Posted on

Ridgewood Public Schools pivot to a Mask-optional Policy for Students, Faculty, Staff, and Visitors

February 28, 2022

 

Dear Ridgewood Public Schools Community,

 

The District has updated its health and safety protocols in response to the State mandate requiring in-school universal masking that will expire on March 7, 2022. These changes have been made in consultation with the Village of Ridgewood Health Department and the School Physician after careful review of the revised NJDOH guidance.

For the past two years, the District has followed the guidance on pandemic protocols for schools provided by state and local officials, and we will continue to do so. That being said, the lifting of the mask mandate and the updated guidance have given districts flexibility and the opportunity to make adjustments that balance community protection and personal choice. If circumstances evolve in such a way that poses concern, the District will work with the local health department to establish specific revised protocols.

K-12 Mask Policy in Schools

Effective March 7, 2022, the Ridgewood Public Schools will pivot to a mask-optional policy for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Please note the exception under Isolation/Quarantine. Research shows that masks offer strong protection against the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses. Anyone who chooses to continue to wear a mask should feel comfortable and welcome to do so, and those individual choices will be respected and supported. For families who choose to continue to wear masks, we ask that you discuss your expectations with your child. Please recognize that this is an agreement between you and your child; teachers and staff will not manage each family’s mask expectations.

Glen School and Infant Toddler Development Center (ITDC) Mask Policy

While the Ridgewood Public Schools are pivoting to a mask optional policy, students at Glen School and ITDC will not be required to wear masks. However, since they are not eligible to be vaccinated, masks are strongly recommended.

Transportation Mask Policy

While the NJDOH recommends masks to be worn on school buses, it is no longer required by the CDC and will be up to the comfortability of each family and individual.

COVID Screening

COVID testing will continue to be offered on Wednesday afternoons at Benjamin Franklin Middle School. Testing will be available to staff members from 3:00 – 3:30 p.m. Students and community members may take advantage of on-site testing from 3:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Isolation/Quarantine/Mask Requirements

The NJDOH recommendations for Isolation and Quarantine remain the same. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or who have COVID-19 compatible symptoms should stay home and isolate for five (5) full days (day 0 is the first day of symptoms). Masks should be worn in school on days 6-10. Those students who are unable or unwilling to mask should stay home for the full 10 days and not return to school until day 11. View the infographic on the website.

Contact Tracing

The Village of Ridgewood Health Department will continue to conduct contact tracing protocols. The current quarantine guidelines remain in place for students and staff members who are not fully vaccinated and are identified as a close contact.

Cleaning/Disinfecting Procedures

All spaces will continue to be cleaned daily using the three-step process, which includes use of hospital-grade disinfectant on hard surfaces.

Lunch

Lunch protocols at each building will continue to be flexible, and adjustments will be made based on staffing and space.

Preparing the Students

To prepare the students, building principals will be implementing school-based activities and messages to ensure a smooth transition for all. Students are still reminded to continue to watch their distance and wash their hands.

COVID Dashboard/Reporting

The COVID Dashboard on the District website will continue to be updated daily to reflect any cases that are reported to the District; however, the daily email notifications to the RPS community will be discontinued as of March 7, 2022.

Final Words

We appreciate your cooperation throughout the past two years as we have pivoted and adjusted to ongoing, evolving situations. The high vaccination rates in Ridgewood and our region combined with a significant decline of local COVID-19 metrics have brought us to a point where we feel confident that we can take a significant step toward returning to normalcy in our schools.

Respectfully,

Thomas A. Gorman, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

6 thoughts on “Ridgewood Public Schools pivot to a Mask-optional Policy for Students, Faculty, Staff, and Visitors

  1. Next order of business…drop the close contact quarantine for unvaccinated. Get all the kids back to school.

    12
    2
  2. Sad day for the left and teachers union for losing control of our lives. In 8 mths the red tide will be fun to watch.

    9
    4
  3. “pivot”

    blatantly focus-grouped term

  4. The CDC data on 5-11 year olds is sickening.
    What we know now: cloth masks kids wear do not work. Total virtue signaling.
    The vaccine for 5-11 year olds gives you a month of protection, and in fact, the data shows unvaccinated kids had less infections.
    No safety data, no efficacy data and idiots around here got their kids shot up with the experimental therapeutic drug when they had no risk. Idiots and should be identified so we know who around here abuses their children.

    13
    3
    1. Absolutely sickening how they rushed their little kids to get jabbed. Crazy retards.

      8
      3
  5. Covid management has been the primary talking point for the Dems from the time of DT to now. They are only panicking and loosening the rules now because the poling data looks terrible. Hey Dems, you might want to spend some time fixing the far bigger problems of Woke policies, out of control crime, and the likes of AOC.

    5
    2
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.