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District Health Report and FAQs - 5/27/2022

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Good Afternoon Secaucus Families,

 

I hope everyone is doing well. Our district COVID-19 cases for this week have increased, consistent with the information that has been shared with you earlier this week.  

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


  • High School:  8 students, 1 staff member
  • Middle School: 21 students, 2 staff members
  • Clarendon: 1 student
  • Huber Street/Millridge: 14 students, 3 staff members

 

These 50 cases bring our district's total to 557 positive COVID-19 cases for the school year. Most of the cases reported had mild or no symptoms. 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. We welcome all questions! Our latest FAQ can be found below. 

 

Take Care and Enjoy the Break,

 

 

Dr. Daniela Riser

Acting Superintendent

 

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Frequently Asked Questions, Part 18

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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’m a parent of a Fall ‘26 St. Peter’s Prep student and our town suspended the shuttle service provided until this year.   While I appreciate the town's Aid in Lieu, I’m a single mother that made a decision to send my son to St Peters partly based on the town provided transportation. I know that there are more families affected by this change so I ask that the town make a bigger effort in providing a shuttle service for the academic year ‘23-24. 

 

A: As of right now, the Secaucus School District is extremely short staffed in the transportation department. Even with the increased salary for bus drivers, we are still experiencing shortages that we need to deal with in order to get our students to their respective schools each day. While we would like to continue providing transportation to the parochial schools that our town students attend, we can not create a route for them if our own district students are not able to be transported. We will continue to make phone calls and reach out to transportation companies to attempt to get all of these routes covered for the 2022-2023 school year, within the constraints of our limited budget.

 

Q: Hi, on the basis of sudden increase in no. of positive cases, are there any plans to go entirely virtual or at least provide virtual learning option? Thank you!

 

A: We will continue to follow our “Safe Return Plan” and the recommendations from our local health officials on how to proceed with instruction following the increase in cases in our school district. As of right now, we have been told to continue to offer in-person instruction to our students and only offer the virtual option to those who are quarantined by the district (exposed to a positive case). If there are any updates to our plan, parents will be notified immediately. 

 

 Q:  I was wondering why our district is not off for Friday June 17th in accordance with the federal holiday?

 

A:  This year, we will be acknowledging “Juneteenth” as a state and federal holiday in all of our school buildings. Our board of education agreed to grant the holiday as a day-off in the 2022-2023 school year and thereafter. 

 

Q:  I think to keep our school's safe we should have metal detectors and clear bookbags only. What will the school do to make sure that from here until the end of the school year are children are protected? 

 

A:  Please rest assured that the Secaucus School District has many security measures in place to ensure that all of our school buildings are as secure as they could possibly be. We are currently ranked #19 out of over 500 school districts in the state as one of the safest school districts in NJ by Niche.com We are one of the few districts that has a security guard and an class III officer in each building, in addition to having high tech, real-time security surveillance of each school building on file with the Secaucus Police Department. In times where any security is questioned, the police department can respond within a moment's notice and increase the number of officers that are highly trained to deal with any criminal situation that occurs in our school buildings. Please rest assured that we will continue to do all that we can to make sure our students are safe at all times in our school building.

 

Q:  Do we have an update from the state about the implementation of the new Sex Education Curriculum? I read that the Garwood Board of Education recently voted to reject the state’s updated sex education curriculum for the next school year. https://patch.com/new-jersey/clark/garwood-board-education-rejects-state-sex-education-curriculum   Are local districts able to reject curriculum set by the state and write their own? I read there is a 4-point deduction from the school’s QSAC score if you reject the new curriculum. Is this true? Since the current standards from the state are sexually explicit, not age appropriate, and highly controversial; is our board able to reject the new curriculum like Garwood? As a parent of elementary school aged children, I think the board should use every avenue that’s available to prevent these new standards which include topics like anal sex, oral sex, masturbation, abortion, pornography, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc from being taught to young children from grades K-8 in our community.

 

A:  As stated before, we have not updated our  Comprehensive Health and Physical Education curriculum to the 2020 standards as of yet, but are planning on doing so this summer as part of a major curricular update in our 5-year cycle. In August, these updated curricula will be posted on the website and will include digital resources that parents can review before it is taught to their children. Please note that you as a parent have the right to excuse your children from controversial health or sex education topics that they are learning at any grade level in our school district. Parents have also been sending me sample lessons and websites that other districts have used to teach some of these controversial topics. As a district, we will develop our own lessons based on these 2020 standards that we are mandated to follow as a public school district. 

To date, we have NOT been told to hold off on any curricular updates pertaining to Comprehensive Health/Phys. Ed. standards. Despite what the governor told news reporters, we are still being required to update our curricula this summer. Also, any issues with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards should not be addressed with us. They are the product of the state department of education and approved by the governor. 

As for QSAC and not following the New Jersey Student Learning Standards, the deduction is far more than the points that are stated in the article. Not adhering to the state standards would likely cause us to fail that portion of the assessment and put our state funding of over $2 million dollars at risk. If we do not receive that funding, major cuts to programs and staff would be inevitable in the next school year. 

 

 

 

 

 

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