Roselle Public Schools hosts parent forum on safe reopening procedures

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ROSELLE, NJ — Roselle Public Schools administrators joined with a panel of experts on Tuesday, Aug. 3, for an informational forum for parents to discuss safe reopening procedures, ahead of the upcoming school year.

Hosted in the Abraham Clark High School auditorium as well as via Zoom, the event led by Superintendent of Schools Nathan L. Fisher and Assistant Superintendent Lissette Gonzalez-Perez provided a brief overview of what life will look like in the district come September.

The administrators were joined by RPS facility manager Kelvin White, architects Anthony and Matthew Gianforcaro, district physician Dr. Richard Bezozo, Michael Litvin from Get Pure UVC, John Braley and Isaac Mulvhill-Delos from Mulvhill-Delos, Staci O’Brien from Spruce Industries, Glenn Rothstein from Bio-Shine and Ralph Coppola from Pennoni.

The panel featured representatives from companies providing the school district with air purifiers, cleaning supplies and UV-light cleaning units. With no remote instruction being offered for the upcoming school year, unless otherwise directed by the state Department of Education, it has been a collaborative effort to ensure the safety of all members of the school community, Fisher said.

“We are focused on creating the safest possible environment for the more than 3,000 members of our community that will be returning to our schools,” he said. “This effort comes in many forms. For example, throughout the summer, the district has been working on improving air flow within the schools and navigating other challenges that come with in-person instruction.”

As of now, students will be in the classroom full time for the 2021-22 school year. Students and unvaccinated staff will be required to wear masks, and the district’s school uniform policy will remain in place.

“Many of our students have been out of the classroom for 15 months, so the continuation of wearing school uniforms will provide students with a much-needed sense of normalcy and structure,” Gonzalez-Perez said.

The district has established emergency closure plans for multiple scenarios, administrators said, in the event that COVID-19 case numbers again begin to rise. Social distancing will still be enforced as much as possible, and administrators at the middle, junior high and high schools are looking into creating student cohorts to further enhance learning.

“Reopening has been a collective effort, and full time, in-person learning will be challenging. We will need support from the entire school community to navigate through this school year together,” Fisher said. “Life in this pandemic is always changing, and we are trying our best to provide answers with the guidance we are provided.”

White, the district’s facilities manager, reported that all facility windows work properly and that ventilation has been provided in bathrooms without windows. He also reviewed the classroom sanitation process, which includes disinfecting desks and other work spaces, sanitizing rooms with a chlorine sprayer and additional protection from UV-light cleaning units.

To view the parent forum presentation, visit www.roselleschools.org/2021/08/05/parent-forum2021/. Roselle Public Schools plans to host an additional information session at the end of August. Visit www.roselleschools.org for updates.

Photos Courtesy of Liv Meier

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