Posted on

Acting Superintendent Dr. Gorman Suggests “Snow Days” Are Here to Stay

photo courtesy of Ridgewood Police Department

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, at Mondays Ridgewood Board of Education meeting Dr. Gorman thanked the Board for the tremendous opportunity to serve as Acting Superintendent and shared that he looks forward to working cooperatively on the district and Board of Education goals as we navigate through this unprecedented time. He also thanked Dr. Fishbein for his guidance and wisdom over the years and wished him a happy and well-deserved retirement.

Since 1890, the Ridgewood Public Schools have served this community well. This district has seen many challenges including two world wars and now its second pandemic. With each challenge, the educators, students, and parents have prevailed. The Ridgewood Public Schools have been well prepared for this hybrid learning environment.  The teachers and students have continued the quality of education that is expected throughout the district.

Dr. Gorman shared that we are extremely proud of the high-quality lessons being provided by our faculty and staff and the incredible work being submitted by our students. The quality of education the students are receiving and will continue to receive is a certainty.

The Ridgewood Public Schools are known for their tradition of excellence.  This motto reflects more than academic content learned, whether in the classroom or virtually.  Its excellence derives from the solidarity of the students, faculty, staff, and community during difficult times; the culture of kindness, gratitude, and love for others; the relationships students nurture among their friends; and the connections created every day between students and teachers. Moving forward, the months ahead will bring their challenges, but by working together, we will succeed.

Dr. Gorman spoke about the snow day due to the recent storm and explained that, with the virtual environment, we have another option available to us. The school year is 180 days, and the district builds 184 days into the calendar to accommodate such closures.

Dr. Gorman also provided a brief COVID update. He thanked Dawn Cetrulo, Health Officer/Director, and her colleagues at the Village of Ridgewood Health Department. Dan Kilday, Supervisor of Wellness, has worked closed with the health department to determine the best course of action when COVID cases are reported to us. The school nurses have all been trained as contact tracers, and they have done a fantastic job helping us in this process.

Last week, Ridgewood moved back down into the yellow (moderate) COVID activity category. This is good news for us, particularly as we see surrounding areas in the orange or red category. Each case is reviewed on an individual basis. Unfortunately, we have two unknown cases at Ridgewood High School; therefore, the high school transitioned to all remote instruction beginning December 22 with a return date for in-person instruction on January 4.

The district is implementing new protocols for how to use shared equipment in art, music, science, and wellness classes. The health department and school physician have reviewed these protocols.

4 thoughts on “Acting Superintendent Dr. Gorman Suggests “Snow Days” Are Here to Stay

  1. He started well by giving us this snow day but then pulled the unexpected closure a day after public meeting.
    At the meeting we were told that Ridgewood is doing good and our covid cases are goiy down and then he announced closure until Jan 15th.
    There is no immediate elevated threat level increase and he closes the schools until Jan 15th?

  2. I agree with most of what Gorman said on Monday evening up to the point of declaring Ridgewood being in the yellow zone with other nearby areas being in or close to being in the red zone. Sounds a lot like Fishbein speak… It is hard for me to believe Ridgewood somehow has done a great job with about 80 reported virus cases over the last two months when equally populated school districts have had proportionally less positive cases than Ridgewood and had already decided to close for an interim period until mid January to fight the spread of the virus and by doing such, to maintain the safety of the staff and students of those school districts.
    Something or someone must have influenced Dr Gorman to have a change in heart, as in just 18 hours after making those comments, Dr Gorman did a 180 and closed the schools until Jan 19th. This decision in my opinion was long overdue by the Ridgewood BOE but indeed welcomed by those of us who watched this train wreck develop over this past month. Hopefully, our community will be responsible over this holiday break and if so, I would have more confidence in the reality of a safe opening come Jan 19th 2021.

  3. I saw hundreds of kids (and adults) NOT social distancing and NOT wearing masks while sledding.

    These are the same hypocrites who “mask-signal” but know that masks are largely useless and are just a form of social control and to make people feel like they are “doing something to help”.

  4. With regard to expanding the virtual learning and the closing of schools I have three points to make: Science, The Problem, and A Solution.
    First the Science: The CDC says Covid19 is not a serious problem for adolescents and less a concern for children under 10. How do we know this to be true? Not one child in New Jersey between the ages of 5 and 17 has died. Pretty convincing I’d say. After June the NJ hospitals basically found a very successful treatment for Covid19 reducing the morbidity 10X. Current policy: The governor and his Health officials have declared that going to restaurants, box stores, Walmart, most retail stores, bars, and gyms is an acceptable risk if you two things wear a mask and do social distance. This is the NJ health policy when 50 people a day were dying for the last month.
    Summarizing science; Covid is not a concern for kids and a big concern for adults, the medical community can treat Covid fairly successfully, and public health policy for Covid is masks and social distance. The kids are OK, it’s the adults at school we’re concerned about. What I don’t know is how many teacher and school employees have died since September. September, because after June the medical community got a handle on this. I ask you that provide that data. Really what we want to know is; what is the teacher morbidity rate? If 50 people per day dying is the State acceptable risk and we have 200,000 school employees (1/50 of the NJ population) what’s acceptable for a contagious deadly disease (ILI)? 1 per day, zero per day? Be careful if you choose zero. Denying death puts you in a pretty small box.
    The problem:
    Numerous researchers have shown that virtual/remote learning is substandard education. The data is there. Although we probably didn’t need the researchers to tell us what the kids, parents, the teachers, administrators already knew. National studies all find remote learning is substandard. Kids are turning off the audio playing video games, or their video and doing who knows what with their girlfriends, and much more while they are zooming. They also show that remote learning disproportionally hurts the minorities, ethnics, Blacks, Hispanics, the underprivileged, and single parent students. Disproportionally hurting minorities/ethnics is reprehensible. The NJ State Department of Education makes this policy systemic and effectively requires school districts to provide an education that discriminates against the underprivileged and minorities. The incredible part is the NJEA wants even more remote and discriminatory virtual education. And don’t tell me the political leaders and teacher associations are ignorant of the facts that this is a discriminatory policy.
    The Solution:
    Putting 25 kids next to each other in a classroom, with masks, is not a health problem. The CDC says so. But the adult in the room may be a problem. Remember the NJ health officials say you need two things. Masks and distance. So give the teachers, bus drivers, and school employees a KN95 mask and tell them to social distance 6 feet. Measure temperature of the persons entering the building and you’ll have an acceptably safe environment. To fix the systemic discrimination policy of the State Dept. of Education, petition the State to open the schools. Then send a letter home to all parents stating that the District schools are open to the disadvantaged, poor, minorities, single parent children 5 days a week. And anyone else who wants to attend 5 days/week is welcome. Your schools will fill up in two weeks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.