On Tuesday-28-July the Bogota Board of Education held a special meeting. The focus of this meeting was for it to serve as a Town Hall event for the district to announce how the Public Schools will open for the 2020-21 School Year. Superintendent Mr. Damian Kennedy used his opening report to explain the Board of Education’s plan. He stressed that any plans that will be presented will be based on the current State of New Jersey guild-lines. He also said that recommendation from the state are subject to change as health conditions also change.
The 2020-21 school is excepted to start on Wednesday-9-September for Students. Facility and Staff will report to their building the week before to work on planning and to learn about new safety protocols. The State of New Jersey is requiring all school to have in person learning as much as possible. With this directive Bogota will create three groups of Student called “Cohorts”. One group will be for Student whose families can request their children only attend school virtually. Those Student attending schools in person will be placed in one of the other two groups. The first group will attend, in person, Monday and Tuesday mornings. The second group will attend, in person, on Thursday and Friday mornings. On the days when a group is in school the other group will be using real time learning of the same the class as it will be live streamed from the classroom. Both group will then return home for virtually class time in the afternoon. Any Student who is in the stay at home group will be also be live streaming the class at the same time. Grab and Go Lunches will be available after the morning sessions. There will be no in-school instruction on Wednesday, but a virtual class will be held. On Wednesday and in the afternoon the classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected for the next school day.
The classrooms will be arrange to have desks placed a safe distance from each other and have plastic shields, sneeze guards, in place. There will also be shielding between the Students and Instructors. Teachers and Staff will be required to wear mask and other personal protection at all times. Students will be required to wear mask while entering and leaving the building. This includes any time they step away from their desks or in the hallways. Student may remove their mask only if they are behind the sneeze guard at their desks to perform lessons. Start times and entrances to each building will be staggered reduce the time Students will need to be in close proximity to others. Students and Facility will have their temperatures taken before entering the building. Students with family members in the same school will be place in the same group for connivance. It is also planned that the older Student will help their younger siblings with this process.
Families will be sent a schedule for arrival times and entrances for each grade level. There will be the staggering of start times to allow for student screening to take place each morning. This message will include which Teacher and rooms the Student will be assigned to. There will also be a list of any materials Students may need. Superintendent Kennedy said that each Student will be assigned a Chrome book for Virtual and Live Streamed Classes. They will be provided for all Student from Pre-School to 12th Grade. The standardized equipment will allow for continuity of instruction, and will only allowed to used for Classwork. There will also be marking on the floor for appropriate spacing, along with staircases will now be designated for travel in one direction only.
The Bogota Board of Education is working with the Bogota Department of Public Health, and other local department to allow for contact tracing protocols. This will include being advised on possible case contacts for both Students and Staff. The district is also seeking assistance with the Borough of Bogota to provide space for Families, who may have scheduling conflicts, to have a safe area for Student to take part in Virtual learning. Superintendent Kennedy is also seeking help from each schools PTO groups to assists families in need.
The entire report can be seen at: https://www.bogotaboe.com/cms/lib/NJ02213306/Centricity/Domain/430/Restart%20and%20Recovery%20Plan.pdf
Then Superintendent Kennedy took questions from the public. Some were clarification of points made in his reports. Others were questions on procedures that the District will look into to improve or adjust.
When the Board of Trustees moved to agenda items. Most item were passed. One resolution that was not approved was to allow for indoor sports practices. This was rejected by a 5-4 vote with many of those voting no talking about a recent rise in positive cases in New Jersey. Another factor was the decisions by some New Jersey Colleges canceling their entire Fall Sports schedules. They added that those indoor practices will be subject to review at future meeting.
The next Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Tuesday-22-September at 7:00p This would be a virtual meeting with information on how to view this meeting will follow. Updates and announcements from the Bogota Board of Education will be available at: www.bogotaboe.com
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The following are tentative schedules for the opening of the 2020-21 school year. All times and information are subject to change based on New Jersey Department of Education updated Guild-lines.
|both images courtesy of the Bogota Board of Education|