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School District Continues To Prepare For Potential Coronavirus Shutdown

Schools Superintendent John Ravally said the district will be conserving five emergency days in case the district has to be shut down.

The school district is taking more steps to prepare for potential shutdowns due to the coronavirus.

Schools Superintendent John Ravally said in a March 11 letter that the district is holding on to five reserved days used for emergencies, and which normally would be released around the spring recess.

The district is also conducting an online and paper survey of parents to determine students’ access to technology should schools have to be closed and the district have to switch to what it calls “Remote Learning Days,” Ravally said in the letter.

“The data collected from this survey will inform us about at-home electronic device and Internet availability,” Ravally wrote. “Please respond to the survey as quickly as possible.”

Ravally said that if the district doesn’t have to use all of the emergency days, “the school calendar will be revised and the appropriate number of days will be ‘given back.’ I anticipate that the dates for the new “give back” days will be announced in mid-May.”

“As for school events including sporting events the guidance issued by the Department of Health remains the same, at this time there is no need to cancel school social events,” he wrote. “However we are, as district administrators, reviewing each field trip on a case-by-case basis considering location and necessity before allowing the trip to go forward.”

In terms of student access to technology, the district does have a “Chromebook One to One” program for students in grades 6-12. District spokeswoman Mary Clark said not every student has signed up to take a device home.

“Our Plan for Remote Learning does not depend upon having access to the internet,” she said in an email.

The district planned a delayed opening on March 13 to help train staff and faculty with its Remote Learning Plan.

“There will be no AM CARE Program,” according to a message that went out to parents at 4 p.m. March 12. “Franklin High School parent teacher conferences are cancelled for Friday, March 13, 2020 and Franklin High School will also have a full session with a delayed opening.”

“Student families should check the website for school specific arrival times,” the announcement said. “We will continue to do our due diligence in monitoring Covid-19 and its impact on Somerset County and Somerset County schools and will continue to keep you updated.”

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