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6-1-21 Letter to EPS Learning Community- Updated Guidance on Face Coverings from Governor Murphy

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Olga Hugelmeyer
Superintendent of Schools

June 1, 2021 

Dear Elizabeth Public Schools Learning Community:

Elizabeth Public Schools and the Elizabeth Board of Education have remained strongly committed to bringing students back to in-person learning while providing high quality instruction and services. Our team members continue to go above and beyond in providing students the safest environment possible to learn and grow while continuing to follow the guidance of government and health officials.

While Governor Murphy has announced an end to indoor mask and social distancing requirements in most circumstances, face coverings are currently still required in schools, on public transportation, in child care facilities, at summer camps, in healthcare centers, and inside state offices open to the public.

As a district, we have done everything we can within the parameters of the state health and education COVID-19 guidelines to provide students with the essentials they need to continue learning inside the classroom while prioritizing their health and wellbeing.

Central and school administration have worked together to devise class schedules that allow students to eat their breakfast outdoors while properly social distancing at the elementary grade levels. With the updated guidance from Governor Murphy that has relaxed some restrictions, we are expanding our services to include middle school students. 

In providing these services, we also remind parents to please send your students in each day with a water bottle to ensure adequate hydration, which is especially important as we approach the summer season. All schools will have water bottles available in the event of extreme high temperatures. Schools throughout the district have become increasingly well equipped to handle situations related to high temperatures thanks to the funding that has been secured by our Board for capital projects such as installing air conditioning in several district schools. Our infrastructure has also dramatically improved in recent years thanks to the outstanding and dedicated work of the members of our Division of Plant, Property, and Equipment.

Our support staff from Plant and Property have been working tirelessly through this pandemic by disinfecting all touch points, mopping floors and stairwells, disinfecting and deep cleaning bathrooms, and disinfecting hallways with electrostatic sprayers, ensuring that team members who have been working in our schools and offices have been able to effectively serve our wonderful community. Today, as schools are reopened to in-person teaching and learning, they continue to ensure that students and team members alike are achieving excellence in the safest environments possible.

For over a year, our highly successful Grab and Go breakfast and lunch program has provided our families with the healthy food necessary to help keep students eating nutritiously and growing. We look forward to continuing this effective program and providing families with these valuable resources during the summer months.

Though we are approaching the end of the school year, we continue to approach each day as a new opportunity to provide our students and team members with a learning environment that best meets their health and educational needs. As new guidance is passed on to school districts in the days, weeks, and months ahead from the Governor, the Department of Health, and the Department of Education, you can rest assured that our Board, central administration, and school administration will provide our students with the best educational experiences possible that fit within any and all updated protocols.

As always, we thank you for your continued understanding and support as we continue to move towards the full reopening of our schools and an increased sence of normalcy while maintaining the safest school and office environments possible.

Sincerely, 

Olga Hugelmeyer