The Hopewell Valley Regional School District has established a preliminary restart plan for the 2020-21 school year.
Like many districts, HVRSD has opted to utilize a hybrid in-person and remote model, and, also like many districts, Hopewell’s plan is expected to change and grow as September approaches.
“We recognize that there is no perfect solution for our return to school, but we feel our plan works best for our community,” said HVRSD superintendent Thomas Smith. “We are still finalizing several details; we may revise our plan depending on the number of families who select full remote learning, staff members unable to return to school, and decisions made on the state level.”
Students will attend school part-time, though all K-12 families have the option of full-time distance learning. All students and parents selecting this plan were asked to commit until Thanksgiving break for scheduling purposes.
Students in grades Pre-K to 5 will be in school every day from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Class sizes will be limited to 12 or fewer.
Students in grades 6 to 12 will alternate in-person days. On “A” days, students with last names beginning with A through L will attend four 50-minute classes from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., while students with M though Z last names will have four 25-minute remote classes from 1 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Schedules will swap on “B” days.
Full-time distance learning will look different from what it was in the spring, the district said. Live remote instruction will take place in every class, every day, on a reduced schedule. Attendance will be taken.
All students, regardless of plan, will receive a working device to access remote services, and the district will ensure that all students are able to access the internet.
On in-person learning days, all students and staff will complete a daily exposure and symptom survey before entering a school building or boarding a bus. Buses will run on reduced capacity—parents are encouraged to provide alternate transportation if they are able. All students and staff will also be screened daily as they enter the building.
The district will also offer mental health training for staff and social emotional support for students—therapy dogs will work onsite at each school, and counselors will check in with students as needed.
Students on free and reduced lunch will continue to receive deliveries. Lunch will not be served at Timberlane or the high school, though other lunch options include pre-ordering meals, preparing meals which require less labor and delivery to classrooms or other designated spaces.
HVRSD will continue to update the community via its restart website. The district will also hold a virtual town hall meeting to discuss updates to the plan Aug. 4 via Zoom. Participants can submit questions in advance.