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Family Communication 8.9.21

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August 9, 2021

Good afternoon, New London Public Schools families.  I hope you are enjoying these August days of summer!  It has been wonderful to see so many students and families at our summer programming and family and community engagement events. We appreciate our families and their ongoing contributions so much.  We are very, very excited to soon be welcoming all students back to school for school year 2021-2022!!! 

The purpose of this memo is to give you some high-level details regarding the start of the 2021-2022 school year.  Additionally, please know that families will soon be receiving an additional “Welcome Back to School” packet, from their child’s specific school, which will also include invitations to upcoming on-site school (August) orientations, as well as September’s Open Houses.  These “Welcome Back to School” packets will be going out to each family, through regular U.S. mail, the week of August 16th through August 20th.  Please be sure to check your mailboxes for this.   Below are today’s district updates…

District Reopening Details - SY 2021-2022

  • NLPS’ district (10-month) school calendar can be accessed by clicking here.
  • School hours have been published. Please click here to access these times.
  • School uniforms remain optional this school year. Students may wear them if they choose.  School principals will soon be sharing their school’s handbook, which outlines guidelines for appropriate dress.
  • NLPS plans to open in a “green”, fully opened mode on Tuesday, September 7th. (Preschool will begin on Monday, September 13th.)
  • Students will attend classes, on-site, 5 days per week.
  • Masks will continue to be REQUIRED for everyone when inside of school and district buildings.
  • Any COVID cases will be dealt with on an individual basis. Families should continue to have back-up plans in place in case their child needs to temporarily quarantine and/or a classroom or school building needs to temporarily close to quarantine.  Like during last school year, those who are impacted due to COVID-illness or through close contact, will be directly notified through telephone and will be provided with quarantine assignments and return dates.
  • The legislative session recently concluded that districts CANNOT offer remote learning, during inclement weather days, for purposes of the 180-school day requirement.
  • Additionally, per recent Public Acts Nos. 21-46 and 21-2 there will be NO full-time, permanent remote learning options for SY 2021-2022*. (*Note: a few unique circumstances may exist.)
  • Teachers will follow district-published instructional guidelines to ensure that any student who must be in temporary quarantine, continues to be able to access lessons, instruction, and teacher support. These will be communicated to families in September.
  • As of this time, we are planning a regular fall sports season.
  • Any visitors to our buildings will always need to wear a mask. Visitors who do not have a mask will be given one. In addition, visitors are reminder to be prepared to provide a valid driver’s license or photo identification upon entry into the school buildings.
  • District and school family engagement events will have both virtual and in-person opportunities. Events for the fall will be published soon.
  • Students will need to have updated physicals on record to begin the school year. Please note that we have School-Based Health Centers operating in our schools throughout this summer.  Please contact 860-437-4555 if you child needs a physical appointment.

After School Enrichment Programming:

I am pleased to share that each of our six schools will continue to be able to offer after school enrichment programming, throughout school year 2021-2022.  Beginning in September, schools will be offering new enrichment programs aligned to our three district themes: STEM, Arts, and International Education* (*seeking International Baccalaureate (IB) authorization).

Hours for after school programming will be as follows:

  • Winthrop and Jennings: 3:30 - 5:30
  • Nathan Hale and Harbor: 3:05 – 5:05
  • BDJMS: 2:35 – 4:35
  • NLHS: 2:45 – 4:45

Students who choose to participate in our after-school enrichment programming will attend Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  Wednesdays are optional.  Park and Recreation will assume responsibility for coverage for students staying after school on Wednesdays, so that all staff can participate in weekly professional development.
(Note: A separate registration form should be completed, with the Parks and Recreation organization, if you would like your child to attend after school care on Wednesdays.  Please click here to access this link.) 

Our afterschool enrichment programs will begin on Tuesday, September 7th and will run throughout the school year.  Families may register their child for after school enrichment programing on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays by clicking here.

Family Engagement Events this Week:

  • CommUNITY Breakfast: Tuesday, August 10th from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. on the Jennings back parking lot/blacktop. Join us to learn more about the upcoming school year and to get to know school and district staff.
  • CommUNITY Barbecue on Friday, August 13th from 3:30 pm – 5:00 p.m. on the Jennings back parking lot/blacktop. Join us for delicious food and school supplies to get you ready for the coming school year! 

Please email Angela Rasmussen at rasmussena@newlondon.org or Carrie Rivera at riverac@newlondon.org to register so that we have a proper food count.  We hope to see you there!

Upcoming Vaccination Clinics:
The Ledge Light Health District in partnership with the NLPS will offer a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the District’s CommUNITY Barbeque, at Jennings School from 3:30 – 5:00, on Friday, August 13th.

COVID-19 Data:
The week of July 26h through August 4th, there was one COVID-positive case reported to the district.  Anyone who was determined to be a close contact has been notified and given the appropriate quarantine guidance.  All are reminded to notify the district immediately by calling 860-701-5813 when you or your child are notified of a positive test result.  Additionally, any student or staff who were identified as a close contact of a COVID-positive individual should also call the number shown above.  The link to the CT COVID Data Portal for all CT schools can be viewed here.

Stay safe and well.  We can’t wait to see everyone soon! 

Sincerely,
Superintendent Ritchie