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District Health Report and FAQs, Part 17

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Good Afternoon Secaucus Families,

 

I hope everyone is doing well and looking forward to the upcoming weekend. Our district COVID-19 cases for this week have continued to climb, which is consistent with the state COVID case numbers and other districts around the area. 

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


  • High School:  4 students, 5 staff members
  • Middle School: 14 students, 3 staff members
  • Clarendon: 4 students, 1 staff members
  • Huber Street/Millridge: 17 students, 3 staff members

 

These 51 cases bring our district's total to 466 positive COVID-19 cases for the school year. Although it is a substantial increase, those 51 cases only represent 1.89% of the entire district population. Thankfully, most of the cases reported had mild or no symptoms. As we have done in the past, we will continue to notify anyone who has been “exposed” to these positive cases and quarantine them according to our contact tracing plan. We will also continue to ensure that our buildings are cleaned and disinfected properly, and we encourage all of our students to practice proper handwashing to minimize the spread of all contagious diseases. 

 

The Parent Communication Form is still open for questions and can be accessed here: https://forms.gle/wFy9mQYpd1HdzRuk7. There is also an easy-to-use button on the www.sboe.org home page that you can click that will lead you straight to the form. As always, we look forward to your questions! Please enjoy our latest round of FAQs below.  

 

Be well,

 

Dr. Daniela Riser

Acting Superintendent

 

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Frequently Asked Questions, Part 17

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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: https://forms.gle/Xcx1QzgPN52JFH6DA

Q: ​I read that schools are allowing children to officially change their name, gender, and pronouns while in school without requiring parental consent for the changes to occur. Also, the schools do not have to notify a parent if a child changes their name or gender in school. Teachers and staff must use a student's chosen name and pronouns in school and on school-related materials but must refer to the student's old name and pronouns when communicating with their parents so as to not reveal their child's gender identity to them. What's concerning is that teachers and staff are mandated to keep vital information about children from their parents. Is this happening in the Secaucus school district? Are parents deliberately withheld important information regarding their minor-aged children? One concern is that children who are questioning their gender may need to see their pediatrician and require mental health services. How will they get those services if their parents are being kept in the dark? Secrets should not be kept among school staff and students. There should be full transparency between the school, students, and parents.

 

A: As a public school entity, the Secaucus School District is required to abide by state laws regarding Transgender student rights. In March of 2019, the district adopted policy 5756 which highlights the rights of Transgender students in public schools. This was a state-mandated policy that all public school districts are required to adopt by law. Our adopted policy mimics the state-provided guidance on Transgender youth in public schools, located here: https://nj.gov/education/students/safety/sandp/transgender/Guidance.pdf. Again, this is something that is required by the state for all public K-12 schools. Any issue with the mandate or related policy should be directed to [email protected]

 

Q: I read that NJ districts like East Hanover are planning on teaching the new Physical Education standards in a single, 35-minute period on the last day of the school year. https://www.tapinto.net/towns/east-hanover-slash-florham-park/sections/education/articles/east-hanover-school-district-will-restrict-new-state-curriculum-topics-into-last-day-of-school-according-to-superintendent They're doing this to minimize the opportunities for students to share information between each other. Is this something that the Secaucus district can do? I plan to opt my children out of the new Sex Ed curriculum, however, they will definitely learn about these controversial topics from other students.

 

A: Although we have just posted to update our K-5 Comprehensive Health and Physical Education standards, we are still waiting on further guidance from the state on whether to proceed with updating our curriculum this summer. As always, parents are able to “opt-out” their children from any sex education lessons in school. After we receive more information and the green light to proceed with writing the new curriculum, we will decide how the standards will be implemented. As always, the curriculum and complementary resources will be board approved and posted on our website for parents to view, prior to the beginning of the school year. 

 

 Q:  Thank you for the weekly COVID-19 case updates. Can you also please report percentages, by the school, based on the weekly cases? Specifically, how many students/staff are in each building and how does that affect the percentage infected in a given week and overall (400 in total as of the week)? I’m looking for a breakdown. Thanks.

 

A:  Each week, we will provide the number of staff and student cases in each building. We will also update the total number of cases for the school year. The current staff and student counts in each building are as follows:

  • Clarendon School - 460 students, 121 staff
  • Huber Street School - 640 students, 124 staff
  • Middle School - 505 students, 123 staff
  • High School - 592 students, 136 staff

The total is 2197 students and 502 staff in the district. This week, our cases for the year (since September 2021) totaled 466. Assuming each case is one person who contracted COVID, only 16.7% of our staff/student population have contracted the disease over the course of this school year. Using these numbers provided, you can easily figure out percentages going forward. 

 

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