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Verona Public Schools District Updates

February 22, 2021
 
 
Dear Verona Parents, Guardians & Staff:
 
We understand that families are frustrated with guidance from the CDC and the NJDOH. The Board and I feel your hardship and recognize that each family has a personal story of how this crisis is impacting your lives, jobs, and children. We want to return our students back to in-person school as soon and as much as possible. We will continue to review the evolving nature of this pandemic and continue to make thoughtful decisions maintaining safety of staff and students as we move forward together. Below are several important updates that I want to bring to your attention:
 
Good News
Verona High School announced today that it is possible to move to a 2-day cohort model (instead of 3 day cohort) for the 3rd marking period while maintaining social distancing protocols based on the number of students who decided to opt for in-person learning. The District continues to review feedback from reopening committees as we look ahead to the Spring and next school year. Scheduling is an ongoing, complex process and we have begun working on plans for September. We will continue to review school reopening committee feedback in conjunction with guidance from the Governor's Office, New Jersey Department of Education, and New Jersey Department of Health.
 
Vaccinations
On January 27th, the Verona Public Schools partnered with Vanguard Medical Group in Verona for an employee vaccination program to vaccinate our faculty and staff. It was our hope that vaccinations for staff would be imminent and that we would be able to communicate this information when it became a reality. Vanguard Medical Group updated the District last week to advise that the State of New Jersey is NOT providing vaccination to schools at this time based on prioritization of vaccines for specific groups. As superintendent of schools, the following letter was sent on February 8th to Governor Murphy and legislators requesting prioritization of the vaccine for educators. We are hopeful that we will be able to coordinate the vaccination of our staff once supply is available and approval is granted by the State of New Jersey.
 
Travel Restrictions
The Verona Public Schools Spring Break is scheduled from March 27th - April 4th. At the time of this writing, the Verona Public Schools will continue to operate in a hybrid, in-person schedule upon return from Spring Break on April 5, 2021. This decision has been made in a review of our staff availability and in consultation with the Montclair Department of Health. Modifications may be necessary if transmission rates or circumstances adversely change related to COVID-19. Self-quarantine for students and staff will be required following travel to a location outside of the immediate region. At this time, self-quarantine also applies to individuals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Parents should contact their school nurse directly with any questions and to report any travel plans.
 
New Jersey strongly discourages all non-essential interstate travel at this time. Travelers and residents returning from any U.S. state or territory beyond the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging following recommendations from the CDC:
  • If travel is unavoidable, travelers should consider getting tested with a viral test (not an antibody test) 1-3 days before the trip and again 3-5 days after the trip.
  • If travelers test positive, they should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should postpone travel during that time.
  • If travelers test negative, they should quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
  • If testing is not available (or if the results are delayed), travelers should quarantine for 10 days after travel.
 
The District will continue to assess the current rate of positive COVID cases and work with the Department of Health in a collaborative manner as we approach that date. Please click here to review the complete New Jersey Travel Restriction Guidance.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Dr. Rui Dionisio
Superintendent of Schools