Introduction and Background

  • As announced in the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE)’s April 28, 2021 broadcast, in March 2021 President Biden signed the Federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, Public Law 117-2, into law. The ARP Act provides an additional $122 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) to States and school districts to help safely reopen, sustain the safe operation of schools, and address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s students. As with the previous ESSER funds available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), the purpose of the additional funding is to support local educational agencies (LEAs) in preparing for and responding to the impacts of COVID-19 on educators, students, and families. Additional information on ARP ESSER may be found in the NJDOE’s funding comparison fact sheet.

    Section 2001(i)(1) of the ARP Act requires each LEA that receives ARP ESSER funds to develop and make publicly available on the LEA’s website, no later than 30 days after receiving ARP ESSER funds, a plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services for all schools (Safe Return Plan) A Safe Return Plan is required of all fund recipients, including those that have already returned to in-person instruction. Section 2001(i)(2) of the ARP Act further requires that the LEA seek public comment on the Safe Return Plan and take those comments into account in finalization of the Safe Return Plan. Under the interim final requirements published in Volume 86, No. 76 of the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), an LEA must periodically, but no less frequently than every six months through September 30, 2023, review and, as appropriate, revise its Safe Return Plan.

    Pursuant to those requirements, LEAs must submit to the NJDOE and post on their website their Safe Return Plans by June 24, 2021. The NJDOE intends to make LEA ARP ESSER Fund applications available in EWEG on May 24, 2021 and LEAs will submit their Safe Return Plans to the NJDOE via EWEG. To assist LEAs with the development of their Safe Return Plans, the NJDOE is providing the following template.

    The following plan incorporates the federally-required components of the Safe Return Plan. The questions in the plan below will be included in the LEA ARP ESSER Fund application in EWEG. LEAs will submit responses to the questions within the LEA ARP ESSER Fund application in EWEG by June 24, 2021.

    Note that on May 17, 2021, Governor Murphy announced that upon the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year, portions of Executive Order 175 allowing remote learning will be rescinded, meaning that schools will be required to provide full-day, in-person instruction, as they were prior to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. The NJDOE and New Jersey Department of Health will share additional information regarding State requirements or guidance for health and safety protocols for the 2021-2022 school year as it becomes available.

Safe Return Plan

  • Shrewsbury Borough School (4770)

    June 18, 2021

    Please refer to the Shrewsbury Borough Schools Restart & Recovery Plan and Shrewsbury Borough School Policy #1648.

    Maintaining Health and Safety

    1. For each mitigation strategy listed below (a–h), please describe how the LEA will maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff and the extent to which it has adopted policies, and a description of any such policies, on each of the following safety recommendations established by the CDC.
      1. Universal and correct wearing of mask
        • If the Governor/NJDOE/NJDOH mandates mask wearing for all staff and student, the following protocols will be followed:
          • Face masks will be provided to staff and students as needed.
          • All staff members will be required to wear face masks in accordance with the Governor/NJDOE/NJDOH mandate.
          • Students will wear a face mask in accordance with the Governor/NJDOE/NJDOH mandate.
          • Accommodation for students who are unable to wear a face covering will be addressed according to that student's need and in accordance with district procedures, applicable laws and regulations.
          • If a visitor refuses to wear a face mask for non-medical reasons, the visitor’s entry to the school/district facility may be denied.
          • Face mask signage and verbal cues will be utilized.
      2. Physical distancing (e.g., including use of cohorts/podding)
        • If the Governor/NJDOE/NJDOH mandates social distancing the following protocols will be implemented:
          • Schools will allow for social distancing within the classroom to the maximum extent practicable.
          • If a school in the district is not able to maintain this physical distance, additional modifications will be implemented.
          • All instructional and non-instructional rooms in schools and district facilities will comply with social distancing standards to the maximum extent practicable.
      3. Handwashing and respiratory etiquette 
        • Handwashing
          • CDC signage on proper handwashing technique to be posted in bathrooms.
          • Hand sanitizing stations with alcohol-based hand sanitizers (at least 60% alcohol) will be located: in each classroom; at the entrances and exits of buildings; near lunchrooms; outside on the playground and athletic fields; and near bathrooms.
          • Faculty and staff will encourage hand washing whenever possible and model protocols for healthy hygiene.
        • Respiratory Etiquette
          • If masks and social distancing are required by the Governor/NJDOE/NJDOH, individual student desk shields will be provided when students cannot wear masks and/or social distance.
          • Individual student desk shields will be provided upon the request of the parent or student.
          • Faculty and staff will model and encourage healthy respiratory etiquette.
      4. Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation
        • Ventilation
          • All indoor facilities will have adequate ventilation, including operational heating and ventilation systems where appropriate. Recirculated air must have a fresh air component, windows will be opened, if practical. Filter(s) will be maintained and changed according to manufacturer recommendations.
        • Cleaning and maintaining health facilities
          • Adhere to existing required cleaning practices, procedures and any new specific requirements of the local health department or any other such jurisdiction having authority, as they arise.
          • Follow the procedural manual that includes cleaning/disinfecting schedules, targeted areas to be cleaned, disinfected and methods and materials to be used.
          • Ensure adequate supplies to support cleaning and disinfecting practices.
          • Use of UV light cleaning and electrostatic cleaning technologies.
      5. Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the State, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments 
        • The Superintendent (School Safety Specialist), the School Nurse, and the School Physician have completed the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Contact Tracing Course or relevant medical training.
        • All applicable federal and state requirements regarding privacy of educational records (e.g. FERPA) will be adhered to.
        • If the Governor/NJDOE/NJDOH mandates contract tracing the following protocols will be followed:
          • The district will follow recommendations of the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission #1.
          • The Superintendent, in consultation with the MCRHC#1, will notify the district community of confirmed cases, when applicable.
          • The Superintendent/School Nurse will be the contact for students, their families, and staff when reporting COVID-19 cases. The School Nurse will follow county and state reporting procedures.
      6. Diagnostic and screening testing
        • Screening Procedures for Students and Staff
          • The school will adhere to Board Policy #1648 regarding the screening procedures for students and employees upon arrival at school or work location for symptoms and history of exposure.
          • The school will utilize temperature check stations and the CareCheck service to screen students before and upon entry each day.
        • Protocols for Symptomatic Students and Staff
          • The district will require parents to keep their child home when they are sick.
          • Suspected COVID cases will be determined by MCRHC#1 and state criteria.
          • Students and staff with symptoms related to COVID-19 must be safely and respectfully isolated. Students should remain in isolation with supervision and care until picked up by an authorized adult.
          • CDC, NJDOH and MCRHC#1 Isolation and Quarantine guidelines will be followed.
          • If the school district becomes aware that a COVID-19 positive individual has spent time in a district facility during the contagious period, the district will follow strict COVID-19 Contact Tracing procedures.
          • Prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year, three temperature scanning machines were purchased and placed in the schools. Devices were placed at strategic entrance points to the school and have been used all year for all staff, students and visitors as they entered the building. These scanners are able to digitally check individual body temperatures using a forehead or wrist scanner. The continued use of these devices for the 2021-22 school year is yet to be determined.
      7. Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students, if eligible 
        • Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students, if eligible: Our district was able to partner with our neighboring districts and the local VNA, which provided the opportunity to have our staff vaccinated starting in February 2021. The process initially focused on individuals that fell into a high risk category, and then the process expanded to include all staff members given the opportunity to receive the vaccination. To date, over 80% of all district staff have been fully vaccinated. Many of our middle school families have made the decision to have their children (ages 12 and up) vaccinated as well. We encourage vaccinations for all of our students, staff, and community members.
      8. Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to the health and safety policies
        • The CST reviewed each Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) as we implemented Hybrid, virtual and in-person programs to assure that goals and objectives could be achieved and addressed any pandemic-related learning issues on a case-by-case basis. Appropriate accommodations were considered by the IEP Team and IEP’s were amended as needed and required by federal law. In addition, related services such as OT, PT and Speech were integrated into a child’s virtual programming to address specific goals and additional Hybrid, virtual and in-person instructional sessions scheduled to ensure that the recommendation minutes of instruction were delivered. We will continue to monitor progress in each student's goals and objectives in the 2021-22 academic year and we will continue to make any accommodations needed to ensure their continued health, safety, and learning.

    Ensuring Continuity of Services

    1. Describe how the LEA will ensure continuity of services, including but not limited to services to address students’ academic needs and students’ and staff’s social, emotional, mental health, and other needs, which may include student health and food services. 
      • We will continue to utilize our multi-tiered system of support for academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs.
      • We will utilize formative assessments and other district data to address students’ individual learning gaps and needs.
      • We will implement our ESY and Summer School Support Programs with a focus on targeted instruction for identified students and students referred by teachers. This population includes all three tiers of students.
      • We will implement continued social and emotional learning and focus on wellness programs for students and faculty throughout the next school year.
      • We will provide free lunch to students and make referrals for social services as appropriate.

    Public Comment

    1. Describe how the LEA sought public comment on its plan, and how it took those public comments into account in the development of its plan. Note, the ARP requires that LEAs seek public comment for each 60-day revision to the plan. 
      • The public will have the opportunity to comment on the plan at the board of education meeting scheduled for June 24, 2021. Prior to the meeting a draft of the proposed plan will be shared with the community. Input from the public will be taken into consideration by the board of education and district administration and, if warranted, changes will be made in the draft plan.
    2. Describe how the LEA ensured that the plan is in an understandable and uniform format; is to the extent practicable written in a language that parents can understand or, if not practicable to provide written translations to a parent with limited English proficiency, will be orally translated for such a parent; and upon request by a parent who is an individual with a disability as defined by the ADA, will be provided in an alternative format accessible to that parent. 
      1. The Shrewsbury Borough School district will provide translation services and assistance to any parent, guardian, or member of the public upon request.