• September 24, 2021

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    Today marks the end of twice weekly phone updates.  Beginning next Friday, and continuing each Friday thereafter, you can expect an emailed EBPS Update that recaps weekly COVID cases and close contacts.  Our district COVID Dashboard will be updated to reflect those changes, as well.  I will reserve future telephone calls for time sensitive, critical information. 

    Now your Friday COVID Update:

    For the period Tuesday, September 21st at noon through Thursday, September 23rd, I have the following positive cases, with no associated close contact quarantines, to report:

    • 1 staff member positive at Central Elementary School 
    • 1 student positive at Irwin Elementary School

    In addition, I have the following positive cases with associated close contacts:

    • 1 staff member positive at Chittick Elementary School with 6 close contacts
    • 1 staff member positive at Chittick Elementary School with 18 close contacts
    • 1 student positive at Hammarskjold Middle School 7 close contacts
    • 1 student positive at East Brunswick High School with 3 close contacts
    • 1 student positive at East Brunswick High School with 4 close contacts
    • 1 student positive at East Brunswick High School with 3 close contacts
    • 1 student positive at East Brunswick High School with 6 close contacts

    September 21, 2021

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools with important information:

    All of our positive COVID cases have originated outside of schools.  In an ongoing effort to increase the protection of our school community, after this evening’s in-person ELA Back to School Night, we will make all elementary Back to School Nights virtual beginning next week.  You will hear more details from your elementary school’s principal.

    To our high school 10th grade parents:  For the time students will be eating in the auditorium to facilitate appropriate spacing , trays are available each lunch period for their food items, whether from home or school, and students are reminded throughout the lunch period that trays are available should they need one.  

    We know this alternate eating environment is an inconvenience but be assured that we continue to evaluate each day to ensure we can provide the safest possible environment for all students.  We will continue to make adjustments as conditions permit with health safety and physical safety continuing to be our priorities.

    Parents of students who are fully vaccinated should send proof of their child's vaccination to their school's nurse.  This will help expedite our contact tracing.

    Please continue to check our East Brunswick Road Forward, Health and Safety Guidance document in the second tile on the homepage of our website.  It is updated frequently.

    Now your Tuesday COVID Update:

    For the period Friday, September 17th at noon through noon today, Tuesday, September 21st, I have the following positive cases, with no associated close contact quarantines, to report:

    • 1 student positive at Churchill Junior High School
    • 3 students positive at East Brunswick High School

    In addition, I have the following positive case with associated close contacts:

    • 1 student positive at Chittick Elementary School with 8 close contacts

    Setpember 17, 2021

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools, 

    With your COVID Update:

    For the period Tuesday, September 14th at noon through noon today, Friday, September 17th, I have the following positive cases, with no associated close contact quarantines, to report:

    • 1 student positive at Hammarskjold Middle School
    • 1 student positive at East Brunswick High School

    In addition, I have the following positive cases with associated close contacts:

     1 student presumed positive at Central Elementary School with 2 close contacts

    • 1 student positive at Lawrence Brook Elementary School with 3 close contacts
    • 1 staff member positive at Lawrence Brook Elementary School with 6 close contacts
    • 1 staff member positive at Churchill Junior High School with 2 close contacts

    Over the past two weeks, transportation has added new students to the busing routes and have been responding to parental inquiries in the order that they have been received.  Please be sure to check your parent access for updated bus pass information.

    September 14, 2021

    For the period Friday, September 10th at noon through noon today, September 14th, I have the following positive cases, with no associated close contact quarantines, to report:

    • 3 students positive at East Brunswick High School

    In addition, I have the following positive cases with associated close contacts:

    • 1 student positive at Irwin Elementary School with 8 close contacts
    • 2 students positive at Warnsdorfer Elementary School with 11 close contacts
    • 2 students positive at Churchill Junior High School with 4 close contacts

    The East Brunswick Education Association is hosting a vaccine clinic on Monday, September 20th at Hammarskjold Middle School from 4 - 8 PM for any person choosing to be vaccinated.

    It is open to students, staff, and family members.  You must pre-register using this link:  https://hipaa.jotform.com/212346519520148

    All three vaccines will be available while supplies last - Pfizer (ages 12+), Moderna (ages 18+), and Johnson & Johnson (ages 18+). 



    Attachments:
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    September 10, 2021

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    Yesterday, among students who attended school we had:

    • 1 student positive for COVID at Chittick Elementary School with 9 associated close contacts
    • 1 student positive for COVID at Irwin Elementary School with 8 associated close contacts

    I will continue weekly information reporting each Thursday afternoon and will refer to our COVID dashboard where we will house updated COVID cases and quarantines.  Our dashboard will be reactivated Monday afternoon, September 13th.  

     

    September 9, 2021

    Good Evening East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    As I traveled throughout the district today it was great to see students back in schools.

    I have one critical reminder for tonight.  If your child has been tested for COVID-19, either by a physician or by your choice, please do not send them to school until you receive the results of their COVID test. 

    Efforts like this will greatly reduce our close contact quarantines.

    Thank you for your support.

     

    September 7, 2021

    Good Evening East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools, with critical information you need to know before we return to school this Thursday, Sept. 9th.

    We must reopen schools for full days of instruction.  We do not have any options for single session days without lunch.

    Parents and guardians cannot request a virtual instruction option for their children this year.

    We are not taking temperature checks when students come into schools because for the entire last year taking temperatures did not reveal a single positive case of COVID-19.

    All the ventilation systems in our schools, with the exception of the high school, have been replaced with upgraded classroom heating and air conditioning systems since 2015.  Each of them meets or exceeds the recommended air quality standards and industry indoor/outdoor air exchange rates.  High school classrooms have been individually evaluated.  Additional ventilation was placed in rooms that required it. 

    Results of our latest Ambient Indoor Air Quality Evaluation can be found in the bottom tile on the homepage of our website.

    MERV rated filtration is installed and routinely replaced throughout our schools and facilities, designed for each specific unit and its application.  Higher rated MERV-13 filtration is in our rooftop units servicing large common areas.

    HEPA filtration is in our nurses’ offices and in designated quarantine rooms where ill students will be staged, with supervision, and isolated from the school population until they can be picked up by families.

    Breakfast and lunch service will be tightly orchestrated.  Students will make their selections while wearing masks.  They will take their bagged and portable lunch selections to their assigned areas or seats, remove their masks only to consume their food and then reapply their masks.  Our upgraded cafeteria tables have a single seat for each student, thereby ensuring consistent spacing while eating.  Cleaning and sanitizing will continue as they did last year and especially between lunch periods.

    Principals have been directed to move lunch activities outdoors, weather permitting and with safety precautions in place.  Portable canopies will not be used.  They are safety hazards in windy conditions and encourage gathering instead of spreading out.

    Each principal has an alternative plan to move students into non-cafeteria indoor settings or classrooms.  We continue to recruit and hire additional cafeteria aides so as the weather gets colder we can safely continue to spread students out for lunch. 

    Please remember to send your child to school with a serviceable mask and a backup, both for on the bus and in school.  We will have spare masks if they require one.

    Finally, if any member of your immediate household is sick or your child is sick, do not send them to school until they have been evaluated by a physician.  Call your school nurse if you are unsure.

    We look forward to welcoming students back this Thursday.  Remember that some bus routes may run slightly slower on the first two days of school.   

     

    September 2, 2021

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools, with the beginning of new informational phone calls and emails as we start a new school year.  My routine informational calls will be reserved for Thursday afternoons at 4 PM.  The associated emails will always be labeled "EBPS Update", followed by a date.  When I call at other times it will be critical and time sensitive information that may need your attention. 

    First and foremost, I want to assure the East Brunswick community that maintaining the highest level of health safety will be the foundation for every other decision we make for the entire school year.  We have already seen an increased demand for answers to specific questions and we are seeing the same questions asked by different members of our community.  We may call you if your question is family specific or we believe that a conversation is more effective than an email...especially if additional questions arise from the conversation.

    We have proven that EBPS can remain safe with a layered COVID mitigation strategy and plan.  The partnership and trust between community and schools has been the hallmark of our past successes and I hope we can, once again, navigate this school year as a team.  My goal is to return all students to academic, athletic, artistic and social school experiences in a safe atmosphere.

    When to Stay Home:

    Please keep your child home to be evaluated by a physician if anyone in your immediate household:   

    • Has tested positive (viral test) for COVID-19.
    • Is sick.
    • Is not fully vaccinated and has had close contact with a person with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

    Call your school nurse if you have questions about your child’s illness, potential COVID exposure or a known positive COVID test or close contact.

    Transportation: 

    School buses are school property.  Masks must be worn by all passengers on buses, regardless of vaccination status, per CDC’s Federal Order. 

    Masks:

    Masks are required in all school settings, including school board meetings, by the Governor’s Executive Order 251, dated August 6th, unless an individual is exempted under certain specified circumstances identified in the Order,  Exemptions requiring medical documentation are further clarified in Executive Order 253, dated August 23rd.

    The most effective fabrics for cloth masks are tightly woven such as cotton and cotton blends, breathable, and in two or three fabric layers. Masks with exhalation valves or vents, those that use loosely woven fabrics, and ones that do not fit properly should not be used.

    Masks should be washed after every day of use and/or before being used again, or if visibly soiled or damp/wet.

    Disposable face masks should be changed daily or when visibly soiled, damp or damaged.

    Students should have additional disposable or cloth masks in case a back-up mask is needed (e.g., mask is soiled or lost during the day).  Schools and buses will have supplies of back-up masks.

    Clear masks that cover the nose and wrap securely around the face may be considered in certain circumstances including for the teaching of students with disabilities, young students learning to read, or students in English as a second language classes. 

    Appropriate and consistent use of masks may be challenging for some individuals, however, mask use is required for all individuals in indoor school settings with the following exceptions:

    • When doing so would inhibit the individual’s health, such as when the individual is exposed to extreme heat indoors;
    • When the individual has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance;
    • When a student’s documented medical condition or disability, as reflected in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Educational Plan pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, precludes use of a face covering;
    • When the individual is under two (2) years of age;
    • When the individual is engaged in activity that cannot physically be performed while wearing a mask, such as eating or drinking, or playing a musical instrument that would be obstructed by a face covering;
    • When the individual is engaged in high-intensity aerobic or anaerobic activity;
    • When a student is participating in high-intensity physical activities during a physical education class in a well-ventilated location and able to maintain a physical distance of six feet from all other individuals; or
    • When wearing a face covering creates an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.

    An Informational Note:

    The artificial turf on our HS athletic field was severely damaged by heavy rain storms August 22nd and 23rd.  The surface is not usable and competitions have been rescheduled to other schools. We intend to secure the turf area in order that school and community use of the track may continue.

    One Final Reminder:

    Properly worn masks are required at tonight’s in-person school board meeting.  You will not be permitted to attend the in-person meeting without properly wearing a mask.

    August 26, 2021

     

    Good Morning East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools, with a few important pieces of time sensitive information as we approach the opening of schools for full days of instruction, with lunch, beginning Thursday,  September 9th.

    Dr. Dana Zimbicki and the East Brunswick Education Association have organized a series of COVID-19 vaccination events in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) and East Brunswick Public Schools (EBPS).

    Pfizer (ages12+), Moderna (ages 18+) and Johnson and Johnson (J&J) (ages 18+) will be all administered in the Hammarskjold Middle School (HMS) cafeteria beginning tomorrow afternoon.

    • Tomorrow, Friday, August 27th, from 2-6 PM, anyone 12 years or older, may receive the 1st dose of a Pfizer vaccine and those 18 years or older may choose between Pfizer, Moderna (2 dose vaccines) or J&J (1 dose vaccine).
    • The second dose, for those receiving either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine tomorrow, will be on Monday, September 20th from 4-8 PM, again in the HMS cafeteria.

    COVID-19 boosters (those are third vaccinations for those individuals who have been fully vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna doses 1 and 2 or the J&J single dose for approximately eight months...or sooner if you are immunocompromised) will be administered in the HMS cafeteria on:

    • Friday, October 22nd, from 4-8 PM and
    • Monday, October 25th, from 4-8 PM

    Pre-registration is preferred but walk-ins will be accepted. I encourage every eligible person to get vaccinated.  Everyone’s health depends on it.

    Additionally, please continue to refer to the top left tile on the home page of our district website titled, Important School Opening Guidance for the 2021-2022 School Year.  Download The Road Forward document to activate the hyperlinks in the searchable table of contents.

    This is a living document and is routinely updated to reflect clarifications to questions from members of the community, changes in Executive Order (E.O) mandates, as well as new health, safety and quarantine guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NJDOH.



    Attachments:
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    August 20, 2021

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    I would like to provide a few updates and school opening guidance as we approach our first day of school which is Thursday, September 9th.  Student forms that need to be completed annually are now available through Parent Access. 

    All forms need to be submitted no later than Wednesday, September 1st.  If you do not have internet access, please reach out to your child’s school for assistance. 

    On Friday, August 27th at 3 PM, student schedules and teacher assignments will be available through Parent Access. 

    Our school opening guidance document titled East Brunswick, The Road Forward, Health and Safety Guidance for 2021-2022 School Year has been designed to make it convenient for you to search answers on specific topics surrounding our opening of schools this year.  

    One final note for today – East Brunswick is a great place to work!  Please view our openings on the district website, including our Food Service job fair scheduled to take place on Wednesday, August 25th.

    August 14, 2021

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This Is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.  It is not normally my practice to share information on a Saturday but nothing about this past year has been normal.

    I am aware of the continued community debate about the requirement for masks as we return to school September 9th.  As the Governor announced August 6th, all students, staff and visitors to schools must be masked.  This is an enforceable Executive Order mandate (E.O. 251) that began last Monday, August 9th.

    Regardless of what you have seen or heard in the press about what other districts are planning to do, East Brunswick Public Schools will follow the Executive Order.  That is what I and the Board of Education are charged to do, by law and by oath.  The masking mandate applies to all public, private, and parochial preschool programs and elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools.

    The Governor said publicly that he hopes to be able to lift Executive Order 251 as soon as it is safe to do so.  Regardless of your beliefs, by last June the rapid decline of positive COVID-19 cases in our schools, as the direct result of masking and vaccinations, was undeniable.  

    I am asking for your help - to work together, as we have always done, to mask up your children, for what we hope will be a shorter duration, to protect every student, every staff member, every visitor and every family in our school community.

    Thank you. 

     

     

    August 6, 2021

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    As Governor Murphy shared this afternoon at Memorial Elementary School, masks shall be worn by staff and students, grades Pre-K-12, while being transported on buses or while in district schools, regardless of vaccination status, as we open for the 2021-2022 school year.

    We will post and I will communicate additional information as we approach the opening of school on Thursday, September 9th.

    Have an enjoyable weekend.

     

    July 28, 2021

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools, with some very good news.

    In case you have not already heard, our missing student, Aarav Batra, has been safely returned home.

     

    July 28, 2021

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools, with an urgent request for your help in locating a missing East Brunswick student.

    Last evening, Aarav Batra, a 13-year-old male Churchill student, was reported missing in the area of Pelham Place.  He was wearing light blue Nike shorts, yellow sandals and a hunter green t-shirt with a pickup truck and Christmas lights on the left breast.  If you have any information regarding his whereabouts, please contact the East Brunswick Police Department immediately at 732-390-6900. 

    I also want to encourage the East Brunswick Community to register for Civic Ready messaging which can give you immediate critical updates from a variety of Township agencies. You can sign up in just a few minutes at eastbrunswick.org by clicking on “Register Here” under the New Notification System section at the top right corner of the Township web page.

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