, CACS has established a committee as it works towards the development of a comprehensive plan. The committee includes the following representatives:
Acting Lead Person, School Business Administrator, Social Worker, School Nurse, Child Study Team Member, Custodian, Office Staff, Teacher, NJEA building Representative, Food Service, Board of Trustee members, parent representation.
The committee members will work with the Board of Trustees established sub-committees and will be guided by the following principles (listed in no particular order) that are helping to guide the effort:
- Health and Safety; of all students and staff
- Engagement; ongoing among all community groups
- Learning; uphold the integrity of our instructional program
- Inclusivity; ensure equitable access for all students
- Wellness; prioritize social and emotional needs and development
- Empathy; caring for one another
We anticipate being able to share the framework of a proposed plan with you in approximately two week in hopes of getting your feedback prior to ultimately submitting a plan to the State. The current situation is constantly evolving and challenging, but we are a resilient and supportive community. There is nothing that we cannot overcome together.
Thank you for your continued partnership and support. We look forward to updating you on our progress very soon. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the school at the main number or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acting Lead Person
Dear Classical Academy Community,
I am saddened to write this memo regarding the unjust and horrific tragic death of George Floyd. However, I am also encouraged by hope knowing that out of this tragedy, many individuals worldwide have come together to take a stance in solidarity and have become catalysts for eradicating racial injustice.
On behalf of Classical Academy, I along with my staff and the administrative team condemn such hateful acts. I strongly believe in the power of education to open our minds to understanding that every person, regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion, or race is important and equal in the face of all humanity.
We are not letting this racist act go unnoticed. Instead, our teachers are diligently teaching tolerance by engaging students in meaningful projects and discussion based lessons that promote social justice and peaceful advocacy.
Classical Academy will continue to promote equality by upholding our HIB and equity policies. Moreover, the diverse voices, perspectives, and talents of our Classical Academy students fills me with more hope knowing that these young people, along with our staff and community will join me in continuing to maintain a zero tolerance for bias and will adopt a 100% commitment to promote equality as we stop oppression and replace it with compassion.