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Verona High School Announcement - Shift to All Remote Learning November 19, 2020

 
November 18, 2020
 
 
Dear Parents, Guardians, Students, & Staff:
 
The purpose of this letter is to inform you that Verona High School will operate on a full remote learning day on Thursday, November 19, 2020 for all students and staff.
 
An individual at Verona High School has tested positive for COVID-19 and this person is currently under self-quarantine. The District was informed Wednesday evening of this matter and is working closely with the Montclair Department of Health to begin the process of contact tracing. Additionally, the District continues to follow the guidelines from the CDC and the State of New Jersey in order to assure the health and safety of our community.
 
Since the notification of the positive COVID-19 case was received in the late evening on Wednesday, November 18th, the Montclair Department of Health has not yet had sufficient time to conduct proper contact tracing to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Out of an abundance of caution, Verona High School will operate on a remote only instruction schedule from home and be closed to in-person instruction tomorrow, November 19, 2020, in order for the Montclair Health Department to conduct the necessary contact tracing. All instruction will be synchronous (virtual / remote) for class periods 1-4 as originally scheduled.  
 
Based on the late notice of this information and our inability to verify everyone’s safety prior to the opening of school, we need an opportunity to evaluate the possibility to what extent close contacts may potentially exist under the current circumstances of this particular incident. We are not willing as a District to risk the safety and well-being of our students and staff until we have more information before an informed decision can be made.
 
Although we do not yet have enough information through contact tracing to open the high school for in-person instruction it is our hope that the contact tracing, conducted during the morning and early afternoon of November 19th, will allow us to make a determination regarding afternoon extracurricular activities and athletics. For this reason, athletic practices, competitions, and other after school activities that are currently scheduled will resume until further notice. 
 
All of our schools are cleaned and sanitized daily. On November 19th, Verona High School will be cleaned and sanitized as an additional safety measure. We recognize that many of you would like more information. However, please understand that the level of detail in our written communications is guided by the department of health. We plan to provide an update tomorrow upon consultation with and under the guidance of the Montclair Department of Health.
 
We encourage parents, students, and staff to continue following the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention promoted safeguards, such as:
 
  • Staying home when you are sick
  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Covering coughs and sneezes and properly disposing of tissues
  • Limiting close contact with people who are sick and not sharing food, drinks, and utensils
  • Practicing social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart)
  • Wearing a face covering while in school
  • Continuing to monitor your health for symptoms
 
Following these measures and others will reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. 
 
As always, we appreciate our community’s support, cooperation, and flexibility. You can assist us by remaining vigilant but sensible in your approach to dealing with this health concern. Should you have any questions about this situation, please feel free to contact Bob Merkler at rmerkler@veronaschools.org. Listed below are resources that are helpful when dealing with COVID-19. 
 
RESOURCES
 
 
 
Sincerely, 
 
 
Dr. Rui Dionisio
Superintendent of Schools
Verona Public School District