Updates and Reminders for January 2022
Dear LRHSD Staff, Students and Parents/Guardians:
Happy New Year! We are eager to welcome back all our students and faculty, and we intend to do so as safely as possible. Amidst this third wave of COVID-19, we ask you to please review the following information to help us keep the LRHSD community healthy and safe as we focus on educating our students:
- Masking – It remains mandated that everyone in school wear a properly fitted mask (disposable, three-ply surgical masks are easy to obtain and are recommended). This practice helps minimize the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant.
- Symptoms – Continue to monitor for symptoms using the self-assessment tool and stay home until symptoms subside. Unvaccinated symptomatic individuals should also test for COVID-19 and remain home while awaiting their results. The self-assessment also is available on the parent portal.
- Remote Learning – LRHSD does not qualify for remote learning at this time, but we will continue to monitor this ever-changing situation with support from the Burlington County Health Department. This year, we are under a different directive than we were in January 2021, when school districts were permitted to pivot to remote learning proactively for a period of time. Currently, the 180-day requirement for in-person learning (pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:7F-9) is only waived when there is a directive or recommendation made in consultation with the local health department. Such a recommendation would occur if there is an identified school outbreak or severe lack of staffing (creating a safety issue). We will aim to provide as much advance notice as we can ahead of a temporary transition to remote learning. Please also note, we are not permitted to switch to remote learning for another reason – like the pending snowstorm – unless we are forced to close the district for more than three consecutive school days due to a declared state of emergency.
- Updated Isolation and Quarantine – The CDC has not yet applied the recently revised shorter isolation and quarantine timeframes to school settings. We will follow the current NJDOH School Setting Guidance until an update is made. Counselors will continue to email all parents of isolated/quarantined students information on how to access lessons, remote extra-help from their teachers and remote tutoring by LRHSD staff (available Monday through Friday from 3PM to 7PM).
- Test to Stay – To minimize periods of isolation for healthy individuals who are considered close contacts, LRHSD will explore the newly adopted (January 1, 2022) guidance for implementing a Test to Stay program in all our schools. This would allow asymptomatic school-based close contacts to remain in school with frequent negative rapid tests. More information/details on this new program will be sent in the coming weeks.
We are grateful for our staff and students who come to school each day and contribute to us having as much of a normal school year as possible. We can continue to make progress along our path back to normalcy by working together. Let’s start off the new year with our sights set on where we are going and how we will keep moving forward in 2022.
Dr. Carol L. Birnbohm
Superintendent of Schools
Lenape Regional High School District