Morris School District: Mask rules, quarantine protocols, free COVID shots

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When and where must students mask up?   Which members of the school band need masks? What are the new state quarantine standards?

A message Sunday from the Morris School District spells it out — and also notes that free COVID-19 vaccinations will be offered to students age 12 and older on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, at the Morristown Neighborhood House.

The message is below.

From the Morris School District:

Listen to Superintendent Pendergrast’s August 23 Presentation to the Board of Education on Community, Virtue, and Democracy.

  • The MSD Safe Return Plan for 2021 School Opening is now available on our website. Please click the button below to access the page:

MSD SAFE RETURN PLAN

  • Please note the following important matters:
    • Masks: As you already know, masks are required in all indoor school settings and on our buses. They must be well-fitting and completely cover the nose and mouth. Students should already be wearing their masks when they board the school bus or enter our school buildings. Proper mask wearing is essential for determining who must quarantine after an exposure in our classrooms or buses and will enable us to avoid disruptions to in-person instruction for most students, as explained below. Last year, our students did beautifully with mask wearing, and we appreciate your support in ensuring our school buildings comply with the State’s mask mandate.
    • Quarantine: Updated quarantine guidelines from the NJ Department of Health align with the State’s emphasis on a return to full in-person learning. The current guidelines indicate that in K-12 classrooms, students who would ordinarily be considered a close contact (that is, they are within 6 feet of a positive individual for at least 15 minutes’ cumulative time over a 24-hour period) are now exempt from quarantine as long as both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time. This stipulation will go a long way in helping us keep our students in school. (Of course, the positive individual is still required to quarantine.) Principals will continue to alert the school community whenever there is a positive case and will notify directly those families whose student was within 3-6 feet of the positive individual so that extra vigilance can be taken when monitoring for symptoms.
    • Daily Student Screening: We ask that all families complete the steps indicated on the Daily Student Screening webpage at home each morning prior to sending their children to school. This year, we will require a single “Statement of Assurance” at the beginning of the school year to certify each family’s understanding that students must be checked for symptoms and a series of questions must be answered each day. You will receive information about how to submit the Statement of Assurance through your PowerSchool Parent Portal next week.
    • Bus Transportation: Please be aware that our buses will be operating at full capacity this year. Students will not be socially distanced on the bus but will be required to wear masks. Please check the Parent Portal on September 7 or 8 to confirm the most up-to-date bus pickup and drop off times. There may be adjustments over the next few weeks that will cause the bus pickup and drop off times to shift slightly.
    • School schedules: Start and dismissal times have returned to normal; the District’s master schedule is available here:

MSD SCHOOL SCHEDULES

  • VERY IMPORTANT: Annual Student Update and PowerSchool Parent Portal Accounts. This past June, we launched the PowerSchool Parent Portal for PreK-5 families, and we are excited that the Parent Portal is now available for all families in the Morris School District.
    • Important information is posted to the Parent Portal for your child(ren): attendance; schedules and teacher contact information; bus numbers, stops and times; report cards; and historical grades.
    • Please create a Parent Portal account as soon as possible and make sure you can access the portal so that you can view the information listed above (see link to instructions below). Note that paper schedules, teacher assignments, and bus cards will not be mailed out this year. The most current information is shown in the Parent Portal and is updated on a nightly basis.
    • Please also complete the Annual Student Update as soon as possible so that you receive all communications from the District and your child’s school (see link to instructions below). The Annual Student Update provides us with confirmed and updated contact information for parents/guardians and emergency contacts and also includes links for your review of key policies.
    • CLICK HERE for instructions on setting up your Parent Portal account and completing the Annual Student Update. If you have any questions or encounter any problems, please send an email to msdannualupdate@msdk12.net, or reach out to your child’s school directly.
  • Health Services for Children, Sept. 2. Cornerstone Family Programs/Morristown Neighborhood House and Zufall Health Centers have partnered to offer a number of health services to children up to 18 years of age on Thursday, Sept. 2, at the Neighborhood House. The Pfizer COVID vaccine will be available free of charge to children 12 years and older. Please see their flyer for details: CLICK HERE for the flyer in EnglishCLICK HERE for the flyer in Spanish.
  • Emergency Broadband Benefit ProgramPlease CLICK HERE for information on a program that provides discounted home internet service for those who are eligible.

*Words that appear above in maroon are clickable links!

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Funny how everything was fine all summer. You can go to a store, restaurant, etc maskless but now the school will assess the quality of your mask? Give me a break we know they do nothing. Stop whining and open schools fully without restrictions.

  2. “exempt from quarantine as long as both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time. This stipulation will go a long way in helping us keep our students in school.” Wow – good thing the virus must be less virulent this year since masks were worn last year and yet every person within 6 FT of exposure, every kid on a sports team with a positive case all had to quarantine for FOURTEEN days last year. I guess they REALLY hated last year’s seniors and students. How pathetic that an entire year was lost last year – activities, sports events, in person learning for so many due to the irrational ridiculous quarantining hysteria. This year – just dropped. UNBELIEVABLE…

  3. Sounds like they are looking for a reason to unnecessarily quarantine as many people as possible just like they did last year. Very disappointing.

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