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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information & Updates

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Update July 6, 2020
 

Dear Dennis Township Families,

I hope your summer is off to a great start!  It certainly is nice to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather we have been experiencing.

Although it feels like the school year just wrapped up, we are busy getting ready for school to reopen.  A team of educators is assembled to assist in the process.  There are many things to consider as we  make the safety of students and staff our first priority while also keeping in mind our students’ academic, social and emotional needs.

There are many models for reopening school.  Determining what is best for Dennis Township students and their families is our task and ultimate goal.

Be assured parent input will be sought.   In the very near future, please be on the lookout for opportunities to share your thoughts as involved parents. We value your concerns, suggestions and opinions.

In the meantime, feel free to email me at sspeirs@dtschools.org.  I welcome your perceptions and consultation.

Yours in Educating Our Children,

Susan S. Speirs, Superintendent
Dennis Township Schools

Update June 8, 2020

Dear Dennis Township Families,

The school year is winding down and I’d like to congratulate all of our families on the great job they have done adjusting to the many changes in our learning landscape.  I am proud of our students who have worked so hard during these difficult months of school closure.

Congrats, 8th Graders! - The DT staff sends congratulations to our 8th graders!  We are looking forward to celebrating with them on Wednesday, July 29th at 6:30.  More information will be available as new social distancing guidance becomes available.

In Dennis Township we teach our children to respect others as they respect themselves.  We also encourage our students to stand up for their beliefs.  Many students have questions and are experiencing fear or confusion in regards to recent events involving riots, racism and tragedy.  If you are wondering how to discuss these events with your children, you may find these resources helpful.

> What to Say to Kids When the News is Scary

> Helping Children Cope: Talking Tips for Taking About Tragedy https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/helping-children-cope/art-20047029

> Talking to Children About Tragedies and Other News Events https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/Talking-To-Children-About-Tragedies-and-Other-News-Events.aspx

Early Dismissal - This week our teachers are participating in professional development.  These meetings will increase our knowledge and effective use of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.  To make our teachers available for the inservice time, Wednesday and Thursday, June 10 and 11 will be considered early dismissal days for our students.

Last Day of School - The last day of school is June 16.  Be on the lookout for information on how to say goodbye to your beloved teachers.  

Final Report Cards - Fourth Marking Period Report Cards will be issued on June 16.  For First through Eighth Grades, access to both previous and forthcoming student report cards is available to all parents via our Genesis Parent Portal.  If you have NOT previously registered for a Genesis Parent Portal account for your student(s), you MUST first complete and submit the Genesis Parent Portal Registration Form.  The Genesis Parent Portal can be accessed by clicking on the “Parent Portal” link under the “Parents” tab on the main menu of our district website www.dtschools.org. If you need further assistance to obtain your child’s report card, please call the school and leave a message. Kindergarten report cards will be provided to parents via email or another agreed upon form of communication.

Although our offices are closed, we continue to monitor messages.  Please call if you have a question, suggestion or concern.

We wish all of our families Peace and Good Health.

Yours in Educating Our Children,

Susan S. Speirs, Superintendent
Dennis Township Schools

Update May 13, 2020

Dear Dennis Township Families,

It’s hard to believe we are now approaching mid-May! We miss our students greatly and look forward to the weekly opportunities to connect with them. Please continue to check your teacher’s e-learning pages to stay with the program for your child.

Student Belongings - Next week, parents may pick up student items.


Please follow this procedure:
Monday-Thursday, May 18th-21st
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Please drive up and call the school to give your child's name.
Call 609-861-2821. Please use Ext. 152 for the Primary School and Ext. 500 for ESMS.
* If you are picking up medication, please mention this to our secretary*
A school employee will retrieve your child’s items which have been bagged by his/her teacher. Weather permitting, our employee will place the items on a table outside the front door of our school. After our employee steps away, please exit your car, retrieve the items and move on.
Please note: If the weather is spotty, we will have tables under the awning at each school. If the weather is quite windy and/or rainy, we may cancel pick up for that day.

Field Trip Money - Field trips are rescheduled for next year. Your payment will go towards the trip at that time.

8th Grade Parents
- Please complete our survey about the Williamsburg Trip. Once we know our families’ opinions, we will make a decision about the 8th Grade Trip.
Use this link for the survey
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfgecer7Utqm9Riupb8pqQAeYnD0LRjM2i-cqFohSFjl4Oymg/viewform

Food Availability - Due to the many struggles families are experiencing, we are able to provide breakfast and lunch packages to any family. You do not have to provide evidence that you qualify. If you would like to be added to our bus list for food drop off, please call the school and leave a message or sign up on this link
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScuuPcAfQ8ObMloukED2QjaVTFa_M90c0ahslGKtPwvxUvezA/viewform

Flexible Fridays ​- This Friday, May 8, will begin Flexible Fridays in Dennis Township Schools. This will serve as a day for students or parents to Zoom with Specials or Grade Level Teachers. Zoom codes and passwords will be available on e-learning pages. Because no “classes” will be held on Fridays, it is also an opportunity for students to catch up on their school work or visit Specials websites to participate in the Arts.

DT Family Talent Show​ - Share in the fun! We have extended the date to submit virtual DT Family Talent Show videos. Please submit your video by Sunday, May 17. Use Google Classroom with this code: w32dq5z. You can either download the Google Classroom app for free on your mobile device or search “Google Classroom” and click on the “+” symbol in the top right corner to “Join Class” - use your school email (Student ID@dtschools.org or home email address. Instructions can be found in the DT Talent Show Google Classroom on how to share and upload videos to be submitted. If you have any questions or need assistance please reach out to Mr. Saul by email at msaul@dtschools.org.

8th Grade Student Spotlight​ - Each day we are honoring our 8th grade students through social media. Check out the DT Spotlights which showcase our treasured outgoing students!

Need Assistance? ​- Do you need to speak to a teacher, case manager or counselor? Do you need a chromebook for your student? Would you like breakfast/lunch delivery? Please call and leave a message at 609-861-2821.

Yours in Educating Our Children,

Susan S. Speirs, Superintendent
Dennis Township Schools

Update May 03, 2020

Dear Dennis Township Families,

I would like to start this update expressing my admiration for our learning community.  This community includes our hard-working students, creative teachers and supportive parents.  I admire all of you for your dedicated efforts to keep the Dennis Township educational system running effectively despite the current challenges during school closure.

Please find helpful school updates below.

Food Availability - Due to the many struggles families are experiencing, we are able to provide breakfast and lunch packages to any family. You do not have to provide evidence that you qualify.  If you would like to be added to our bus list for food drop off, please call the school and leave a message.

Flexible Fridays - Friday, May 8 will begin Flexible Fridays in Dennis Township Schools.  This will serve as a day for students or parents to Zoom with Specials or Grade Level Teachers. Zoom codes and passwords will be available on e-learning pages.  Because no “classes” will be held on Fridays, it is also an opportunity for students to catch up on their school work or visit Specials websites to participate in the Arts.

Report Cards - Third Marking Period Report Cards are available today.  For First through Eighth Grades, access to both previous and forthcoming student report cards is available to all parents via our Genesis Parent Portal.  If you have NOT previously registered for a Genesis Parent Portal account for your student(s), you MUST first complete and submit the Genesis Parent Portal Registration Form.  The Genesis Parent Portal can be accessed by clicking on the “Parent Portal” link under the “Parents” tab on the main menu of our district website www.dtschools.org. If you need further assistance to obtain your child’s report card, please call the school and leave a message.

Kindergarten report cards will be provided at the end of the 4th marking period.
Attendance will not be provided on third marking period report cards.  It will be calculated for the final report card.

School Attendance - We appreciate your cooperation in logging your child’s attendance on each school day. For our school days to count towards the 180 day requirement, we must track students' attendance.  Attendance Link:   https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd4mnKUU5nctlV24qf74udDjY3WmUyfW1SSBrKY_bDFBI_k7A/viewform

Teacher Appreciation Week - Please email Principal VanArtsdalen to share a picture or video showing your appreciation for Dennis Township’s Terrific Teachers! Send items to jvanartsdalen@dtschools.org by May 6th at 5PM.  Show our teachers how much you care for them!

DT Family Talent Show - Information about the virtual DT Family Talent Show has been published.  Please submit your video by Sunday, May 10.  Share in the fun!

8th Grade Student Spotlight - Each day we are honoring our 8th grade students through social media.  Check out the DT Spotlights which showcase our treasured outgoing students!

Need Assistance? - Do you need to speak to a teacher, case manager or counselor?  Do you need a chromebook for your student?  Would you like breakfast/lunch delivery? Please call and leave a message at 609-861-2821.

Keep up the good work with e-learning! Best Wishes for continued good health!

Yours in Educating Our Children,

Susan S. Speirs, Superintendent
Dennis Township Schools

Update April 22, 2020

Dear Dennis Township Families,

Welcome Back from Spring Break! Our teachers are reporting high rates of participation from students this week.  Congratulations to our students and parents on a strong start to the rest of the school year!  Please find helpful school information below.

School Closure - Governor Murphy has extended school closure until at least May 15.

School Attendance - We appreciate your cooperation in logging your child’s attendance on each school day. For our school days to count towards the 180 day requirement, we must track students' attendance.  Attendance Link:   https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd4mnKUU5nctlV24qf74udDjY3WmUyfW1SSBrKY_bDFBI_k7A/viewform

DT Heroes - Please check out the Heroes Video on DT social media honoring our transportation and food service staff for their continued dedication to our students. Since the day we closed our buildings through Spring Break and beyond, these wonderful ladies and gentlemen have been taking care of our kids. Thank you to our wonderful group of Heroes!

DT Family Talent Show - Be on the lookout for information about the virtual DT Family Talent Show.  Start practicing to share in the fun!

8th Grade Student Spotlight - We plan to honor our 8th grade students through social media.

8th Graders are asked to submit the form provided to them for this purpose.  Let’s showcase our treasured outgoing students!

Need Assistance? - Do you need to speak to a teacher, case manager or counselor?  Do you need a chromebook for your student?  Would you like breakfast/lunch delivery? Please call and leave a message at 609-861-2821.

Keep up the good work with e-learning! Best Wishes for continued good health!

Yours in Educating Our Children,

Susan S. Speirs, Superintendent
Dennis Township Schools

Update April 9, 2020
 

Dear Dennis Township Families,

First, I’d like to wish you a Happy Spring Break!  Please take this time to rest and relax. Rejuvenate yourselves so our students can return to e-learning with renewed vigor on April 20th.

Here is an update:

Field Trips - The plan for most field trips is to move them to next year.  Teachers will attend field trips with their current students from this year.  For example: Kindergarten teachers will take next year’s First Graders on the trip that was planned for their Kindergarten year.  This will give students a chance to reconnect with their current teachers and have some closure to our disrupted school year. I applaud our teachers for creating this opportunity for our students.  It is one more way our staff is showing their love for and deep connection with our students.

Field Trip Refunds - Because our field trips will take place when school reopens, refunds will not be provided. If you have a special circumstance, such as you are moving to a different district before the next school year, please call the office and leave a message. Someone will get back to you.

8th Grade Field Trip - We are reviewing options for our 8th Grade Trip to Williamsburg.  As soon as we have a definite plan, our families will receive notice.

8th Grade Graduation - Due to the continued call for Shelter in Place and due to our understanding that families need to plan ahead for graduation celebrations, we have rescheduled Eighth Grade Graduation for Wednesday, July 29 at 6:30 PM.  Following our tradition, it will be held at the Middle Township Performing Arts Center. Please keep in mind, this is being planned with no definite knowledge of how things will unfold over the next few months. Due to new developments, we may not be able to realize this plan or it may be modified.  For example, if social distancing regulations are relaxed but not completely dropped, we may have to limit the number of family members who can attend graduation. Please keep this in mind when informing relatives and asking them to arrange travel plans. We will continue to send you updates as often as necessary.

Hawklets’ Hideaway Summer Camp - Provided it is safe to have students back in the building, Dennis Township Schools will hold Summer Camp.  Sign-up information will be sent out shortly.

Meal Delivery - Thanks to Dennis Township School Employees, meal delivery will continue over Spring Break.  Please call the school or fill out the online form if you need meal delivery. We are happy to help any family in need.

Grading and Report Cards - Third Marking Period Report Cards will be issued on May 1st.  For First through Eighth Grades, access to both previous and forthcoming student report cards is available to all parents via our Genesis Parent Portal.  If you have NOT previously registered for a Genesis Parent Portal account for your student(s), you MUST first complete and submit the Genesis Parent Portal Registration Form.  The Genesis Parent Portal can be accessed by clicking on the “Parent Portal” link under the “Parents” tab on the main menu of our district website www.dtschools.org. If you need further assistance to obtain your child’s report card, please call the school and leave a message.

Kindergarten report cards will be provided to parents via email or another agreed upon form of communication.  Your child’s Kindergarten teacher will contact you with additional report card information.

Please know our teachers are grading with kindness and compassion as they realize how school closure has disrupted our students’ learning routine. For the current marking period we are adopting a Hold Harmless approach.  This means no student’s grade will be lower than what it was when school closed on March 17. However, a student’s grade could be increased if their effort and participation during school closure has warranted an improved grade.  For our younger students, who have completed paperwork instead of online assignments, our teachers will be providing individual or small group sessions. This will give our students the opportunity to review with their teachers the at-home paperwork they have completed.

For the fourth marking period, teachers will grade students on assignment completion, assignment accuracy and participation.  Parents are reminded to contact the school if they have technology or other e-learning issues. We are happy to assist you.

Educational Assistance - If you need educational assistance, our teachers and Child Study Team remain available to help our students and our parents with the new challenges of e-learning.  If you need specific guidance, our staff is available for individual phone calls or Zoom meetings. Reach out at any time to schedule this for your student.  Additionally, our Tech Team is on call for technological issues. Again, call the school for assistance.

Learning Platforms -  All assignments are posted to our e-learning pages. These pages were devised to keep information simple and in one place for our parents. Please contact your student’s teacher if you are having trouble accessing classwork. Recently there have been reports in the media of Zoom meetings being hacked.  To counteract this concern, we have provided our teachers with information on how to keep their sessions secure. In addition, Zoom is addressing the issue on their end to provide additional security features. It is important to note: no problems have occurred during Dennis Township Zoom sessions. Because of increased security features and because we do not want to require our families to research and understand a new platform for learning, Dennis Township will continue to use this method of meeting with our students.  If at any time we experience issues or feel the platform is unstable, we will discontinue use and seek a new option.

In closing, I want to commend our parents for the great job they are doing at home. We recognize your challenges and applaud your efforts! The Dennis Township Educational Family remains strong and vibrant.  Best wishes for an enjoyable Spring Break!

Yours in Educating Our Children,

Susan S. Speirs, Superintendent
Dennis Township Schools


Update April 4, 2020

Dear Dennis Township Families,

Please find updated information below.

Reopening of school - we will return to the school buildings when government leaders along with health and education experts advise it is safe to do so.  The welfare of our students and staff is of utmost importance.

8th Grade Graduation - We understand the importance of graduation to 8th graders and their families.  We know how hard our students have worked to get to this point in their educational careers. Dennis Township Schools will be sure to recognize and celebrate with our 8th graders.  Please be aware the date of graduation may change from what was previously announced. If that occurs, we will notify our families.

Preschool Registration - We are proud to announce Dennis Township will offer eight free full day Preschool classes for the 2020-2021 school year. A Preschool registration link will be added to our website.  Please complete the form to indicate your interest in the 2020-2021 Preschool program for your child.

Kindergarten Registration - information will be forthcoming.

Emotional Health and Wellbeing - We understand the strain school and business closures have put on many families.  Our teachers, Child Study Team and counselors are available to assist you. Please call the school and leave a message.  Someone will get back to you. Please also see our e-learning page on our website for Emotional Health and Wellbeing.

New Jersey Student Learning Assessment (formally known as the PARCC test) - Standardized testing is cancelled for the 2019-2020 school year.

Report Cards - Third marking period report cards are postponed.  When we know more about the status of the school year, a determination will be made as to how grades will be provided to our students.

Meal Delivery - Breakfast and Lunch is currently being delivered on Mondays and Wednesdays to our families who qualify for free and reduced lunches.  Over the course of the two delivery days, five days of meals are provided. To receive deliveries, please sign up on the e-learning page. If you believe you are newly qualified, please fill out the application on our e-learning page.  Please call the school if you need assistance. Meals will be provided during Spring Break. Thank you Dennis Township volunteers!

It is our goal to keep you informed and to support you during this time of school closure.  Please call 609-861-2821 for any sort of assistance. We are here for you.

Yours in Educating Our Children,
Susan S. Speirs, Superintendent


Update March 23, 2020
 

Dear Dennis Township Families,

This message is to inform you Dennis Township Schools are closed until further notice.  We will continue to keep you updated as things progress. For questions or assistance, please call the school. Although we are not open, messages will be checked remotely on a regular basis.

Please continue to consult our e-Learning pages for your child’s assignments. If you need a chromebook, help with technology or help with obtaining assignments, please call the school.

We are continuing to provide breakfast and lunch for free/reduced lunch students.  Beginning Wednesday, all meals will be delivered to houses by school bus on Mondays and Wednesdays.  If you qualify for meals and have not yet signed up, please do so online by clicking e-Learning and then clicking Meals for Online Learners.  If you feel you are newly eligible for meals, please call the school and leave a message. We will help you complete the proper paperwork.

The Dennis Township Schools Staff is committed to helping our families during this unique and challenging time.  Please be sure to contact us if we can help you in any way.

Yours in Educating Our Children,

Susan S. Speirs, Superintendent
Dennis Township Schools


Update March 16, 2020

Dear Dennis Township Families,

As you know from this weekend’s announcement, schools will be closed beginning tomorrow. As per the direction we received from NJ Governor Phil Murphy’s office, we expect to be closed for at least two weeks.

Students were sent home with work today.  These assignments were also placed online.  For all of your child’s assignments, please Click Here to determine how to access each teacher’s e-Learning Day assignments.  Please be sure you check the e-learning pages of all of your child's teachers, including Specials.

If your child was absent today and did not receive the school work, you can access it online at your child’s teachers’ e-Learning Assignment page or you can call the school office to arrange to pick up the work.  Families with transportation challenges can contact us for delivery of school work.

If you have questions about Special Education programming, please contact your case manager.

Breakfast and lunch is being provided for students who qualify as Free or Reduced.  Please Click Here for meal pick up information.  Families with transportation challenges can contact us for delivery of meals.  If you feel your family has recently become eligible for free or reduced meals, please contact us for assistance.

Finally, we realize the many challenges families will be facing in the coming days.  Please contact us for any help you may need.

If you have questions, please call me.

Yours in Educating Our Children,

Susan S. Speirs, Superintendent
Dennis Township Schools

Update March 15, 2020

Dear Dennis Township Families,

Please be advised for the safety of our staff, students and their families, Dennis Township Schools will be closed beginning Tuesday, March 17th. Our re-opening date will be based on developments regarding the progression of COVID-19.

We are offering instruction for our students during this time.  Information about how to access instructional materials for your children will be forthcoming.  We expect the closure days to count towards our 180 day requirement. So, at this time, the last day of school is anticipated to remain the same.

We are offering food service for our free and reduced lunch students.  Information on how to access nutritional offerings will be posted shortly.

We understand an extended school closing posts significant challenges for many families.  Our staff remains available to assist with social emotional issues as well as nutritional and instructional.  Please call the school for assistance.

We will continue to keep our families informed on a regular basis.  Again, please call the school if we can assist in any way.

Yours in Educating Our Children,

Susan S. Speirs, Superintendent
Dennis Township Schools


Update March 13, 2020

Dear Dennis Township Families,

NJ Governor Phil Murphy spoke earlier today.  In his speech he declared, “School closings are inevitable.”  Regarding this, please know Dennis Township staff are working to prepare for school closure.  We are developing lessons and instructional activities to keep our students learning despite not physically being in our school buildings.  We will keep you informed as the situation continues to develop.

 

In the meantime, please keep in mind:

  • Keep students home if sick
  • Call the school any time your child is absent.  Please state if the absence is for illness or some other reason

 

While school remains open we will protect our students through the following measures:

  • Increased cleaning procedures
  • All large student/community gatherings are postponed.  This includes movie nights, dances, the Talent Show, etc... 
  • Visits to classrooms by parents or presenters are suspended. 
  • Field trips are postponed.
  • Parent conferences will be conducted by phone, when possible

 

Finally, for parental planning purposes while school remains open, clubs and after school classes that only include DT students and staff will continue to take place. Sports teams are permitted to continue to practice.  However, competitions are postponed.

 

If you have any questions, please call me.

Yours in Educating Our Children,

Susan S. Speirs, Superintendent
Dennis Township Schools


Update March 11, 2020

Dear Dennis Township Families,

 

This notice is to keep you up-to-date on the status of our school district field trips.  In light of the health risk of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), these decisions are based on the recommendation of the Cape May County Department of Health. 


The following trips are postponed:

7th Grade Holocaust Museum
4th Grade Franklin Institute
7th Grade Washington, D.C.

As more information becomes available, you will be notified of the status of trips scheduled for later in the school year. If you have any questions, please call me.


Yours in Educating Our Children,


Susan S. Speirs, Superintendent
Dennis Township Schools


Update March 4, 2020

Dear Dennis Township Families,

In the Dennis Township School District, the safety and wellness of our students and staff is of utmost importance. As a result, we are continuing to monitor the evolving situation surrounding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the United States. Although there have been no cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Cape May County, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends preventative measures and monitoring student and staff health concerns.

As always we emphasize cleanliness in our buildings.  In light of recent events, maintenance staff remain vigilant in consistently wiping down surfaces and door handles in which students and staff come in contact.  In doing so, we are using disinfectant products known to demonstrate effectiveness against viruses similar to the Coronavirus. Additionally, members of our staff recently participated in training on ways to further combat the spread of infection.

 

To help prevent flu and colds, remind your children to follow these good habits:

  • wash hands frequently
  • do not touch eyes, nose or mouth
  • when sneezing or coughing use a tissue, throw it away and wash hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • get plenty of sleep and maintain a healthy diet
 

For the health of your child as well as others, please keep your child home if they have:

  • a fever greater than 100 degrees - return to school when fever free without medication for 24 hours
  • chills
  • vomiting
  • general feelings of fatigue or discomfort
  • frequent congested cough
  • nasal congestion and frequent blowing of nose

 
If you would like more information about the Coronavirus, please visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. Also, see our website for additional information from the CDC. We are following The Novel Coronavirus official news bulletins closely.  Updated information will be provided to our families as needed.  


Your in Educating Our Children,

Susan S. Speirs, Superintendent
Dennis Township Schools