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Craig High School (973) 334-1234
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The Craig School COVID 19
Reopening Plan 2020-2021


Dear Craig School Community,

The Craig School has initiated and actively participated in mission-driven strategic planning to reopen The Craig School for on-campus learning that allows for flexibility, transparency, and prioritizes the health and safety of our community. The Craig School is currently preparing the physical campuses to support students in the fall of 2020. Our goal is to provide the best overall experience for the whole child while prioritizing the health and safety of all members of The Craig School community. We recognize the uncertainty you may be facing as you make plans for next year and we are doing our best to address questions and concerns.

The Craig School is committed to preserving each family as part of our school community through these very challenging times and remains committed to providing a rich educational experience for our students. To reopen and stay open safely will be a community-wide effort. All individuals who are on our campuses (parents, students, teachers, staff, etc.) have a responsibility to follow the guidelines and policies for a safe and healthy school environment. The following document provides our plan along with answers to many of the questions that have been asked. As we prepare for reopening, we must be nimble to adjust our plans when new guidelines and laws on the local, state, and federal levels emerge. Check back often to this guide for updates to the Frequently Asked Questions section.

The Craig School is committed to providing an evidence-based curriculum that addresses the needs of the whole child.

Go Badgers!

Dr. Kara A. Loftin
Head of School


Scenario 1: On-campus learning model.

Students return for in-person education with adjustments for health and safety guidelines.

Scenario 2: Hybrid learning model.

Students who are not comfortable returning to campus may continue to learn remotely.

Scenario 3: Remote learning model.

All students shift to off-campus learning due to mandated shutdown by the state.


1. On-Campus Learning Model.

The Craig School is pleased to announce on-campus learning for full school days using our regular school schedule. Our intention is to limit the amount of disruption to what our students understand to be a day in the life of a Craig school student and to continue to foster a campus of care, community, and belonging.

Preparing for on-campus school operations to resume September 3rd, 2020 requires consideration for both the academic classroom experience and activities beyond the school day. 

Details regarding extra-curricular activities (i.e. sports) are currently being developed in concert with the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association guidelines and in conjunction with NJDOE and CDC guidelines.

2. Flexible Options for Families: Hybrid Learning Model.

We welcome all of our students to return to campus for in-person learning. However, we understand that some students may be at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, therefore, making a remote learning environment more responsive to their individual needs.  In the event that a student must remain in a remote learning environment, whether due to being in a high risk population or after contracting COVID-19 and in mandatory quarantine, our teachers and classrooms are equipped with webcam capabilities to provide live streamed, synchronous instruction. Our learning management system, Google Classroom, is an additional tool that we will continue to use for in-person, hybrid, and remote instruction.​ Training protocols are in development for teachers so that they are fully equipped to instruct students who are in the physical classroom as well as learning from a remote location, all at the same time.

3. Remote Learning Model.

Remote learning will be in effect if the State of New Jersey moves back into Phase I. The Craig School faculty and staff have completed extensive training and professional development over the past few months in order to seamlessly transition to remote learning if needed.

4. Four Main Health & Safety Initiatives
  1. Sanitization and Cleaning
    The Craig School has developed a schedule for increased routine cleaning and disinfecting of communal spaces, frequently touched surfaces, and shared objects.  While the bulk of the disinfecting and cleaning will happen with a professional team of cleaners, faculty and staff also carry a community responsibility for keeping shared objects and shared spaces clean.​ For example, we ask that members of our community use a disinfectant wipe which is provided for in the bathroom to wipe the sink after use. Additionally, we have purchased extra cleaning and disinfection supplies, touchless soap dispensers, and hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol for all rooms in each school building. Drinking fountain “bubblers” are disabled. Students will continue to have access to the refillable water station portion of the drinking fountain. This list is not exhaustive but serves as an example of the many protocols in place to increase sanitation and cleanliness at The Craig School.

  2. Hand Washing
    An important step for promoting good hygiene practices is handwashing. Regular hand washing is one of the most effective ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and to prevent the spread of germs. Students will be asked to wash their hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds periodically throughout the day.  Hand washing and hand sanitization will happen upon entering the building, before eating, after gym/recess, after using the bathrooms, after a sneeze/cough, or any other time they may be soiled.  If soap and water is not easily accessible, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used.  

  3. Face Masks
    COVID-19 is an infectious disease that primarily spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets. The Craig School requires cloth face coverings for all faculty, staff, students, parents, and visitors in entry and exit ways and hallways.  The NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) along with the NJDOE have clarified the use and type of face coverings required for in-person instruction.  On August 12th, Governor Murphy wrote, “Face coverings will be required for all students at all times while inside a school building, regardless of social distancing, unless doing so would inhibit the individual’s health.” Additionally, the NJDOH noted the following day in newly issued guidelines, “The CDC does not recommend the use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings because of a lack of evidence of this effectiveness for source control. Students, staff, and teachers of students with learning disabilities may consider the use of clear face coverings. These clear face coverings are not face shields.” When we first laid out our multi-layered health and safety plan for re-opening, the use of face shields was included. However, in light of the above-mentioned information and to continue to meet health and safety guidelines, we no longer are able to include those as an option for students, faculty, or staff. For specialized classroom instruction such as Orton Reading and Speech, Language, and Pathology, a student may benefit from the use of a clear face cloth covering. These types of face cloth coverings enclose the nose and mouth and have a clear window in the middle of the mask. 

    Per Governor Murphy’s executive order, when 6 (six) feet social distancing is unavailable while outdoors, masks are required. Play is difficult to engage in while maintaining 6 (six) feet distance from one another, therefore, masks are required for outdoor activities and play. However, The Craig School has developed a “mask free” outdoor zone at the lower/middle school and high school campuses for students who may benefit from a mask break. Social distancing requirements will be enforced in the “mask free” zone.

  4. Social Distancing
    Physical distancing is fundamental to lowering health risk for COVID-19. Physical guides, such as directional signs on floors, doors, and hallways will be used.  For example, hallways and stairways will be one-directional and there will be signs to indicate the appropriate flow of traffic.  Seating will be at least 6 (six) feet apart and desks turned to face in the same direction.  Not all classrooms are large enough to accommodate this.  The reopening committee has developed plans to mitigate this by using underutilized building spaces that can more readily accommodate recommended socially distancing guidelines.
5. Morning Procedures
  1. Temperature Screening
    Students and staff will have temperature screening done upon arrival at campus. Any person with a temperature of 100.4℉  or greater will be excluded from school and promptly sent home.

  2. Procedures
    Students who arrive at school prior to 8am will go to the gymnasium. Upon entering the gym, students will have their temperature checked. Students with a temperature of 100.4℉ or higher will be sent immediately to the school nurse’s office.

    Students arriving between 7:45am and 8:15am will have a temperature checkpoint done at the entrance to Henderson Hall, The Wilson Building, or our high school building in Montville. Staff members will be at the entrances of all three campus buildings. Students must have a temperature check done prior to entering the building. Students will also need to have masks on as they exit the car and proceed to the building entrances. If the student’s temperature is within normal limits, the student then reports to their homeroom class.  Students whose temperature is higher than 100.4℉ will go immediately to the nurse’s COVID-19 designated isolation room (part of the nursing suite) until there is an approved parent/guardian to pick up the child and take them off-campus.
6. End of School Dismissal Procedures

At the beginning of the school year, parents will receive a car placard from The Craig School. Place this on your rearview mirror. This addition is intended to be one tool to increase the flow of traffic during afternoon pickup. During school dismissal face clothes coverings are required.

Lower School-Middle School students who are being picked up by car will come to the front of the Henderson Hall and Wilson Hall. Assigned teachers will call out cars and walk students to their cars. Parents are asked to remain in their vehicles.

Lower School-Middle School students who ride a bus or a van report to rooms 2 and 3. The teachers assigned will take attendance and they will walk down the hill to Island Beach

At The Craig School High School, all students will meet in the Meyer Gymnasium at the dismissal bell.  We will be following the usual pick up process from past years where the car line is assembled outside the gym and dismissal teachers walk each student out individually as their vehicle makes it to the front of the dismissal line.  Students are expected to have their cloth face masks on throughout this process.  

Parents must remain in vehicles. Please do not come onto campus without prior permission. We need to limit the amount of potential COVID-19 exposure to our students, faculty, and staff. 

7. Lockers

In the past, we have had a small handful of students who needed to share a locker with another student.  There is no sharing of lockers this school year. Student lockers will be located on the same floor as their homeroom. Students will be able to access lockers in the morning after homeroom check in and at the permission of the teacher. We are limiting how many students are allowed at the lockers at one time in order to continue to monitor the health and safety of our students. Students should limit what they bring to school to only the required/necessary items (lunch, snack, books, pencils, etc.).

8. Lunch

For the lower and middle school, this year we will have a two bell system for lunch, with two lunch periods in two cohorts each. We have allotted time in between each cohort for extended cleaning of the lunch room tables, chairs, and frequently touched surfaces. Students may continue to bring lunches from home or receive pre-purchased boxed lunches delivered from our outside vendor, Simply Gourmet.  Parents should plan on sending their child with the utensils they need for their sack lunches. Additionally, we ask that parents consider what their child can or can not easily open on their own when packing their lunch as we want to eliminate adults who may have to touch a student’s food and lunch box.


For the high school, our new location and large dining area and gymnasium allows us the opportunity to have one community lunch while respecting/following all social distancing guidelines.  Our students will get to eat together!  We will also be implementing a daily regimen that will allow us to clean all tables, chairs, and high touch areas after each lunch.  We will also be introducing our new “Take Out” Lunch program where area vendors will deliver individual lunches daily that students order.  This should make life a little easier for parents and allow The Craig School High School to support our local restaurants in our new location.  More details will be shared with the high school parents on our new lunch program as soon as it is finalized. 

9. Community Commitment

To keep our community safe and healthy, we must be united in our efforts to socially distance, keep our nose and mouths covered with face masks and face shields, and to regularly clean our buildings and our hands. I can not express enough how important it will be that we are all following these guidelines. To that end, we have developed a community commitment agreement  for our families (parents and students) to sign and an employee commitment agreement  for our teachers and staff to sign. By signing, you are acknowledging that you understand the inherent risks associated with COVID-19 and that you are agreeing to do your part as a community member to uphold our health and safety protocols.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section of our guide reflects the incredible response from parents. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, questions, and concerns and thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as the COVID-19 reopening team works out the details to your questions. As new questions arise, we will continue to update this section.

      1. Will you test all students and staff before they return to school?
        Universal SARS-CoV-2 testing of all students and staff in school settings has not been systematically studied. It is not known if testing in school settings provides any additional reduction in person-to person transmission of the virus beyond what would be expected with implementation of other preventive measures (e.g., social distancing, wearing cloth face coverings, hand washing, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting). Therefore, CDC does not recommend universal testing of all asymptomatic students and staff, and NJDOH concurs with this recommendation.

      2. Will my child need to wear a mask?
        Yes, all employees and students will be required to wear a cloth face mask in hallways, and upon entrance or exit of buildings. The Craig School has purchased one cloth face covering for each employee and student. Should students need more, we ask that the parents provide this for the student. 

        Face Masks and Face Shield Sources 
    For students who are sensitive to scratchy material…
      • Look for t-shirt type and “softer to the touch” fabrics for face masks and soft elastics for the ear pieces
    For students with sensory processing issues…
    1. Will students be required to wear face coverings throughout the school day other than at lunch and snack/break time? Yes, students are required to wear cloth face masks in the entrances of buildings and in hallways. 
    2. What will be the procedure if there are students (or staff) that refuse to follow social distancing practices or wearing a face covering? Students or staff who refuse to follow social distancing practices and face covering requirements will not be permitted on campus.
    3. My son has some sensory issues, and while we are working to prepare him for extended hours of wearing one, I am concerned about his ability to do so consistently and for the entirety of the school day. Does the school have any suggestions/plans for dealing with this kind of issue? During outdoor play, if the student practices social distancing guidelines they do not have to wear a cloth face covering (see information regarding the “Mask Free” zone above). This option could help as your child gets used to wearing a mask for long periods of time. It is also suggested that you continue to practice at home with your child so that they are prepared for wearing a cloth face covering and/or face shield throughout the day.
    4. How will health screening be done and what are the questions asked to students? All students and employees will be asked the same health screening questions prior to arrival to The Craig School campuses.  The questions are: (a) Is your child, or anyone in your household, experiencing any of the following symptoms? Fever, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, chills, muscle aches, new onset of loss or taste or smell, none of the above; (b) Do you think your child, or anyone in your household, has been in close contact with someone known to have COVID-19 in the last two weeks? CLOSE CONTACT means less than 6 feet away from another person for more than 15 minutes; (c) Has your child, or anyone in your household, been told by a health professional that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last two weeks? Here is the form: COVID 19 Symptom Check
    5. Will temperatures be taken daily? All members of The Craig School will have temperature screening done daily upon arrival at The Craig School campuses.
    6. What if my child just has a cough? We ask all students, family members, and staff to stay home if they are feeling ill (including symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, abdominal pain, fatigue, muscle aches, or headache).
    7. Will all staff be COVID tested? Daily health screenings will include all faculty and staff.  If any symptoms of COVID-19 are presented, that person will be referred to his/her primary health care provided to make the determination for COVID testing. 
    8. What are the conditions for shutting the school down and moving to remote learning? The Craig School is committed to educating our students in an in-person environment. We will continue to follow and respond to local, state, and CDC guidelines for school opening, health and safety. If a student or staff tests positive,after being in school with community exposure within the 48hrs preceding illness, the campus with the infected individual will shift to remote learning for 14 days.  Our local health department will be immediately notified and we will comply with the recommended guidelines set forth..
    9. What if my child has been in close contact with someone who is positive? If a student or staff has been in close and/or prolonged contact with someone who has tested positive, that individual must stay home for 14 days. Staff and students who are sick will not be permitted to return to school until they are healthy.  We want to minimize the spread of infection and we will continue to follow the guidelines put forth by our partners at the health department.
    10. What are the hand washing protocols? Students will participate in observed hand washing/sanitizing at regular intervals. The Craig School will have supplies of hand sanitizer and soap to allow for frequent hand-washing, and classrooms and school facilities will be disinfected regularly. Students must wash their hands before they enter the classroom; this is at the beginning of the day, after recess, after PE, after using the restroom or any other time they enter the room. Students must wash their hands when they exit the classroom; this is at the end of the day, before and after going to recess, before going to PE, after going to the toilet or any other time they leave the room.
    11. What are the requirements for NJ state mandated quarantine for summer travel out of the state?
      All members of the community who travel out of state must quarantine for a period of 14 days per Governor Murphy’s executive order. Employees should plan to
      discontinue out of state travel by August 17th and students/families should discontinue out of state travel by August 19th.

  1. How will the school be cleaned? The Craig School has a professional group of cleaners who will spend time after school each day cleaning all surfaces in all buildings. Lunch rooms and bathrooms will also be cleaned mid-day. To some extent, cleaning is a community responsibility. For example, in addition to professional cleaners, faculty/staff will be cleaning their classrooms/materials/offices before, after, and during class changeover throughout the day. Students are asked to engage in good citizenship by wiping down their lunch table and the sink after use. 
  2. In the new High School location, what extra sanitizing procedures will be put in place to ensure a safe working and learning environment? The Craig School High School has a janitorial/maintenance staff onsite that will be addressing the daily cleaning needs of our school.  Also, we will be establishing and implementing additional teacher sanitizing routines after each class period and additional tasks and components to our student community service program for greater community awareness, involvement,  and responsibility.  
  3. Will there be “spot” cleanings throughout the day? Yes.
  4. Will the bathrooms get sanitized daily? Yes.
  5. Will there be electrostatic disinfectant sprayers in each building? Please check back for an answer as this option is in the exploratory phase.
  1. How will contract tracing take place? Parents, faculty, and staff will assist students in identifying others who were within six (6) feet of them for 15 minutes or more, within the 48 hours prior to the sick individual showing symptoms. All information is kept strictly confidential. If a person who has been at school is confirmed (or suspected) to be infected with COVID-19, the school must be informed of it in order to inform the persons with whom he/she has been in close contact. It is recommended that those with positive COVID-19 results isolate themselves as much as possible in the home away from other family members and avoid all physical contact with anyone else in the home.
  2. How will you help ensure students or teachers don’t come to school when they are sick? In order to ensure members of our community do not come to school when sick, members of our community are expected to disclose to the appropriate staff, exposure to COVID-19 as well as to answer honestly the daily symptom check questions. Employees and students who show signs of illness or have a temperature of 100.4℉ or higher should not come to school or if already at school, go home immediately. One is considered sick when there are symptoms of illness, even with mild symptoms of illness. COVID-19 specific guidelines indicate if an individual has symptoms, they must be free of fever for 24 hours (without taking any fever reducing medications) and be10 days from onset of symptoms. This means that if you have symptoms of illness, you should stay home until you are well.
  3. If a student or a student’s family, or if a staff member or a member of his or her family, becomes sick with COVID 19 will the school be shut down for the two-week quarantine period? And if so, will remote learning occur during that time? Staff and students who are sick will not be permitted to return to school until they are healthy. We want to minimize the spread of infection and we will continue to follow the guidelines put forth by our partners at the health department. When someone in a student’s/employee’s household is suspected to have COVID-19, they must stay at home out of caution. We recommend isolation from the ill person. If it is confirmed that the family member does not have COVID-19, the student/employee may return to work. If someone in the employee’s/student’s immediate family has tested positive for COVID-19 they need to stay home for 14 days as symptoms may take 2-14 days to appear following exposure. For students who must self-isolate due to a family member’s exposure to COVID-19, the student will shift to a remote learning environment.
  4. How will I be notified if a Craig School member develops a positive case of COVID-19? The Craig School will notify members of our community as soon as a positive test of COVID-19 presents. The parent community will be notified at any point a parent, faculty/staff member, or student has tested positive for COVID-19, regardless of whether or not the CDC guidelines for “close contact” has been deemed
    to have been met. Due to confidentiality laws, we are unable to discuss the name of the individual nor are we able to give identifying information.  Date of positive test or exposure will be disclosed. However, all community members who may have been put at risk of exposure will be contacted by the School Nurse. This information is gathered through contract tracing.
  5. What happens if it is no longer safe to be on campus? It is important to note that as we prepare for on-campus learning, The Craig School is also preparing for possible interruptions.  As new local and state directives are published, we will update our response. If a complete shift to remote learning must happen in the future, we are prepared to make that shift happen immediately.  In the event that our campuses must be closed, community members will be notified as soon as possible.
  6. How will instruction occur if/when a student has to quarantine for 14 days due to exposure or a positive COVID-19 result? A student’s access to education remains a priority. We are committed to providing instruction through a remote platform should a student need to quarantine. Each student’s situation will be different. We will work with the student’s family on an individual basis to come up with the best plan moving forward for that child.
  1. Will my child lose instructional time? We plan on continuing the regularly scheduled school day as in years past. Classes will not be shortened and students will have access to all extra-curricular activities and specialty classes.

  2. How will The Craig School continue to meet the needs of all learners? We plan on continuing to be flexible and responsive in our approach to meeting the needs of all of our students.

  3. What if my child is at a high risk for contracting COVID-19, do they have to attend in-person? Can they attend The Craig School remotely? While we prefer all healthy students to attend classes on campus, we understand that we also need to be flexible in our instructional approach. Please reach out directly to the Head of School, Dr. Kara A. Loftin if you have a child in a high risk demographic that would be better served learning remotely rather than in-person.

  4. The Craig School will be issuing each student their own personally assigned laptop for the 2020-2021 school year.
    While we plan to be together this fall, we must prepare for all scenarios. SPECIFICALLY to address safety concerns, limit shared devices and surfaces throughout the school, and provide an equitable learning environment for all students. The policies, procedures, and information laid out within the One-to-One Laptop Agreement give expectations for student participation in this program. Please see the attached One-To-One Laptop Agreement form which must be completed in order to receive your laptop.

  5. How will you handle “students of concern” type issues? Due to the COVID-19 school requirements, the school’s capacity to manage particular behaviors will be limited. As such, it is important that students follow school rules with a greater degree of independence. Unfortunately, students who can not meet the new expectations will not be permitted to stay on campus. Teachers, staff, and social clinicians will monitor the emotional well-being of students in the new learning environment. Parents are also asked to share any concerns with their child’s class teacher or the social clinicians at The Craig School. We will be particularly aware of the following situations and issues:
    1. Reluctant students, such as those who are not agreeable to coming to school, who have difficulty separating from parents, who refuse to enter the building, who make excuses during the day to be sent home. Teachers and staff will make reasonable efforts to encourage students to enter and stay in school. Students who are not able to cooperate easily and quickly will be sent home.
    2. Social / emotional concerns including new concerns because of a new class, teacher, environment, and/or friendships. Teachers and staff will work with the school clinicians to provide extra support and care for students.
    3. Behavior / disciplinary issues. There is an enhanced expectation for students to follow school rules, classroom agreements, and cooperate when instructed and directed. Students are also expected to adhere to the new hygiene and distancing procedures so the school can follow the guidelines for health and safety. Teachers should contact the Social Clinicians immediately and the students will be taken to another classroom. Next steps will be determined on a case by case basis.
    4. General academic concerns. The Craig School communication protocols remain in place.
    5. Late and absent students. Student attendance will continue to be recorded. Late students will report to the front desk of Henderson Hall, The Wilson Building, or the High School building location. Temperature will be taken and upon clearance the student will proceed to their next class. It is imperative for safety as well as health reasons that parents notify the school immediately when a student will be absent. 
  1. Will there be Odorox Air filters in the Nurse’s office? At this time, this is not an option we are exploring.
  2. What kind of extra ventilation are you providing? The Craig School will increase the circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, and other methods when indoor and outdoor conditions safely permit. The Craig School reopening team is dedicated to evaluating new information related to COVID-19 and air quality within buildings. We will continue to implement and recommend best practices for minimizing heat in school buildings or areas that do not have air conditioning, while also working with local health officials and industry experts to ensure proper air movement and air quality in all buildings to keep students and staff as safe as possible.
  1. Will you restrict other people coming to The Craig School campuses? All visitors, vendors, and parents will require pre-approved authorization to be on campus. Visitors, including parents/guardians, are not allowed past the school’s front office and must have a symptom and temperature screening before they enter the building. Individuals seeking permission from The Craig School to be on campus (for example, a parent volunteer) must have prior permission from the Head of School, Dr. Kara A. Loftin or the Assistant Director of the Lower and Middle School, Mr. Niles Furlong This policy is out of an abundance of caution for reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure on The Craig School campuses.
  2. When there are visitors in the building – IEP/ISP meetings, district observations, tours, board members, PACs, parents, etc. – will they have their temperatures taken? Permission must be obtained (see above). Temperatures and symptom check protocol is required prior to entrance into the campus buildings.
  3. Will visitors be required to follow all The Craig School social distancing policies and mask requirements? Yes, all visitors to The Craig School must adhere to all safety and health protocols set forth by the school. Visitors who are unable to follow our guidelines are not permitted on campus.
  4. In-Person Observations: 
     Due to COVID-19, The Craig School has suspended all campus visitors. Those wishing to visit The Craig School campus, will not be permitted at this time. Additionally, The Craig School is not offering in-person observations of students. Alternate arrangements can be arranged on a case by case basis.  According to the US Department of Education, regarding COVID-related IEP observation re-evaluations, while required every three years, these can be waived by mutual consent of the child’s parents and the IEP team. The US Department of Education also states that observations of students may at this time be done through remote methods. Right now, The Craig School is working with school districts to plan alternate paths for student observations rather than in-person observations.

Are masks required on buses?  Masks will also be required for students riding the bus to/from school.

  1. Will there be after school homework help? Yes, afterschool homework help will continue. All procedures and protocols applicable to the regular school day also apply to after school programming.
  2. Will students have PE and/or outside time? Yes. Physical activity is important for a student’s mental health and well-being. PE will continue in the fall. When feasible and as weather permits, PE classes should be held outside.
  3. Will clubs still be offered? Yes.
  4. Will the Leadership Council still happen in the new school year? Yes.
  1. What are the new arrival procedures/morning drop-off procedures? Unfortunately, parents are not permitted to accompany students into campus buildings, unless they have pre-approval and have had their temperature taken and symptom check protocol completed.  We ask that those dropping off students remain in their car through the drop-off line and exit campus in a timely manner. Students who arrive to campus before 8:00 am will report to the gymnasium and check-in with a faculty/staff supervisor. Students arriving prior to 8:00 am will have their temperature check protocol completed by the gymnasium supervisor. At 8:00 am, students in the gymnasium will proceed to the homeroom. Students who arrive after 8:00 am will proceed directly to their homeroom. Upon entrance to the building, the teacher/staff member  will conduct a temperature check. Students will remain in the homeroom until the beginning of the school day.
  2. What are the new departure procedures? Parents must remain in vehicles during pick-up. At the end of the day, students return to their homeroom. As parents drive through the pick-up line a staff member will page the student and have them released for dismissal. As soon as you have your child, please depart campus.
  1. How will meals work? Students (and adults) may not share food. Please see 8. Lunch section above for more information.
  2. Will students eat lunch in the lunchroom? Yes. Although we are exploring other spaces so that our students are able to eat lunch with smaller groups of students and continue to be safe and healthy.
  3. What are the lunchroom procedures?  Full details for each grade will be released closer to the beginning of the school year. The following guidelines will be in place:
    1. All students and staff wash their hands before and after eating snacks or lunch.
    2. Students sit in their designated spot for lunch. This spot should be at a 6 (six) foot distance from others in the classroom
    3. Snacks and lunch are supervised by The Craig School faculty and staff.
    4. Staff use the provided disinfectant and paper towels to thoroughly clean the tables after students have eaten. A professional cleaning team cleans and disinfects the lunchroom between the two lunch periods.
  1. Will classrooms be able to accommodate the 6 feet apart general rule for social distancing? Most classrooms are able to accommodate the 6 (six) feet social distancing requirement. When this isn’t possible, classes will be moved to larger spaces such as the auditorium and the gymnasium or have clear desk dividers installed. 
  2. Will there be a cap placed on how many people can be in each room (classroom/office) in order to follow safe social distancing? Each class size is being examined to make sure we follow social distancing guidelines.
  3. What will classroom space look like? All objects in a classroom must be sanitized/cleaned daily. Extra desks, furniture, and non-essential items will be removed from classrooms and space made available to provide six (6) feet distance between all students. When six (6) feet distance requirements are unable to be met, a clear barrier will be placed on the student’s desk. Classrooms might look and feel a bit different, but they will still be joyful and fun! Items can be put into differentiated bags and disinfected at the end of the day. We will ask students to not share items as much as possible. If shared, items should be disinfected between use. Group work can still happen, students will just need to sit 6 feet apart. Teachers will use lots of visual cues and reminders.
  4. How will recess and lunch be handled with social distancing guidelines? Recess and lunch will be broken up into cohorts or groups to ensure appropriate social distancing and health and safety protocols.
  5. Will desks have four panel desk shields that are 21 inches high? In the case that there is a classroom space that cannot be moved or should not be moved to the gym, lunch room, or auditorium and social distancing can not take place due to the configuration of the room, desks will have desk shields or clear desk barriers.  At this time, the materials are being ordered and a decision regarding three-panel vs. four-panel has not been made.
  6. What will social distancing look like? Students and staff will maintain 6 (six) feet of social distancing in indoor and outdoor settings as much as possible. To support social distancing efforts, The Craig School will stagger passing periods when numbers of students warrant it. The Craig School will clearly mark off six-foot spaces for specific areas, such as bathroom lines.

What will happen to school-wide and community events? The Craig School community/school events that involve gatherings of 50 people or more will be redesigned or modified to become virtual or hybrid events.  This includes Back to School night, Admissions Open Houses, etc. Many events, including orientation days, will take place in a new format to allow for appropriate social distancing. Information about upcoming events will be sent via The Craig School weekly newsletter. Our goal is to provide our families with opportunities to connect as a community in a safe and healthy manner. Building a strong school community remains important.

  1. If online learning is to continue, how will Craig School support my child’s social and emotional learning? Students who move to a remote learning environment, continue to have access to our social clinicians for social-emotional and mental health support. At this time, we are exploring additional avenues to infuse social-emotional learning into the everyday classroom in a remote learning environment.

  2. Was the mental health of the children considered in the fall opening plans? Absolutely! Our emphasis on bringing the students to campus five days a week for a typical day in the life of a Craig student was made with our students’ social, emotional, and mental health in mind.

  3. How will Craig maintain that  social/emotional growth with the CDC social distance guidelines. This summer the Social Clinicians and Head of School have been working on solutions for incorporating our Mind Up! Program into the everyday lives of our students. Additionally, social/emotional work that was incorporated into the school day in previous years will continue this year. Social Clinicians will help and support the students with any fears, anxiety and uncertainties related to the changes this upcoming year due to COVID. They can also help to incorporate socially distanced activities that foster social relationships while at school and home. We will provide the students validation on how they are feeling about COVID and recognizing that they will all have their own feelings on it. We will work to normalize the changes (masks, shields, distancing, etc.) so that the students can have productive days at school while feeling comfortable.

  4. Regarding the inevitable elevated anxiety levels of students (and staff), will there be a schedule change to include counseling and or health guidance time, from the nurse and social clinicians on COVID related stressors? When needed, extra time will be warranted for mental health breaks and support.

  5. How can students have a normal day with masks and social distancing? We understand that as much as we will promote a normal day in the life of a Craig student, it will be a different learning environment than what students had in years past.. As a community, we are reinforcing what local, state, and federal guidelines are requiring us to do and are ready to work collaboratively with families to incorporate weekly ideas for school-home partnership work around support for the  “new normal.” The Social Clinicians will help create online themed groups for socialization since the students will be limited on a personal level (such as play dates, get togethers, etc.). Due to our students coming from over 60 communities, for many, this is already a struggle. These online themed groups are beneficial if we need to move to a remote learning environment as they can serve as one means to keep our students connected and engaged with one another. The Social Clinicians are prepared to incorporate online journals for students to free-write their feelings as they arise when the students are away from school and then address them in person utilizing role plays, metacognitive therapy, and provide them with tools to help navigate these feelings. We will continue to build resilience in our students in the following ways: Practicing mindfulness, teach problem solving tools, provide the students with opportunities to be creative, continue to talk with them and reassure them, find ways to increase their emotional connections in ways that may not have been cultivated before (social distance), continue to model growth mindset and positivity, and assist our students in maintaining fairly predictable routines. Addressing social-emotional learning while also reinforcing fun, play, laughter, and joy are incredibly important as our students still need to have access to those aspects of a healthy childhood experience.
  1. Will the high school be hiring a full-time nurse? The high school has allocated resources in order to hire a part-time nurse. The nurse will be available to students before school until the end of the lunch period.

  2. Have you considered antibody testing for employees? Employees who wish to be tested for antibodies will do so through their local health provider. CDC does not currently recommend using antibody testing as the sole basis for diagnosing current infection. It is not currently proven whether a positive antibody test indicates protection against future SARS-CoV-2 infection; therefore, antibody tests should not be used at this time to determine if someone is immune.

  3. What are the ingredients in the cleaning supplies and how often will our children be exposed to them? More information regarding cleaning supplies will be available as we finalize the products we purchase for cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing. Cleaning staff use disinfectants and sanitizers on a daily basis for high-risk areas such as a nurse’s office, bathrooms, lunch rooms, drinking fountains, sink and door handles, and gym. This should be done when students are not present.

  4. Which specific research reports (listed please) were utilized to determine any and all recommendations (masks, social distancing, etc)? Please see the source list below. While not exhaustive, these sources helped guide the difficult decisions regarding The Craig School reopening.

  5. Will the school provide education on natural ways to boost immunity in their children and teachers (exercise, food, vitamins) in order to provide tools needed to fight all germs? We will continue our health class and our gym programs, both of which provide education on health habits. Healthy habits and good hygiene will continue to be emphasized.

  6. We will be new to the school so I don’t know about the use of students’ computers. If students use them, do they get their own  or are they shared? All students will have access to their own computers. Students will not share computers.

  7. How can I help the school stay safe and healthy and stay open? Follow our health and safety guidelines, talk to your child about the changes, practice using masks and washing hands this summer, and commit to doing what is necessary to keep all members of our school community safe and healthy and open for in-person learning. The following agreement, which will be signed at the beginning of the school year, outlines our shared commitment and responsibilities.

CDC, “Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission”
CDC, “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Childcare, Schools, and Youth Programs” NAIS, “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Schools”
NJAIS, “COVID-19 Resources”
NJDOE, “The Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan for Education”
SAIS, “Mapping out Plans for 2020-21 School Year: Key Steps and Considerations” SAIS, “COVID-19: Medical Consideration and Recommendations for Independent Schools” WHO, “COVID-19 Advice for the Public”

Main Office
The Craig Lower/Middle School Campus

15 Tower Hill Rd
Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046
Phone 973.334.4375 | Fax 973.334.2861

Craig High School

24 Changebridge Road
Montville, NJ 07045
Phone 973.334.1234 | Fax 973.334.1288

The Craig School Admission and Administration office

10 Tower Hill Road
Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046
Phone 973.334.1295 | Fax 973 334 1299


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