Thomas Smith
Dear HVRSD School Community: I am writing regarding the recent increase in COVID activity in our area. Yesterday, our area entered the “orange” phase according to the New Jersey COVID-19 Activity Level Report. This change in status is due to the number of confirmed cases in the "Central West" region. The rate per 100,000 was 29.72. This elevated case rate is balanced by two additional markers that remained in the “yellow” (moderate) range. As a result, our region turned “orange,” indicating a high COVID-19 activity level. What does that mean for HVRSD? When an area moves into the "orange" phase, as explained in the New Jersey Regional Risk Matrix, schools may consider a transition to fully remote learning, but if they choose not to, they must follow specific guidelines. Fortunately, to ensure the safety of our students and staff, the district opted to adhere to these steps prior to the start of the new school year and has continued to do so since September. As an added layer of safety, we will be adjusting our screening questions and exclusion guidelines. Details will be shared next week. We have planned for a temporary move to full remote learning from Wednesday, November 25-December 6 and aim to return to our hybrid model on December 7. However, we will continue to monitor the state indices to determine if further action is required. Please be prepared for a change in our schedule. How many cases have we had in HVRSD? To date, we have had 14 confirmed cases in our district. For your reference, we have placed a COVID Dashboard on our website that lists each case. Six of those 14 cases involved either fully remote or already quarantining students and/or staff. We believe the remaining 8 cases were due to transmissions that occurred outside of school. The district’s case rate is significantly lower than the local, state, and county numbers. Together, we are doing an admirable job and we are working exceptionally hard to uphold all safeguards while providing a meaningful education, both in-person and virtually. How are determinations made regarding closures? While many school districts follow the New Jersey Department of Health guidelines, which permit a school to remain open if they have a confirmed case, we have taken a very conservative approach to dealing with confirmed COVID cases in HVRSD. When it is determined that a case exists in a school, we will close that school for at least one to two days to complete contact tracing and deep cleaning. Additionally, we have decided to notify our entire school community when we learn of cases involving remote students and staff, even if those infected were not present in our schools during their infectious period or when the test results were received. These cases do not necessitate a school closure. If our region is designated to be in the “red” phase in the future, we will be forced to move to virtual learning at all of our schools. We hope this does not happen, but the decision will be beyond our control at that point. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor all data and cases to ensure the utmost safety for our students and staff. Terminology: Contagion, Isolation, Quarantine and Close Contact Notification In an effort to clarify the terms being used around COVID cases, I have included a glossary of terms (below) provided by our community partner, Princeton Nassau Pediatrics. Hopewell Valley is an incredible community, and I am confident we will continue to persevere as we have done over the past eight months. As we face this next phase, we remain committed to providing a meaningful education in the safest educational environment possible for our students and staff. Sincerely, Thomas A. Smith, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools he/his/him thomassmith@hvrsd.org Terminology: Contagion, Isolation, Quarantine and Close Contact Notification* Contagion and Isolation - The person with COVID-19 is considered to be contagious from 2 days BEFORE they developed symptoms until 10 days AFTER their first day of symptoms. The contagious period is the time during which it is believed that they may spread the disease to others. During this time, they should isolate and not leave the home unless going to a medical facility. They should notify any medical facility that they have tested positive before arrival. Close contacts and quarantine for household members - The contagious period starts two days before the first day of symptoms or in asymptomatic positives, two days before the day the test was performed. A close contact is defined as anyone who was within 6 feet of the infected person during this time for more than 15 minutes. A list of close contacts is generated that fits this description. All household members are considered to be close contacts and are recommended to quarantine for 14 days from the LAST day that they were exposed to the household member with COVID-19 while they are contagious. Since the infected person is contagious for 10 days, that means that the household members could be quarantined for as long as 24 days if the infected person cannot be isolated. To avoid this and to quarantine safely in the house, the New Jersey Department of Health recommends that the infected patient stay in their own room as much as possible, use their own bathroom, always wear masks when outside their room and eat all of their meals in their own room. If a household member is unable to do this in their home, the 14-day quarantine period begins the first day that they are able to effectively quarantine the household member.Though masks are very helpful, they are not factored in while determining who needs to quarantine. Notification of Close Contacts - All close contacts will be notified by the Department of Health. Healthcare providers may notify families in advance of the department of health. Remember, this is a community effort to protect each other! Testing of Exposed Individuals - If someone suspects or confirms that they were exposed, they should quarantine immediately and should contact their health provider to determine if they should be tested. Students should not attend in-person school or any events outside of the home. Other household members do not have to quarantine, as long as the exposed household member is asymptomatic. Exposed students should not attend school. Exposed individuals without symptoms should contact their healthcare provider to determine if they should be tested. _______________________________ *Source: Princeton Nassau Pediatrics
11 days ago, Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
Contact Tracing Completed for HVCHS School Case Return to school Now November 18 The Department of Health has informed us that contact tracing for the CHS COVID case has been completed. If you have not been contacted by the Department of Health, you are not considered to be a close contact of the individual. At this time, no additional positive cases have been identified. We appreciate the thorough and diligent efforts of the Department of Health. Following our district protocols, we have completed our deep cleaning process and HVCHS is able to reopen for students and staff sooner than anticipated. In person classes resume tomorrow, Thursday, November 19, 2020. I would like to acknowledge the Hopewell Township and Montgomery Township Departments of Health for their guidance and support during this most recent issue. As a reminder, please continue to adhere to the following guidelines: Parents of all in-person students MUST complete the daily symptom form in OnCourse or on the HVRSD app. We will continue to temperature screen students each morning. Failure to complete the daily screening will result in exclusion from school. If your child has any COVID symptoms, do not send him/her to school. If your child exhibits COVID symptoms while at school, he/she will be excluded for 10 days, unless cleared by a physician. Practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart) at all times - including bus stops and playgrounds; Wear a mask while on school property - including playgrounds after school; If your child has COVID symptoms, please contact your doctor and school nurse*. If your family is quarantining due to possible exposure, please inform your school nurse*. *All information is confidential. We appreciate your adherence to these guidelines.
13 days ago, Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
Dear Hopewell Valley Families: In coordination with our Department of Health and our school physician, we have determined the need for a temporary move to full-remote learning to help mitigate the possibility of additional spread in our schools and community. All HVRSD schools and programs will transition to full remote learning beginning November 25 through December 6. All schools will reopen for in-person learners on December 7. Please note: This return to school date will be reevaluated and determinations will be made with consideration for the number of cases in our community and any additional guidance received from the Department of Health and our district physician. Any changes will be communicated prior to our return to in-person instruction. We recognize the impact this move has on families and we have coordinated with the Hopewell Valley YMCA who will offer child care for students in Kindergarten through 8th grade at Stony Brook Elementary School on a day-by-day basis. Please register here. 14-Day Travel Quarantine If you travel out of state at any point during our temporary closure, the 14-day quarantine remains. These states have been identified and continue to be updated by the State of New Jersey. Regardless of a possible short-term transition to remote learning, in an effort to protect our students and staff, we will adhere strictly to the State guidelines and Board policy. You have my commitment that we will continue to provide information in a timely manner and we will work hard to ensure that we are doing all that we can to keep our schools, students, and staff as safe as possible.
14 days ago, Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
Dear Hopewell Valley Families: This morning we were informed of a staff member at the Stony Brook School who tested positive COVID. The last time this individual was in school was Wednesday, November 4, 2020. There is no evidence to suggest the individual was infectious at any point while they were in the building and the was closed during the long weekend. We are being overly cautious with this notification in an effort to make sure everyone is aware of the status of cases in our school community. The district will continue to take precautions to prevent the introduction and spread of viruses and other germs and is cleaning frequently-touched surfaces daily. Given the current increase in cases in New Jersey, please help protect all of us by monitoring your family members for symptoms and following the guidelines below: Stay home when you are sick; Wash your hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds; Cover coughs and sneezes and properly disposing of tissues; Practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart) at all times - including bus stops and playgrounds; Wear a mask while on school property - including playgrounds after school; Limit close contact with people who are sick and not sharing food, drinks and utensils; and Continue to monitor your health for symptoms. We appreciate your support and cooperation. You can assist us by remaining vigilant but sensible in your approach to dealing with this health concern. Sincerely, Thomas A. Smith, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools he/his/him thomassmith@hvrsd.org Below are some resources that might be helpful. RESOURCES with updated links a. NJDOH COVID-19 Information for Communities and the General Public: https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_community.shtml b. Get the Facts about Coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html c. Symptoms of COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html d. Testing: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/index.html e. How to Protect Yourself: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html f. What to Do if You Are Sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/index.html
21 days ago, Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
Our Tech Department has identified and resolved the outage. Service is coming online now.
22 days ago, Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
HVRSD is experiencing widespread internet and phone outages. We are working to resolve this asap. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
22 days ago, Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
CONTACT TRACING COMPLETED The Department of Health has informed us that contact tracing for the CHS COVID case has been completed. Close contacts (defined as contact within six feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more in 24 hours) have been contacted are quarantined. Close contacts are occurring outside of school; please support our efforts to contain the virus by encouraging your children to social distance, avoid large gatherings, and wear a mask whenever they are with non-family members. Following our district protocols, we have completed our deep cleaning process and HVCHS is ready to open for students and staff on Monday, November 9, 2020. I would like to acknowledge the Hopewell Township and Montgomery Township Departments of Health for their guidance and support during this most recent issue. As a reminder, please continue to adhere to the following guidelines: Parents of all in-person students MUST complete the daily symptom form in OnCourse or on the HVRSD app. We will continue to temperature screen students each morning. Failure to complete the daily screening will result in exclusion from school. If your child has any COVID symptoms, do not send him/her to school. If your child exhibits COVID symptoms while at school, he/she will be excluded for 10 days, unless cleared by a physician. Practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart) at all times - including bus stops and playgrounds; Wear a mask while on school property - including playgrounds after school; If your child has COVID symptoms, please contact your doctor and school nurse*. If your family is quarantining due to possible exposure, please inform your school nurse*. *All information is confidential.
23 days ago, Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
Positive COVID-19 Notification at CHS This evening we notified CHS families and staff of a confirmed COVID case. Based on our initial discussions with the Department of Health, we believe this case is limited to CHS and due to the timing of the symptoms and the initial contact tracing, no closure is warranted. If this changes, we will let you know as soon as possible. As a precautionary measure, we will complete our deep cleaning protocols prior to anyone returning to the building on Monday morning. We need your assistance during this public health emergency to keep us all safe. Please adhere to the following guidelines: Parents of all in-person students MUST complete the daily symptom form in OnCourse or on the HVRSD app. We will continue to temperature screen students each morning. Failure to complete the daily screening will result in exclusion from school. If your child has any COVID symptoms, do not send him/her to school. If your child exhibits COVID symptoms while at school, he/she will be excluded for 10 days, unless cleared by a physician. If your child has COVID symptoms, please contact your doctor and school nurse*. If your family is quarantining due to possible exposure, please inform your school nurse*. *All information is confidential. HVRSD Notification Protocols Notification of a confirmed or suspected case in your child’s school: Email sent immediately from the building principal to all families in that school notifying them of a confirmed or suspected case. Personal information of the suspected or confirmed case is private and will not be shared. Email sent from the District with school closure information, if warranted, based on the Department of Health’s initial investigation. Possible exposure notification: If your child has been identified as having been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case, you will be contacted by the Department of Health. Please note, as per the new CDC guidelines for close contact, contact tracing has changed and may take additional time to complete. Exposure is now defined as within 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more in 24 hours. If you are identified as a contact through the Department of Health tracing process, you will be contacted directly by the Department of Health with further details. We appreciate your assistance to keep our schools safe. Sincerely, Thomas A. Smith, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools he/his/him thomassmith@hvrsd.org RESOURCES with updated links a. NJDOH COVID-19 Information for Communities and the General Public: https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_community.shtml b. Get the Facts about Coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html c. Symptoms of COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html d. Testing: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/index.html e. How to Protect Yourself: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html f. What to Do if You Are Sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/index.html
24 days ago, Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
about 1 month ago, Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
This evening we notified CHS families and staff of a confirmed COVID case. Following our District protocols, Central High School will transition to Full Remote Learning for all students on Monday and Tuesday, October 26 and 27. No students or staff will be allowed in the building until CHS is reopened, hopefully on Wednesday, October 28, 2020. The return to school date will be confirmed when contact tracing is completed. ALL OTHER HVRSD SCHOOLS WILL REMAIN OPEN. We need your assistance during this public health emergency to keep us all safe. Please adhere to the following guidelines: Parents of all in-person students MUST complete the daily symptom form in OnCourse or on the HVRSD app. We will continue to temperature screen students each morning. Failure to complete the daily screening will result in exclusion from school. If your child has any COVID symptoms, do not send him/her to school. If your child exhibits COVID symptoms while at school, he/she will be excluded for 10 days, unless cleared by a physician. Practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart) at all times - including bus stops and playgrounds; Wear a mask while on school property - including playgrounds after school; If your child has COVID symptoms, please contact your doctor and school nurse*. If your family is quarantining due to possible exposure, please inform your school nurse*. *All information is confidential. HVRSD Notification Protocols Notification of a confirmed or suspected case in your child’s school: Email sent immediately from the building principal to all families in that school notifying them of a confirmed or suspected case. Personal information of the suspected or confirmed case is private and will not be shared. Email sent from the District with school closure information based on the Department of Health’s initial investigation. Possible exposure notification: If your child has been identified as having been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case, you will be contacted by the Department of Health. Please note, as per the new CDC guidelines for close contact, contact tracing has changed and may take additional time to complete. Exposure is now defined as within 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more in 24 hours. If you are identified as a contact through the Department of Health tracing process, you will be contacted directly by the Department of Health with further details. We appreciate your assistance to keep our schools safe.
about 1 month ago, Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
about 1 month ago, Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
We have completed just over twenty instructional days of the 2020-21 school year. During this time, our students and staff have demonstrated an unparalleled resilience and their herculean efforts have allowed us to accomplish a successful return to in-person and fully remote learning. Although we have faced many challenges over the past six months, I have seen our amazing educators transform the way they deliver instruction. These changes will likely have a lasting impact on education for generations to come. I would also like to acknowledge our students who have done an exceptional job adjusting to all of the new protocols and procedures. I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished collectively and I am excited to see what more we will achieve in the future. As we plan for our phased-in return to full in-person instruction, we would like to provide parents, staff, and students the opportunity to reflect on our first 20 days and provide input for our next steps. To this end, we invite you to participate in a district-wide survey which may be accessed here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HVRSDCHECKIN Return to school decisions will ultimately be based on consultation with and guidance from: The State of New Jersey, The Department of Education, the local Department of Health, the school physician and legal counsel, the Board of Education, and student, staff and parent feedback. Your feedback is important as we prepare for our next steps. Sincerely, Thomas A. Smith Superintendent of Schools he/his/him thomassmith@hvrsd.org Please note the following about the survey: This survey will close on October 16, 2020 at 5:00 pm. Survey results will be posted on the district website. Information in this survey will be shared publicly. Inappropriate and/or personally identifiable responses will be removed. All responses are anonymous. If you have more than one child in the district, feel free to complete a survey for each child. Questions were adapted from a variety of sources.
about 1 month ago, Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
2 months ago, Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
The Hopewell Valley Regional School District is aware of widespread internet outages impacting the Hopewell Valley. Please complete this survey if you are unable to access the internet with a district device. We recognize not everyone will be able to access this form due to the outage; however, we are hoping that individuals can access this form via their phone or other means to get an idea of how many students may need accommodations. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdTipsFUxOd71mrfDwLasQ-a0pEa1fuTcRQz0fPWpxqeUC_8w/viewform?usp=sf_link
2 months ago, Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
We are aware of widespread internet outages throughout Hopewell Valley. The outages seem to be primarily impacting FIOS/Verizon systems. We will continue to monitor the situation and alert staff to be aware of potential issues that may impact our students.
2 months ago, Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
4 months ago, Thomas Smith
HVRSD
Watch the 2020 HVCHS Commencement here: https://youtu.be/ex1vjXT-DPY
6 months ago, HVRSD
HVRSD
Return to School survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HVRSD2020
6 months ago, HVRSD