Will there be after-care? 

Yes, it will be provided by the Garfield Boys and Girls Club, YMCA and the Garfield Recreation Center. The organizations will be supplying families with information soon.

Could a family's summer travel plans affect a student’s ability to start school in-person?

Based on the rates of confirmed COVID-19 cases, the State of New Jersey has established a travel advisory for all individuals coming from certain states. People who have been in those states are advised to quarantine for 14 days after coming to New Jersey, even if they have had a negative diagnostic test. “Quarantine” means those individuals should stay at home or another location, except to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. Students who have been in one of those states within 14 days of the first day of school should not come to school until their quarantine period is over.

When must parents decide whether to opt in for Garfield’s hybrid model or the fully remote model?

Garfield has outlined some of the reopening plans so parents can start making decisions about the hybrid model of in-person and remote learning; full details will be released after the state reviews the complete plan and approves it.  Garfield parents must notify their building principal by August 10 if they wish to select the full remote learning model for Phase 1.  In order to ensure that the cohort numbers remain low enough to allow for social distancing, students who are not part of the hybrid model at the start of the school year cannot convert to in-person instruction until after October 16.

Why does Garfield plan for “phases” of reopening?

Garfield is following the Department of Education recommendations and guidance for reopening schools in phases.  We recognize that things are changing quickly and feel it is in the best interest of students and staff to move forward in phases, which will allow us to reevaluate and make adjustments when necessary based on the number of confirmed Covid cases in our schools and community. Phase One will end on October 16th and parents may revisit their model selection at that time.

What are the options for parents who might be uncomfortable sending their children to school?

The state has mandated that districts offer a full-remote option, where students are still enrolled in the district and receive instruction from its teachers. Their learning would be done 100% from the home.  Students who are learning remotely every day can log in to participate with and view the in-person instruction that is being live streamed from the classroom. 

Will my child learn successfully if I choose the fully remote learning model?

The district is providing professional development to teachers to ensure that we make improvements in remote learning.  Many students are more successful with in-person instruction , however, our teachers will make every effort to support our students who are learning from home by live streaming and posting recorded lessons that have been delivered to the students who are attending in-person instruction.  Tutorials will also be offered to parents to familiarize them with the Teams platform.

Will students and staff have to wear face coverings?

Students & staff will be provided with a washable face covering by the district.  They are required to wear a face covering every day. Face coverings with political and social messages will not be permitted.

What happens if a student or staff member feels ill?

Any student or staff member with symptoms like those of COVID-19 will be safely and respectfully isolated from others. After being evaluated by the school nurse, the student or staff member will be isolated from other people until they leave the building. Students will remain under continued supervision until picked up by an authorized adult. Symptomatic students or staff members who are sent home with a fever at or above 99.6 must remain out of school. They may not return unless they have been fever-free without any fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours.

What happens if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?

The district’s current protocol is: If the district becomes aware that a student or staff member who has been in one or more of the school buildings tests positive for COVID-19, the district shall maintain that person’s confidentiality as it notifies local health officials, district staff, and families of the confirmed case. The school nurse and administrator(s) will assist the local Board of Health with contact tracing by making available its records of groups/cohorts, assigned staff members, and daily attendance – adhering to FERPA and HIPPA guidelines. That person’s return to schools will be consistent with policies developed by the CDC and Garfield Department of Health, our nursing supervisor, and medical director in response to positive COVID-19 cases.

Any school in the district might need to implement short-term closure procedures regardless of community spread if an infected person has been in a school building. Local health officials will help administrators determine a course of action, which will be on a case-by-case basis using the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and the specific case.

If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, that person may not return to school until he or she is symptom free along with a doctor’s note indicating permission to return to school.   The Garfield School District nursing staff and administrative team will communicate and work collaboratively with the Garfield Health Department as it relates to contact tracing of positive COVID-19 cases by students and/or staff. Upon learning of a positive diagnosis, the Health Department would be contacted as advised by the guidelines provided by both the Department of Education and the CDC.

What are the plans for increased cleaning of school facilities?

In addition to the increased daily cleaning we performed for the 2019-20 school year in response to COVID-19, we will employ additional cleaning protocols for the 2020-21 school year to improve safety.

Custodians and staff will routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched. At the end of each school day, a sanitizing disinfectant will be sprayed through each building.  On Wednesdays, a thorough cleaning between cohorts will be conducted as ALL students will be learning remotely.

Each classroom will also be supplied with appropriate disinfecting materials and hand sanitizer.

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