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Dodger Update, 4/10 - Phase 2 and 3 Update; Budget Update
Mark Schwarz
Saturday, April 10, 2021

Madison School Community Members,

I hope that your students have all enjoyed a much-needed Spring Break! It has been wonderful to have them back in school well-rested. While it may seem as though June 18 is around the corner, there is much important learning yet to take place. Please remain diligent in supporting your children in their studies and safe behaviors throughout the spring. 

In today’s message I will be sharing important information regarding our Phase 2 and Phase 3 planning, as well as some important updates and opportunities for parents to support our district efforts. 

COVID Rates have continued to rise over the past month, but have taken a recent downward turn.

Throughout March, rates rebounded and almost reached the peak levels that occurred in January. While the CALI report still shows us at “High Risk” there is a data lag of approximately one week in what is reported; the actual rates in our region, county and schools have declined this past week. Please continue to exercise diligence, however, avoiding high risk gatherings and keeping students home if someone in your household becomes sick or is exposed to COVID-19 (call your school nurse for guidance). We must all do our part to maintain this downward trend. 

MHS and MJS full enrollment transitions will be delayed temporarily until rates fall to “Moderate Levels”

According to revised NJDOH guidance, secondary schools should maintain six feet of distance between students as much as possible while our region is rated at “High Risk” in the CALI report. If rates continue to fall at the current pace, we anticipate that we will return to a “Moderate Risk” level within the next two weeks. Accordingly, MHS will not begin to schedule full enrollment days until we reach that level. Similarly, the MJS transition to Phase two will be tentatively delayed until Monday, May 3

In the meantime, any MHS or MJS parent or student that is concerned that they are not thriving in a hybrid schedule can contact their guidance counselor for consultation to determine if a five day schedule is appropriate for them at this time. 

TJS, CAS and KRS transitions to Phase 3 will be delayed for one week

We are very excited to increase in-person learning levels for our elementary students, however due to faculty quarantining needs and many teachers experiencing vaccine reactions, our staffing levels are temporarily strained. As the transition to the new extended day schedule will necessitate higher staff in-person attendance levels, we are postponing the transition date from Monday, April 19, to Monday, April 26, to allow our many recently vaccinated staff members to clear the 14 day period required for “fully vaccinated” status. Once fully vaccinated, staff members will not need to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19. Information regarding details of the transition will be shared with parents by the end of next week. As a reminder, some features of the new schedule include:

  • Extension of the in-person school day to 2:15pm

  • In-person instruction for all science, social studies and special classes

  • The elimination of pre-recorded lessons for in-person students

  • Increased movement, snack and mask breaks

The 2021-22 Proposed Budget will sustain current programs and offer ventilation and educational improvements. 

The Madison Board of Education approved the 2021-22 Tentative Budget on March 16. If you were not able to attend, you can view the budget presentation on our website or watch the Board meeting recording. If you are interested in learning more about the Final Budget, please join us at the April 27 Special Board Meeting for the 2021-22 Final Budget Hearing at 7pm. 

Substitute teachers and full-time teacher assistants are needed; please share!

Even when not in a pandemic, maintaining a strong substitute teacher and teacher assistant base is a challenge. If you or someone you know is interested in joining the Madison Public Schools team as a substitute teacher or full time teacher assistant, please share the following information with them:

  • For Substitute Teachers:

    • Requirements: 60 college credits; Criminal history background check; Substitute certificate

    • Please follow the instructions through our staffing service ESS regarding how to obtain a substitute certificate, conduct fingerprinting and complete processing. If you have any questions, please contact Confidential Secretary Jen Biondi at biondij@madisonnjps.org

  • For Teacher Assistants:

    • Requirements: 60 college credits or qualification test; Criminal history background check

    • Please apply online through our website under Administrative Departments > Human Resources > Employment Opportunities

MPS is now accepting tuition student applications for the 2021-22 school year

Tuition students at Madison Public Schools become a part of our supportive and high-achieving learning community that endeavors to see all students flourish. As an added benefit, their enrollment in our schools improves our financial resources, enabling us to expand our educational offerings even further. If you know someone that does not reside in Madison but is interested in sending their child(ren) to our schools on a tuition basis, please encourage them to visit our website at District Overview > Attend MPS as a Tuition Student. Our rates are more affordable than many private alternatives and we welcome an opportunity to meet with families that would like to learn more. 

Thank you for taking the time to read all of this information. Please continue to read about the many opportunities and programs taking place in our district through the school’s weekly updates to stay invested in your child’s education and well-being. Parents, students and school staff form a powerful partnership - together, we are Madison Strong. 

Enjoy the weekend. We look forward to seeing you again soon! 

Upcoming Events:

Mon, Apr 19 - Superintendent Coffee, 7pm - (Rescheduled from 4/21)

Tues, Apr 20 - Regular Board Meeting, 7pm

Tues, Apr 27 - Special Board Meeting for Final Budget Hearing, 7pm

Tues, May 11 - Regular Board Meeting, 7pm

Wed, May 12 - Superintendent Coffee, 7pm