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Dodger Update, 5/29 - School Security, COVID, Super. Coffee Updates
Dodger Update, 5/29 - School Security, COVID, Super. Coffee Updates
Mark Schwarz
Sunday, May 29, 2022

MPS families,

I hope this message finds you healthy and well, ready to enjoy a peaceful Memorial Day honoring and celebrating those that have given their lives protecting the freedom and opportunity that we enjoy as American citizens.  On behalf of MPS and the Board of Education, I would like to thank our local veterans, reservists, and active duty military personnel for their service to our country and community. 

Today’s update includes timely information pertaining to school security, as well as other important topics of which parents should be aware. Please also be sure to review this month’s Education Update and Take 5 Briefing from the May 24 Board meeting, after considering the following: 

Please join us at our next Superintendent Coffee, scheduled for Monday, June 20, 2022, for a discussion regarding our school security measures. 

The recent tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, has shaken many of us and returned our collective attention to the topic of school violence. Accordingly, our June Superintendent Coffee will focus on the coordinated efforts between MPS, the MPD, and other emergency response agencies to put in place best practices in violence prevention. Such current practices include, but are not limited to, visitor restrictions, panic alarms, external door security, our school resource officer (SRO) program, our anonymous reporting system (RSVP-3 app), electronic screening software for students accounts, school-embedded mental health supports, school climate initiatives, and a variety of procedures whereby individuals are evaluated and supported when concerning behaviors emerge. We will also address future improvements that are currently in development. We hope to see you on June 20 at 7pm via Zoom. 

Please download the “RSVP-3 Morris County, NJ” app

School security is the responsibility of all of our community members and suspicious activity reporting is a foundational component of ensuring that school and law enforcement officials are able to respond proactively and effectively if someone is on a path to violence. Our schools and the MPD have vetted and tested the RSVP-3 system and found it to be efficient and well-supported. Please use it to anonymously report any concerning behavior. If you become aware of a threat that requires an immediate response, you should call 911. 

May’s Superintendent Coffee held on Monday, May 23, addressed a variety of community concerns, including COVID-19, facilities planning, and new Health and PE standards.

All Superintendent Coffee recordings and presentations are available on my Superintendent page. The recording from Monday, May 23, includes commentary related to COVID updates (5:08), facilities referendum planning (12:23), and NJ’s new Health and Physical Education Standards (20:08). Any community members that are interested and or concerned regarding any of these topics should take time to listen to the respective discussion within the recording.. 

COVID-19 activity remains at the “High” level in our county and region.

All Madison community members should be aware that the CDC recommends indoor mask wearing when COVID activity reaches a “High” level, however MPS will not be requiring universal masking in school without an executive order from the Governor. While mask wearing is an important option for students, and some students in some circumstances may still be required to wear masks, we do not believe it is appropriate to require in-school restrictions that go beyond what is expected for the general population outside of school. Universal masking and distancing mandates have an observable, negative impact on student learning and well-being. Optional mask-wearing, however, has been established in our schools as a normal, appropriate, and stigma-free practice that will remain in perpetuity to provide for the comfort and safety of concerned individuals. We remain committed to ensuring that no students or staff members are stigmatized for their decision to wear a mask or not wear a mask. 

Madison Public Schools is in need of P/T and F/T Substitute Teachers and Teacher Assistants for our 2022 Extended School Year summer program and the 2022-23 school year.

If you or someone you know is interested in an opportunity to work with students and become a part of our school community, then please consider the important work of substitute teachers and teachers assistants. Our school district is in dire need of individuals to serve in these critical capacities on a part time or full time basis. If you are able to join our team to support our staff and students as a substitute teacher or teacher assistant, please contact Confidential Secretary Jenifer Biondi at biondij@madisonnjps.org.

Thank you for taking the time to consider all of this important information. With June on the horizon, I would like to wish everyone a joyful Pride Month, a very happy Juneteenth, and a wonderful close to the school year. We look forward to seeing you during these last few days of 2021-22. 

Sincerely, Mark Schwarz

Superintendent of Madison Public Schools

Upcoming Events:

  • May 30 - Schools Closed - Memorial Day

  • May 31 - Schools Closed - Staff Professional Development

  • June 14 - Last day of school

  • June 20 - Superintendent Coffee

  • June 21 - BOE Meeting

  • July 18 - Superintendent Coffee

  • July 19 - BOE Meeting

  • Aug 22 - Superintendent Coffee

  • Aug 23 - BOE meeting

  • Aug 29 - First day of school

  • Sept 5 - Schools Closed - Labor Day

  • Sept 19 - Superintendent Coffee

  • Sept 20 - BOE Meeting

  • Sept 26 - Schools Closed - Rosh Hashanah

  • Oct 5 - Schools Closed - Yom Kippur

  • Oct 17 - Schools Closed - Staff Professional Development

  • Oct 17 - Superintendent Coffee

  • Oct 18 - BOE Meeting

  • Nov 10-11 - Schools Closed - NJEA Convention

  • Nov 14 - Superintendent Coffee

  • Nov 15 - BOE Meeting

  • Nov 24-25 - Schools Closed - Thanksgiving 

  • Dec 12 - Superintendent Coffee

  • Dec 13 - BOE Meeting

  • Dec 26-Dec 30 - Schools Closed - Winter Break

  • Jan 3 - Board Reorganization Meeting