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Letter to Parents, Summer School

Letter to Parents, Summer School

May 12, 2020

Dear Craig Community,

Last Tuesday, on National Teacher Appreciation Day, I wrote to tell you that we would not be returning to our school buildings this year.

Our Summer Academy Morning Academic program will be following our remote learning program and it will be offered online beginning Monday, July 6 through Thursday, July 30, 2020.
The program will run from approximately 9 am until 12-noon Mondays-Thursdays.
The Lower and Middle School and Craig High School will be providing specific details about the program in June.

We will not be able to conduct our afternoon Enrichment Program with the sports, arts, and film offerings virtually, so we will be not offering that program during our summer academy.

If your previous plans concerning attending our Summer Academy have changed, please contact Nicole Moon nmoon@craigschool.org and our bookkeeper Colleen Pauwels cpauwels@craigschool.org with any questions regarding payment.

Many of us are disappointed that we must continue our remote learning online in July but the decision to continue with remote learning is based on the health and safety of everyone in the Craig family. We miss our students and our students miss being together. The summer program has always been a special time for the teachers and students to work together, and we are confident that continued remote learning will support summer learning.

In closing, please look for additional information in June with specifics about the schedule and program.

It is our hope that your family is safe during this time, and thank you again for your support and participation in all we do at Craig.

Sincerely,

Tad Jacks
Head of School.

May 5, 2020

Dear Craig Community,

Governor Murphy’s announcement that Schools would be closed until at least June 30, 2020 was not what any of us wanted to hear. The message is clear. Schools remaining closed will help protect the health and safety of families in NJ.

Each Tuesday morning, I meet with the Administrative team.  Today, we all commented that our focus remains making sure we continue to provide the instruction and support that has been part of our daily experience for nearly two months.  We have determined now is the time to focus on the end of the year activities- Expo and talent shows, awards assemblies, class gatherings and graduations and determine how to best proceed with these as virtual events.  Stay tuned as in the coming weeks the Lower and Middle School and Craig High School will be sending information on how we are going to proceed to celebrate these milestone events to close out the 2019-20 school year.

All of us share disappointment in not being able to resume school as we have known it. I wrote to teachers this morning to recognize National Teacher Appreciation Day. I am proud of what they have accomplished.   I am also proud of what our students and their families have accomplished.

Sincerely,

Tad Jacks

Head of School

April 13, 2020

Dear Craig School Parents,

Tomorrow morning, we resume our academic program. I enjoyed speaking to some of you by telephone last week. Your support of our wonderful teachers was a consistent theme and uplifting as we all navigate the challenges. Thank you for sharing your own challenges. Some of you remarked about your appreciation for the people working on the front line of this crisis. I am reminded about the importance of the health care community each day, and other first line professionals who are doing their best to keep us safe, and for them, I am grateful.

In my March 24 letter, I wrote that today I would update our community concerning reopening our school buildings. You may recall that my letter was sent just before Governor Murphy announced that New Jersey schools would be closed for the indefinite future, and then added that there would be an update on Friday, April 17th. I eagerly await our Governor’s message this Friday.

As we move forward, there are several dates on the calendar that are important to our school year. We will, in the coming weeks, announce our plans concerning our “milestone” events that mean so much to our students, faculty, and families.

Welcome back from Spring Break.  I am confident we will continue to work together to do our very best and support each other.

Be safe,

Sincerely,

Tad

 

Today’s message is not about changes in our school schedule. This week Janet Cozine and Dr. Cap are sending you information as we prepare for our Spring Break. Mrs. Cozine wrote yesterday and will also communicate tomorrow about Friday. Dr. Cap has been in touch with students with announcements. We will have our division specific weekly newsletters (Friday and Sunday). My personal thanks for their leadership.

Next week will not be the Spring Break that any of us envisioned just a few weeks ago. That said, we are all getting creative, and I hope your family will take a break from the school patterns of these last three weeks. Our Faculty needs this break as well. I thank our Faculty for providing guidance and opportunities for students to be engaged next week. Again, our website has many resources available for all of you on our Parents page.

I have been speaking on the phone and online with many members of our Craig family.  The support and encouragement is meaningful to all of us. Yesterday, in my administrative team phone call, one of the team members noted that a big change for all is what is now being called physical distancing. I agree, by not being at school, I have not been “visible” to the parents or the students, nor our employees.  I am missing the carpool line. I am missing the Morning Gym time. I am missing walking the halls. I am sad the daily exchanges with your youngsters are not occurring.

In the coming weeks, I will continue to be communicating with you via SchoolAdmin on many matters as April and May unfolds. There are many questions about how we will proceed, and rest assured the school team is thinking about the questions important to our community.

Thank you again for your ongoing confidence and enjoy our Spring Break!

Sincerely,

Tad Jacks

Head of School

I hope all members of the Craig family are healthy and safe in these uncertain times.  I have heard from many folks and the overwhelming theme has been we would rather be together at school!

On March 13, I notified you about  The Craig School closing because of the  COVID-19 virus. Immediately following my letter,  Janet Cozine and Eric Caparulo outlined the online learning environment we are now experiencing. As promised, here is our update:

The Craig School campuses will remain closed for an extended period of time. We are following the NJ guidelines for the Coronavirus, and no timetable has been determined by the state.

We will follow our Spring Break schedule as planned, beginning at the end of school on Friday April 3rd through Monday April 13th. We are planning for online classes to resume onTuesday April 14th.

On Monday April 13th, I will send another update.

The diligence, patience, and flexibility with our online learning among all members of the community has been amazing, and speaks to the efforts of our Craig family. This level of online teaching has never occurred at Craig before.  Janet Cozine and Eric Caparulo have worked extremely hard with their faculty to deliver an educational program. I thank al  who have made contributions to helping us as well.

In the coming weeks, we will need to make new decisions about scheduled on and off campus events. All event notices will be made through the weekly emailed newsletters from the Lower and Middle School and Craig High School. Copies of our newsletters are in the Parents Section of the Craig website.

As we reach the midpoint of our second week of our online learning experience, I wish to make a few observations. First, you should be proud of your youngster moving to this new way of learning. It is not easy for anyone. Second, I am proud of how the students and teachers have embraced all we are trying to do for each other right now. We were not “built” for online learning as the primary way to educate. Many of us are trying new things daily. We will continue to make modifications.

We are a remarkable community. We will get through this together.

Sincerely,

Tad Jacks

Head of School

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 13, 2020

 

Dear Craig Family,

Today has been a tipping point for our region regarding public health concerns and school closures.

Beginning Monday March 16, 2020 through March 27, 2020, The Craig School will be closed.  This includes both of our campuses.  We will reassess no later than Wednesday March 25, if we will extend our time away from our buildings.

No decision at this time can be made regarding return to school. The two school systems in the towns in which we operate also are closed. This decision we made is under the spirit of "an abundance of caution".

Earlier today, all of our parents received specific information about virtual learning and instruction in emails from the School.

Craig Lower and Middle School- Virtual learning and instruction will begin on Tuesday, as there are also paper packets that some of the students have not received for their classes. We are mailing them today.

I want to applaud our teachers who have worked so hard this week to prepare for this closure.  Please note that we will all do our best. We are ready to serve all of you, but there will be unexpected circumstances. I have confidence that all of us will be patient and we will work thru this together

As the Head of School, I have the utmost concern for our community. This decision has been driven by our geographic location. We do have students in nearly 60 other zip codes. That said, several transportation companies have called me to say they would not transport your children, some of you have written me about your specific town plans, and all of that has gone into this decision.

Thank you again for your support. All of this information and other resources for you and your family will reside on the Craig website. Please note there is a banner at the top of the website to click for that information.

I live by the phrase (now popular)- we are all in this together, and I wish all of you the best as we are in "uncharted waters"

Sincerely,

Tad Jacks

Head of School

 

 

Dear Craig Parents:

I wrote to you yesterday indicating that as changes occurred around guidance about events and
postponements or cancellations concerning COVID-19, I would be in touch. There are two events for our
school community next week that have been postponed.

Postponed:
Lower and Middle School Family Stem Night- Thursday March 19, 2020

Postponed:
All Parent Coffee with incoming Head of School Dr. Kara Loftin- Friday March 20, 2020
Dr. Kara Loftin will not be visiting our campus next week as previously announced. The opportunity for
parents to visit with Kara will be rescheduled during a future visit that Kara will be making to our
campus.

With all scheduled events this Spring, we will be looking at each event to determine the status as we
learn more information.

Thank you again for your patience. We are all in this together and our faculty and staff are committed to
assisting all our families to the best of our ability.
Sincerely,
Tad Jacks
Head of School

Dear Craig School Parents,

On March 6, 2020, we received “Guidance Regarding Requirements for Public-Health Related School Closure” from the New Jersey State Department of Education.   I was also able to participate in an online briefing, along with others at school. The New Jersey Department of Health has issued the following statement.

“In the event a board of education is provided a written directive by either the NJDOH or the health officer of the jurisdiction to institute a public health-related closure, the board of education may utilize home instruction to provide instructional services to enrolled students”

You may be aware that school districts have a state mandated schedule for a total amount of days in school during a school year. The guidance above is to reassure districts that providing home instruction in the case of public health-related closure counts towards meeting the annual requirement.

The Craig School Faculty and Staff has determined an overall plan.

  1. We will send a Packet of information primarily focused on reinforcement of skills with new material introduced either with our students or mailed home. A student will receive as much as possible in a “paper packet”. We may also use email with documents attached.
  2. Student learning plans to cover upwards of 14 days. Each teacher will determine how all the plans will be delivered.
  3. We will utilize Google Classroom programs as we do now. Students who are using online programs currently will continue to use them. Some teachers have been posting practice lessons/videos to GC in preparation for school being suspended on our campus.
  4. Teacher instructions will include details relevant to their subject and class, as Craig School has individualized approaches now.

Our hope, as I am sure is your hope, that we will not have an interruption to our regular schedule.

It is likely that this will not be my last communication on this matter in the coming weeks. I will continue to update our community about upcoming events and our plans concerning those events.

 

Sincerely,

Tad Jacks

Head of School

In developing travel-related advice, we are aligning with the coronavirus-related travel health notices of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the coronavirus-related travel advisories of the U.S. Department of State (USDOS). We recommend that members of the Craig School community review the country-specific CDC and USDOS links above, as guidance evolves rapidly.

About Coronavirus
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses such as the common cold or more severe illnesses such as the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China had not been previously detected in humans or animals and much is still unknown about it. It is thought that initial patients in Wuhan City may have come into contact with the virus from an animal at a seafood and animal market. Subsequently, it appears that person-to-person spread is occurring. On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization named the virus COVID-19. For people who think they may have been exposed to the new coronavirus please be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you suspect an infection please call ahead so that your primary care provider or emergency room can be prepared for your arrival. Up-to-date information about the coronavirus can be found on the CDC website.

Care and Prevention

The CDC has established the risk categories dependent on exposure to help guide optimal public health management of people following potential COVID-19 exposure. If you are experiencing symptoms following possible exposure to COVID-19, seek medical care as soon as possible. Remember to call ahead and tell the healthcare provider’s office about your recent travel, symptoms, and concern. Please also avoid contact with others and do not travel.

Important steps you can take to prevent contracting or spreading viruses include:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve while coughing and sneezing
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often and for at least 20 seconds
  • Use an alcohol-based sanitizer on hands if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Don't share foods, utensils, etc.
  • Clean commonly touched objects and surfaces regularly
  • Stay home from class/work if you are symptomatic

As The Craig School monitors the status of the COVID-19 outbreak, we will be posting regular announcements and updates to the community.

CLICK THE LINKS BELOW
to read and/or download recent communications which contain informative links and updated information.

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Dear Craig School Parents,

On Monday, March 2, I wrote to all of you concerning COVID-19, aka Coronavirus.  Each day this week, we have all learned more about the virus, and in the last couple of days more about the known cases in NJ, and the protocols to follow.

During this school week, many schools who are members of the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS), shared through our regular list-serve system how we could be implementing programs online, in the event of mandated school closures.  As indicated in my letter on Monday, we have systems in place, as we use them now for daily instruction. We are shoring up areas where there may be gaps.

Today, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) invited those of us from non-public schools to join a conference call on Coronavirus.  Heads of schools and others heard from the State Public School Commissioner, and the Department of Health to give us the most update information as we go into the weekend.

My administrative team continues to meet as relevant information comes to our attention, particularly as it becomes focused needs to be shared.

I am reminded daily that the Center for Disease Control(CDC) and their information is a great source of information for the public

Have a wonderful and safe weekend.

Tad

Tad Jacks

Head of School

 

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