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District Health Report and FAQs, Part 10


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Good Evening Secaucus Families,


I hope everyone is doing well and being extra careful traveling while the temperatures are dropping. We are pleased to announce that our district COVID-19 cases have continued to decline this week, and are only a fraction of what they were earlier in the school year. 

The number of positive cases in our district is as follows:

  • High School:  1 positive student
  • Middle School:  3 positive students 
  • Clarendon:  1 positive staff 
  • Huber Street:  1 positive student, 1 positive staff
  • Millridge: 0


These 7 district cases bring our district total to 363 positive COVID-19 cases for the school year. At the state level, we are also seeing reassuring data that indicates a distinct decline in positive COVID-19 cases. New Jersey has 90% fewer positive cases today than its peak, roughly one month ago; the same time our district transitioned to virtual instruction. We feel that this is a good sign that we are returning to more conventional times, where we can refocus on a well-rounded education for the students in our district. Because of these statistics, we will be reexamining our Safe Return Plan to reassess our isolation/quarantine policies for travel at the next board meeting on February 17th. More details will follow in the weeks ahead. 

As previously stated, we are still ensuring that masks are being worn properly and that all of our COVID-19 protocols are still in place in all of our district buildings and offices. In addition, we are asking our Secaucus families to continue to do their part in preventing any community exposures to COVID-19 that may influence our positive cases. If you or your children are experiencing any COVID-19 or Flu-like symptoms, please do NOT send them to school; get them tested! Thank you in advance for your cooperation and consideration of others. 


The newest edition of our FAQs can be found below. Remember, if you have any questions or concerns, the Parent Communication Form will remain open and can be accessed here: Please do not hesitate to use it. Important questions will be answered as soon as possible and will be channeled through the appropriate district personnel. 


Thank you, enjoy the weekend, and stay safe!


Dr. Daniela Riser

Acting Superintendent



Frequently Asked Questions, Part 10


Our Parent Communication Form is still open! If there are any questions you would like to ask the district administration, please visit this link to ask:


Q: There are many parents pushing for masks to be optional. How can we ensure that this will not happen? It kind of defeats the purpose of some kids wearing them and some kids don’t. Even if the numbers drop, it’s the masks that are slowing the spread.


A: Our school district is governed by the executive orders, or laws, that Governor Murphy passes. On January 11, 2022, Governor Murphy enacted the following:

“Executive Order No. 280 declares a Public Health Emergency and restates the existing State of Emergency across all 21 counties in New Jersey, allowing state agencies and departments to utilize state resources to assist the State’s healthcare system and affected communities responding to and recovering from COVID-19 cases. Executive Order No. 281 continues Executive Orders Nos. 111, 112, and 207, allows Executive Orders Nos. 251, 252, 253, 264, and 271 to remain in effect, and extends various regulatory actions taken by the departments in response to COVID-19.” (NJ Department of Health, 2022)

Since this law ensures that executive order #251 remains in effect for the foreseeable future, we are still required as a district to enforce the proper wearing of masks whenever inside our school buildings and offices. Therefore, we will not move toward making masks optional unless this executive order is lifted and we are advised by our local health officials and other medical professionals that we are safe to do so. 


Q: Why are our substitute teachers not paid more and can't work more hours during the week?


A:  The district has just increased its substitute salary this school year. We have seen that increases have a positive impact on the number of substitute teachers we are hiring on a daily basis. Working for a school district 5 days in a row, when the school is operating under a full-day session, puts that employee over the 30-hour limit and subjects them to health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act. This will substantially raise costs at a time when the budget is extremely limited and set for the year. In the future, we will examine our substitute pay in comparison to other districts on a yearly basis and make any increases commensurate with other similar public school districts. However, please understand that we are subject to a 2% cap and can not continue to exceed costs beyond reasonable means. 


Q: Would it be possible to consider a longer preK day, even if it was a pay option. This would be very beneficial to working parents.


A: Our district determines whether it will have a full-day Pre-K program in the late Spring when registration for these programs is completed. Because of the 2% cap on our district budget every year, and the completion of our budget appropriations in late Winter, we can not afford to run a full-day Pre-K program without it being self-sustaining (we need a certain number of students to register for full-day Pre-K on a tuition basis in order to pay for the program). This is also done in other school districts around the area. In the past few years, interest in the program has been low and the few registrants would amount to a net loss for running the program. Many parents have decided to enroll their children in the no-cost, half-day program instead of paying for full-day instruction. In the future, if many parents are interested in a full-day option and it will be fiscally feasible to run one, we will go forward with the program.