Thursday, March 26, 2020

3/26 Health Related Closure Update

Updates for MO families on the ninth day of the COVID-19 health-related closure:
  • I will be hosting a Parent Universities tomorrow at noon via Facebook Live to update parents on our shift to a more directed online delivery model starting 3/30.
  • Dave Bodmer, Industrial Design and Engineering Teacher, is 3D printing face shield components in the MOHS Marauder Innovation Learning Lab (MILL). This is a collaborative effort with Rutgers and Montclair State to produce much needed personal protective gear for New Jersey’s frontline medical professionals fighting #COVID19. The MILL’s 3D printers will produce over 100 shield components a day.
  • MO students that attend the Morris County Vocational system, the County College of Morris Challenger program, or the College Count College of Morris STEPS program will continue with those pathways and their courses at MOHS. During the health-related closure, our faculty will make accommodations for share-time students that may include scheduling small group and individualized office hours to provide appropriate updates, support, and instructional guidance. MOHS counselors will be working with MOHS teachers to develop personalized learning plans to meet individual student needs.
  • MO AP Students should check each AP Teacher's Google Classroom for updates on the AP Exam administrations. The full course schedule for free, live online AP review classes from the College Board is now available: https://buff.ly/2WKNMR4.
  • Based on the executive order of Governor Murphy, all MOTSD schools are operating under a health-related closure until further notice. Therefore, home instruction will be ongoing until April 8th. Spring break will remain as originally scheduled from April 9th until April 19th. If the health-related closure is still in effect, home instruction will resume on April 20th. 
  • Please go to tinyurl.com/MOhealthplan and view the MOTSD Health-Related Closure Plan that contains vital information about home instruction assignments, WiFi access, free and reduced meal pick-up, and continuity of District operations. 
  • On March 9th the MOTSD faculty made preparations for two weeks of differentiated and asynchronous home instruction. At that time, based on the guidance from the NJDOE and NJDOH we did not anticipate an indefinite closure of schools. In the ensuing days and weeks our teachers and students have embraced a variety of pedagogies and technologies to stay connected and maintain their academic skills despite a growing health emergency. Since March 9th, we have secured WiFi access for every student in the District, deployed web-enabled Chromebooks to every student in grades 6-12, and have provided opportunities for Chromebook pick-up for students in grades 1-5. In order to support the continued academic progress of our students, as well as, provide structure for students during the duration of the stay-at-home provisions, we will be shifting to a more directed, differentiated, and online instructional model that will be delivered via Google Classroom, Google Hangouts and the district's personalized online learning platforms. The schedules we developed for grades 1-5 and 6-12 to provide flexibility for students who may be juggling family or work responsibilities. Any assigned work will not be due for a minimum of 48 hours to reduce student stress and pressure from multiple assignments. The schedules do not reflect mandated class meeting times. Rather, the staggered subject time slots are designed to allow for reasonable pacing and to prevent overlap of virtual meetings by multiple classes at the same time. The schedules combined with our G-Suite apps provide flexibility for teachers to deliver prescriptive synchronous and asynchronous instruction, hold video streamed class meetings, and grade online assignments. Students in grades 1-12 should check their respective teacher’s Google Classroom for resources, assignments, links to Google Hangouts, and updates. The below schedules (1-5 and 6-12) go into effect on Monday March 3oth.
Note: Grades 1-5 schedules may vary slightly by teacher and grade level. 

  • Students in PK and K will continue to be assigned differentiated choice boards, as well as, blended learning activities as appropriate by their respective teachers. 
  • The PowerSchool parent portal will reopen on 3/30.
  • The MOTSD Guidance Department will be available to our students by appointment each day 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Please click this link for counselor contact information and to schedule an appointment.
  • The Child Study Team is available to parents of special education students by appointment each day 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Please click this link to schedule an appointment with a case manager.
  • We are working very closely with Mayor Greenbaum, MO Township Administrator Tatarenko, and the MO Health Department to ensure our MOTSD families are as healthy and safe as possible. Contact the MO Department of Health COVID-19 hotline at (862) 419-4300 with any suspected cases. In an effort to respond to the many questions and concerns raised by our residents, the Township has established a COVID-19 email address  for general questions regarding the virus, Township preparation and response: COVID-19@mtolivetwp.org  
  • With the exception of MOMS, all MOTSD buildings, fields, and grounds are closed to all staff, students, and community members. 
  • All registered MOTSD students who qualify for free and/or reduced lunch can pick up boxed breakfasts and lunches Monday-Friday during the health-related closure at Mount Olive Middle School from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Highlights from home instruction: