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O.C. Schools Superintendent Updates on Coronavirus Response

Dr. Kathleen Taylor (Photo courtesy JASM Consulting)

Dear School Community:

The COVID-19 situation is evolving quickly and it’s important that the Ocean City School District gives accurate information and factual steps that we are taking as a School District.

As the Governor said, “This is not a time to panic, but a time to prepare.”

And that is what we have and will continue to do.

Over the past few days, our district administrative team have participated in conference calls with the Governor, the Commissioner of Education and the New Jersey Department of Health.

In addition, our district administrators have met with the City of Ocean City and the Office of Emergency Management. The Cape May Superintendents met with the County Education Office and the County Health Department regarding COVID-19.

We have been instructed to follow the guidelines of the Cape May County Health Department, who follows the advice, guidelines and directives from both the CDC and the New Jersey Department of Health.

We discussed the evolving COVID-19 situation, specifically what to do if a district is ordered to close by the County Health Department.

According to the New Jersey Department of Education guidance, in the event the district is provided a written directive by either the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) or the County Health Department to institute a public health-related closure, and we provide our remote learning plan to the County Education Office, then we can count those days closed as part of our 180 student days.

If the NJDOH or the County Health Department doesn’t order us closed, and we close, we have to make up those days by June 30.

Please know that we have submitted our remote learning plan to the County Education Department.

Our remote learning plan allows us to maintain continuity, provide instruction and be a model of what is necessary in today’s technological age, while keeping our community safe.

In order to help us plan and prepare for the potential of remote learning, we ask parents please complete the technology survey that was sent out via SWIFT K-12, and was also sent home with our K-8 students.

If we are instructed to close, families will receive an email from your building principal regarding specifics to your student’s learning materials and expectations.

Please also know that we are following the Cape May County Health Department’s recommendations regarding school activities, including the cancelling of field trips.

At this time, the recommendation by the Cape May County Health Department is to cancel or postpone all large school events.

The school nurses have posted reminders to wash hands, how to wash hands in the bathrooms and are giving demonstration lessons to our younger students.

The custodial staff continues to do deep, extensive cleanings of all of our schools. The district also utilizes top of the line cleaning and sanitizing protocols including:

  • In addition to regular custodial cleaning, all high touch areas are being cleaned with EPA approved disinfectant chemicals on a daily basis
  • Clorox Total 360 Machines are deployed in each school and are being utilized daily
  • Odorox units are in service in the nurses’ offices and wellness rooms
  • Bathrooms are being disinfected daily
  • Clorox Disinfecting Wipes have been distributed in classrooms throughout the District. These were provided in the event staff would like them available to supplement the cleaning plan already in place by our custodial staff.

This week, the Ocean City Free Public Library will be visiting the Primary and Intermediate Schools to ensure each student has a current library card.

The library card will give our students online access to resources besides the ones that our District provides to students.

You will receive more information regarding the library cards from the Building Principals.

Finally, it is most important that we keep informed from reliable sources, have the facts in hand, and avoid spreading rumors. Talking to your children about preventative measures, like hand washing, is important.

This conversation helps children understand that these important measures keep health and wellness a top priority.

Please know that our District’s approach is to respond as quickly as possible to evolving situations with the facts.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation,

Dr. Kathleen W. Taylor