JERSEY CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS Safe Return Plan 2021-2022 School Year
September 14, 2021
In the District, all cases of COVID-19 are considered in close consultation between the District Nurse and the Jersey City Health and Human Services following the recommendations of the New Jersey Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. District staff have presented the guidelines during the Safe Return Committee Meetings, Parent Forum, and administrators' meetings and are currently posted to the district website.
When illness occurs in the Jersey City Public Schools setting, children and staff with COVID-19 symptoms are separated away from others until they can be sent home regardless of vaccination and referred to a healthcare provider.
The school/district nurse will ask ill students (or parents) and staff whether they have had potential exposure to COVID-19 in the past 14 days meeting the definition of close contact. According to the COVID-19 Exclusion Criteria in the Road Forward Health and Safety Guidelines for the 2021-2022 school year, the sick student or employee will be excluded.
Then, the district nurse notifies the local health department and provides the specific details of the case as follows:
Possible close contact information for the ill person;
The date the ill person developed symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19 (if known), and was last in the building;
Types of interactions (close contacts, length of contact) the person may have had with other persons in the building or locations;
Vaccination status of the ill person and the close contacts;
Names, addresses, and telephone numbers for ill person's close contacts in the school;
Regardless of vaccination status, if a student or staff experiences COVID-compatible symptoms, the nurse will direct them to isolate themselves from others and be clinically evaluated for COVID-19.
Every time an individual (student or employee) tests positive for the COVID-19 virus, the school principal receives a notification to share with staff and one to share with the parent of children in the building during a specific date. The letter does not identify the individual or any particular details. The school and/or district nurse will contact the individuals in their proximity to determine who is a close contact. This practice has been in use since March 2020.
The CDC defines an outbreak in a school setting as three or more laboratory-confirmed (by RT-PCR or antigen) COVID-19 cases among students or staff with onsets within a 14-day period, who are linked, do not share a household, and were not identified as close contacts of each other in another setting during standard case investigation or contact tracing.
September 8, 2021
Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians,
We know that last year was tough, but we’re excited to get back in the classroom this fall. We are committed to taking the steps necessary to help us have a safe return to school. As part of steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep our school open for in-person learning, we will offer a free COVID-19 Testing Program for students and staff at different schools in every area of The City. Regular testing will help protect our students, staff, family members, and others who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 or are otherwise at risk of getting seriously sick from COVID-19.
Through this program, we will be able to identify COVID-19 cases quickly and early, which can help us stop an outbreak before it happens. The testing will help us keep students in the classroom and allow for students to take part in the school activities they love.
We are working with the Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services and the New Jersey Department of Health.
Who will be tested?
We will offer testing to everyone—all students and staff—even if they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19.
Testing will be available for students and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19, even if vaccinated, or who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.
As per Executive Order 253, all employees must either provide adequate proof that they are fully vaccinated or submit to COVID-19 testing at least once a week.
What age group of students will be tested?
The COVID-19 testing program will be available to all students from PK 3 to 12th grade.
If a parent refuses for their child to be tested, what are the consequences?
The Jersey City Public Schools will not impose consequences. However, the screening program will identify cases that will protect them, family members, and others who are not vaccinated from getting seriously sick from the COVID-19 virus.
When will parents have to produce their child's vaccination card?
At the present time vaccination is not mandated for students, but If your child has been vaccinated, please send the school nurse the proof of vaccination.
Can parents present a picture of the vaccination card?
The JCPS encourages parents to use “Docket” a new app from the NJ Department of Health that makes it easier for you and your family to access your COVID-19 vaccination record securely.
If you don't have your vaccination card with you or you have lost it, you can easily access your record through the app to provide proof of COVID-19 immunizations as needed. The Docket app is now available in the App Store or on Google Play in English or Spanish, depending on Smartphone settings.
What is the time frame for phase 2 completion of installing air filters?
The vendor installed the air filters in all the schools in phase I. They are projecting that phase 2 will be finished towards the end of October due to the delays the company is experiencing in finding certified electricians to work.
Do the air filters installed meet CDC standards based on square footage and the number of students in the room?
Yes, the AeroMax filters are recommended as 99.99% effective against coronavirus. An evaluation of all the facilities determined what schools needed the air filters and the size of the unit.
Can teachers and special class teachers move and students remain in the classrooms?
Each school will adjust practices as much as possible for the safety of their students depending on the grade level, developmental stage, and content/subject matter. Older students will also be responsible for using healthy habits that promote personal safety, such as wiping down their desks or using a desk shield.
Can students bring in their own sneeze guards if the ones given out in school block their view?
Students can bring their own sneeze guards and use them in a manner that does not create a distraction or jeopardize the safety of others.
Storm Ida strongly affected our area and caused boiler rooms and basements to flood. The damage has been cleaned and in some instances, a few classrooms will be relocated as the repairs are being completed in accordance with regulations and the insurance company’s mandates.
August 20, 2021
Dear Jersey City Public School Parents and Community:
We welcome the start of the 2021-2022 school year! Please allow the information below, while continually evolving, to provide guidance and support regarding how our schools are prepared to operate as the start of the school year approaches. The information in this letter is according to Governor Murphy’s Executive Order #251 (reinstituting the mask mandate).
The chart contents below rely on guidance from the New Jersey Department of Health and the Jersey City Department of Health. As such, all topics included on this page are subject to revisions based on State and/or local health COVID19 Activity Level Index (CALI) and executive order(s).
Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your child’s building principal. As we move closer to starting a new school year, the JCPS District plans to return to a full day of in-person instruction for 2021-2022 as mandated by Governor Murphy on June 28, 2021, updating Executive Order 175. Please review the guidelines in the Road Forward document posted on the NJDOE website.
To prepare, the Jersey City Public School District has developed its Safe Return Plan that fully complies with the Governor’s mandates and guidelines. All students will be following a full-day schedule based on each student’s grade level.
|Staff/Student Health Screening|
|COVID-19 Positive students and staff|
|Quarantine after COVID as a close contact exposure Unvaccinated Student/Staff|
|Quarantine after COVID-19 exposure for Fully Vaccinated Student/Staff|
|Quarantine for Fully Vaccinated Student/Staff after domestic travel outside of NJ, NY, CT, PA, and DE or any international travel|
|Quarantine for Unvaccinated Student/Staff after domestic travel outside of NJ, NY, CT, PA, and DE or any international travel|
|Students/Staff with COVID-19 compatible symptoms in school|
|COVID- 19 Tests|
|Instruction for COVID Positive Students and/or NJDOH COVID-19 Exclusion Criteria (NJDOE August 11, 2021 Memo)|
Instruction Due to Quarantine for
elective domestic travel outside NJ, NY,
CT, PA, DE, or any international travel
|School bus capacity||The buses will run at 50% capacity with a temperature screening before boarding and slightly open windows.|
- Students will wear the school uniform;
- Students and staff will follow the rules for hand washing and respiratory etiquette;
- Preschool students will eat in the classroom;
- K-12 students will have a grab-and-go breakfast,
- Lunch will be served in the cafeteria with a staggered schedule;
- Morning Stars and CASPER will be available for before and after-school care;
- All extended day and extracurricular activities will be in place.
- School principals will provide more detailed information as we get closer to the start of the school year.
- The schools will host a virtual orientation for all students with their child’s teacher, and parents will have an opportunity to walk through their child’s school with the building administration. Dates and times will be forthcoming.
- Preschool parents will be permitted to accompany children to their classrooms on the first day of school to drop off, see the room and meet the staff in person.
- Remote instruction would only be available to students during quarantine or closure and not as a long-term option for learning.
As described in the NJDOE August 11, 2021 Memo, virtual instruction will be provided under certain conditions when exclusion is directly related to COVID-19 infection and exposure. Elective travel does not fall under this provision. Please keep this in mind when you consider traveling outside of NJ, NY, CT, PA, DE, or international travel, as it will require a quarantine period for your child/children.
The JCPS District’s goal is to provide high-quality instruction and support for our students and their families as we return to full-day in-person learning. We will keep you informed as we navigate the Covid-19 related health concerns and the Governor’s mandates for educating our students. Your input and patience during this process have been crucial to our decision.
Once again, we thank you for our continued partnership and look forward to a wonderful school year.
Superintendent of Schools