Dear Parents/Guardians, Faculty, Staff and members of the Franklin Lakes School Community,
The Franklin Lakes Community continues to persevere through the rapidly evolving landscape regarding school opening. On Friday, August 28th, the United States Department of Labor revised guidance eligibility for leaves of absence under FFCRA (Family First Coronavirus Response Act). Upon the recommendation of our Board attorney, this now requires a retroactive review of requests for leaves of absence, workplace accommodations, and reassignment requests pending response. The District is in the process of evaluating and addressing staff requests for accommodations and/or leaves, which cannot be resolved before the planned first day of school.
In order to comply with legal obligations, we are evaluating our options inclusive of recruiting, interviewing, completing a criminal background check, reference checks and basic district training. Regrettably, it results in insufficient time to resource the schools appropriately for the planned concurrent in-person and remote reopening of our schools.
Therefore, I have recommended to the Franklin Lakes Board of Education to delay in-person instruction to September 24th, 2020. This decision is predicated on our ability to ensure proper resourcing is secured for quality and equitable education via both remote and in-person delivery.
A subsequent byproduct of this delay requires a calendar change, in which planned professional days in January and March of 2021 will now be moved to September 8th and September 9th. This solution prevents the need to extend the school year.
Beginning, September 10th, students and staff will have full-day remote instruction ending September 23rd for a net of 10 school days. During this time, students meet with their home school, homeroom assigned teachers as the district is in a 100% Remote Learning Plan. Families that have elected the virtual option of learning for their child(ren) will continue remotely while students opting to return in-person will return to their buildings on September 24th. Students in grades Kindergarten through Grade 5 will meet their virtual option teacher on September 24th, 2020. For the purposes of providing our staff vital resources, it is our priority that our faculty and staff work from their classrooms/buildings during the remote sessions.
Please note that schedule and expectations for both in-person instruction and remote learning will be shared by the District. Information regarding arrival and dismissal procedures will be shared by your child’s Principal. Class placement information will be released in Genesis on September 8th, 2020 followed with a welcome letter from your school’s Principal and/or child’s Teacher and/Teaching team.
I would like to commend the efforts of our Board of Education, administrative team, faculty, staff, and community members who have devoted countless hours to creating a Restart and Recovery Plan for our schools that has met all of the reopening requirements dictated by the New Jersey Department of Education. Beyond that, the amount of collaboration and teamwork exhibited by our community has been inspiring and will continue to form the foundation of our ongoing work to reopen our schools for in-person education. We are stronger together!