February 3, 2022
Dear Springfield Public Schools Community:
The purpose of this letter is to provide an update regarding changes in COVID-19 protocols in our schools.
The decline in cases, in addition to the full availability of vaccines for students ages five and older, has led to further review of our current policies and protocols related to COVID mitigation.
Distancing & Barriers
Based on a review of our school and community data and in consultation with Mr. Fitzpatrick, our local health official, we are shifting away from requiring 6 feet of distance or 3 feet with the use of dividers. Moving forward, we will be eliminating the use of the dividers in classrooms and lunchrooms while maintaining the approximate 3 feet of distance between our students continued to be recommended by the NJDOH. We will begin removing the dividers this week.
In this first stage, we will keep some of the spacing during lunches, and we will continue to monitor our student health data. As we look to the future, we hope to bring our students back together in common lunch spaces in the coming month(s).
Parents who wish for their children to continue to utilize a divider are encouraged to share their wishes with the school principal to accommodate those requests in the most positive way possible. In addition, dividers will be available at FMG and JDHS for students who feel anxious about this shift.
Finally, we continue to utilize fresh air resources and room air purifiers to support classroom airflow.
Effective Monday, February 7, 2022, we will no longer require proof of vaccination for outside visitors. However, all visitors will continue to be directed to schedule their visit with the school and will be required to wear a well-fitting mask while on the school premises. We will continue to limit entering the building for picking up or dropping off items and late arrivals or early dismissal.
It is important to note that we have utilized a layered approach to addressing the health and safety of our school environments throughout the pandemic. As we lift some layers, we also recognize that in the event the numbers of positive cases rise again, it may be necessary to reinstitute protocols, such as increased physical distancing, in consultation with our health officials.
Governor Murphy's Executive Order No. 281, mandating the use of masks except when eating, remains a requirement for all of our staff, students, and visitors.
We are thankful for the feedback that we have received throughout this period. If you have questions or concerns, we encourage you to reach out to your school principal.
February 3, 2022