Dear Rutherford School Community,
I hope you are doing well as we continue working together through the health emergency.
As a reminder, classes via distance learning will resume on Monday, April 20.
Governor Murphy announced today that school buildings will remain closed until at least May 15.
The administration, teachers, and staff have and will be continuing to meet virtually on a regular basis on many topics which include:
- The further enhancement and refinement of distance learning programs, activities, and expanded use of video conferencing. Virtual meetings are being held on grade levels, departments, and building wide.
- The continued focus on wellness and social emotional learning.
- The reopening of registration for incoming Kindergarteners and new students who will start school in September 2020.
- The fate of summer programs—Summer Enrichment Academy (formerly JumpStart) Summer Stem, and Summer Music. Will we be allowed to hold these if schools don’t reopen this year? When will we resume registration in anticipation of running programs.
- How ESY programs for Special Education students will be held.
- While we are hopeful that we may be able to return to school, we are planning on how to proceed with end-of-the year activities. From the celebrations of graduation, to the need to collect books and equipment from students and teachers and have students and teachers get their personal belongings still in school.
The list of present imperatives and the list of rapidly approaching events are all being discussed and planned on many tiers ranging from best case to worst case scenarios. As plans are finalized they will be shared by building principals with students and parents.
I miss the nearly 3000 faculty, staff and students who fill the buildings every day with energy, enthusiasm, success, joys, perseverance and progress. I miss it all and I know you do as well. I know that our students miss school, their teachers, and their classmates probably more than they ever imagined they would. I spent most of my career in the High School as a teacher, a coach, and a principal. I know the excitement of spring sports, concerts, prom, and graduation. As superintendent, I have seen on every grade level and every building that the end of the year brings a sense of excitement, accomplishment, and celebration. I want to see our students, faculty, staff and parents experience those feelings and celebrate those significant moments.
The uncertainty is hard. We prepare for a return while we prepare for what to do if we can’t return. Spring sports, concerts, social events and class projects may be temporarily suspended or gone for this year, but we continue to work together on a different game plan, score, and project. We have followed the social distancing guidelines. We have put others before ourselves. We have banded together to make school lessons meaningful and to ensure that our children and students are getting the best opportunities that distance learning can provide. We all have modeled for the children and it is no surprise that the students have modeled for us, flexibility, responsibility, teamwork, adaptability, and industry. This can be our finest moment as we come through this crisis stronger as a school and a community.
Let’s continue to work together, hope together, stay together, and be #BulldogStrong.
Superintendent of Schools