September 29, 2020
Dear Springfield Students, Families, Staff, and Community Members,
I hope you and your family had a restful weekend. Please accept my gratitude for supporting students and teachers in implementing the virtual instruction model. In the first days of the school year, you provided feedback that helped us address a wide variety of technology and learning challenges. While we work to move thoughtfully toward in-person instruction, our students and staff are better prepared for future shifts during this unprecedented school year.
The purpose of this letter is to share Springfield Public Schools' plan for transitioning into the in-person hybrid model. The hybrid model is a combination of in-person and remote instruction. Information about the A/B Hybrid Model can be found in the Springfield 2020: Reopening Our Schools document or the "Hybrid Model Overview" document attached to the letter.
As we work toward this next step, we ask you to complete Phase III: Return to School Survey by Monday, October 5, 2020. The survey is critical for scheduling our students in A or B groups and coordinating groupings with sibling assignments.
Moving forward, please find the dates for transitioning to the hybrid model. In the coming weeks, schools will be communicating with families about the daily schedules.
Please note, as we work to meet the needs of students, staff, and state guidance, these dates are subject to change.
- Grades PK-5
- Thursday, October 22: A groups begin hybrid instruction.
- Friday, October 23: B groups begin hybrid instruction.
- Week of October 26: A groups begin hybrid instruction on Mondays & Tuesdays; B groups begin hybrid instruction on Thursdays & Fridays
- Grades K-2 students will attend in person at Walton.
- Grades 3-5 will attend their regularly assigned school (Sandmeier or Caldwell).
- Grade 6
- Thursday, October 22: A Group Modified Schedule
- Friday, October 23: B Group Modified Schedule
- Grades 6-8
- Monday, October 26 & Tuesday, October 27: Hybrid instruction begins for A Group
- Thursday, October 29 & Friday, October 30: Hybrid instruction begins for B Group
- The sample schedule for Jonathan Dayton High School has been modified, and will be different from the schedule in the plan. Additional information about the specific schedule will be shared in the coming weeks.
- Grade 9
- Thursday, November 12: 9th Grade A Group
- Friday, November 13: 9th Grade B Group
- Grades 9-12:
- Week of November 16: A groups begin hybrid instruction on Mondays & Tuesdays; B groups begin hybrid instruction on Thursdays & Fridays
- Students enrolled in specific special education and ESL programs will continue to meet four days a week.
- Schools will notify families regarding changes to the hybrid schedule related to school functions and holidays.
If your family chooses to remain virtual, instruction is expected to continue with minimal modifications. Families that choose the hybrid model, but who want to return to virtual-only instruction may do so at any time. Families that choose to remain virtual, but who wish to shift to the hybrid model, will be allowed to do so, with specific dates for the transition determined by the building principal.
Our school leaders will follow up to ensure that we have feedback from 100% of our families so that we can appropriately schedule students according to the guidelines set by the New Jersey Department of Education and state and local health officials. The Springfield 2020: Reopening Our Schools Plan remains available online. It includes the specific measures that we are taking to ensure the health and safety of our staff and students
If you plan on choosing the hybrid model for your child, please practice mask-wearing with your child. If possible, find a few different masks to find out what they like best. The district will have additional disposable masks on hand, but families are encouraged to send their children in with the mask that is best for them.
I truly appreciate your patience and your support for our schools as we work to fulfill our values to Search, Learn, and Serve.
Superintendent of Schools