This has certainly been extraordinary times for our school community. The hardships in reference to power outages, closed roads, rationed gas, etc. have impacted our community to a great extent. I drove around the township and observed the downed wires and trees along many of the roads. The fact that our school buildings have not had power for approximately two weeks has added to the hardships that everyone has had to endure.
However; over the past year I have come to learn that Tewksbury is a community that cares deeply about education and equally cares about the welfare of everyone connected with our excellent school district. I am confident that we will all work together to open our schools and move forward with our educational program. This leads me to the purpose of this post. We are doing everything possible to open school on Monday, November 12!
Generator Will Power OTS
Our plan includes having the Army Corps of Engineers install a generator that is capable of providing power to the entire OTS complex. We hope to have the generator installed by Saturday, November 10.
A.M and P.M Sessions
Secondly, we plan to run split sessions at OTS.
The Middle School Students will attend school from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The Elementary Students will attend school at OTS from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. These half day sessions will be equal to a full day of school.
Transportation to and from school will be limited. We plan to set up Central Station Pick Up Locations for as many school bus runs as possible. Parents will have the option of either driving their children to and from school or taking them to one of the central bus pick up locations. When the first session is dismissed at 11:30 a.m., the students will be transported to the designated central locations, we will drop off the A.M. session students (middle school grades), and pick up the P.M. students (elementary grades). Please note that the drop off and pick up location at OTS for parents driving their children to and from school is on the left side of the building at the gym entrance. Specific information as to the Central Station Pick up Locations for our school buses will be provided later this weekend.
The OTS students will be able to occupy their regular classrooms. The TES students will be assigned classrooms. These assignments will be announced this weekend.
Lunch will not be provided; however, students will be permitted to bring in snacks.
A new schedule for parent conferences will be announced as soon as possible.
Please know that in light of the long delays in having power restored to our community, we are moving forward in a proactive manner to open school. We are not in bad shape in reference to the end of the school year in June. We had already scheduled three days for the NJEA convention and student conferences. By scheduling school during the President’s Weekend, we will then be looking at June 18 as the last day of school. As you know, we still have a few months of winter left and the possible need to use additional emergency closing days. Please be assured that we will look at the situation carefully and come up with a plan that will make sense and provide for a quality educational program. We will keep you updated as to the changes in the school calendar via the web site and at Board of Education Meetings.
This post will be updated with additional information during the weekend. It is our hope that the power well be restored to our school buildings and we will not have to utilize this plan. Updated information will also be provided via Honeywell Announcements.
I wish to thank Rich Mupo, Bob Hoffman, Ken Wark, and Jim Miller for their assistance in putting together the School Opening Alternative Plan. The support of the Board of Education along with the cooperation and patience of our school community is greatly appreciated!