South River schools opt for all-remote learning model for first month of school

SOUTH RIVER–Superintendent Sylvia Zircher announced that the South River Public School District will provide a virtual-only instructional program for all students from Sept. 9-30.

On Aug.12, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that school districts could apply to the state to opt for an all-remote/virtual learning reopening plan for the fall semester.

Despite the district choosing to do virtual program at the start of the Fall semester, Zircher said the school district’s in-person program will begin on Oct. 1 for those students/families who have opted to return to school in person.

“If you have opted to attend school virtually for the first marking period, your request will continue to be honored. No further action is needed if you are opting to return to school in person or virtually,” Zircher said in a letter dated Aug. 18. “The COVID-19 pandemic is continuously evolving. As a result, school districts across the state continue to receive updated guidelines from the New Jersey Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Labor, and the governor’s office.”

Zircher said the district is remaining proactive and responsive to these updates and prioritizing the health and safety of its students and staff.

“We also fully understand the importance of returning to school in a timely manner. We are hopeful, based on current information, that we will have the necessary staffing and equipment in place by Oct. 1 to begin a hybrid, in-person program for those families who are ready to return,” Zircher said in the letter. “Please visit the COVID-19 tab of our district website for more information, including the COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Local Health Departments for K-12 Schools released last week.”

Zircher said parents will be receiving information from their child’s building principal in the next two weeks about specific virtual hours for each school, services, technology, and information specific to their child.

“Our district’s virtual educational plan will also be available on our district website by Aug. 21. Our special education students will receive further information about the services we will have available while we are on virtual-only instruction,” Zircher said in the letter.

Zircher said the district will also continue to provide meals for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch through distribution days beginning on Sept. 9.

“Meals will be available for pick up on Wednesdays in the same manner as our program for the school year 2019-20. More information will be provided in our weekly e-ram,” Zircher said in the letter. “Please also look for an announcement for students in grades Pre-K-12 about a school-issued device and access to Wi-Fi.”

Zircher said if someone needs to visit any of the schools for any reason, they must call ahead for an appointment, and wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

“We wish you well and thank you in advance for your understanding and support while we work through these difficult and ever-changing circumstances,” Zircher said in the letter.

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