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    October 27, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools, with what is quickly becoming your daily update...this one for Tuesday, October 27th.

    Early this morning we had a self-report of a high school student with a positive case of COVID-19. The student is in our Remote Learning Model and has not been in school.  Nonetheless, I wish this student and every other member of our community who has contracted this virus a complete recovery.  

    Even though we do not have other school related “close contacts” to report, we do take every measure to ensure our contact tracing uncovers any interactions with other EB students outside of our school operations.

    Let me assure our community that, once again, we have avoided person to person transmission of COVID-19 within our schools and they remain safe places to be.  It is clear, (you can see this on our COVID Dashboard, posted on the homepage of our website), that the virus transmission affecting our students is occurring outside of school and our challenge everyday is keeping it out of our school environment.

    In addition to rapid self reporting, our quick and aggressive quarantining of identified “close contacts” is allowing us to safely continue school operations in spite of multiple reported positive COVID cases.  To date, our identified “close contacts” have presented as being completely healthy and our quarantine protocol to isolate each of these individuals for 14 days, while they monitor themselves for COVID symptoms, continues to prove that we can keep the remainder of our schools’ populations safe. 

    In fact, since we have opened schools, we have no known positive cases of COVID-19 among our quarantined “close contacts”.  Individuals who have been in close contact switched to remote learning and have safely reentered schools at the conclusion of their quarantines.

    Our system is working but it will only remain that way if each of us continues established safe practices...wear a mask, wash and sanitize your hands frequently, maintain social distancing when possible, monitor your family’s health, if your child is in the Hybrid Learning Model do not send them to school, in person, if anyone in the family unit is ill or symptomatic of COVID or the flu...and of course, rapid self reporting so we can initiate immediate contact tracing and quarantining.

    Thank you for being on the team to help keep EBPS safe!

     

    October 26, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools with updates for Monday, October 26th. (This is a corrected copy!...sorry)

    Today, we immediately responded to two student presumptive positive COVID-19 cases.  This resulted in 24 students and 12 staff being identified as “close contacts” between Irwin Elementary School and Churchill Junior High School.  All of these individuals will be quarantined. 

    While these numbers appear large it is important to emphasize that by our aggressive quarantine protocols we have avoided any person to person transmission of COVID-19 within the EBPS community.  To date, all positive COVID cases have resulted from contact outside of schools.

    With the approaching student breaks, November 2nd-6th and Thanksgiving, November 26th and 27th, I know we will have challenges returning from each event.  If you have traveled to a state or country that is listed as a destination that requires quarantine when you return to NJ...please follow those guidelines like our school district operations depend on it...because, frankly, it does.

    I know avoiding opportunities outside of your family or social bubble is hard during this time of year, especially as we all begin to move back inside as the weather gets colder.  Please remember that rapid self-reporting has been our strength.  If anyone in your family is ill or has flu-like symptoms, do not send your school aged, Hybrid Learning Model, children to school until they have been evaluated by a physician and are cleared to return to school.

    Depending on circumstances that change by the hour, I want to prepare you that we may need to make operational adjustments for a school, multiple schools or even the entire district if we begin to experience an increase in lab confirmed positive cases among our schools’ populations. 

    One last reminder, forms to change your child’s learning model in Parent Access close tomorrow morning at 9 AM.  You can move from Remote to Hybrid or Hybrid to Remote and if you are not making a change at this time you do not need to do anything.

     

    October 24, 2020

    Good Evening East Brunswick Community, 

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools, with updates for Saturday, October 24th.

    I am sorry I am way past my typical 2 PM deadline.  We just completed notifications after we were informed earlier today that members of one of our varsity teams were in “close contact” during a competition this past Tuesday, with an opposing player who began feeling symptomatic the day after the game and has now tested positive for COVID-19.

    All of our identified athletes are being quarantined as “close contacts” and as of today, none of them have tested positive for COVID.

    Immediate precautionary actions like this protect the rest of the team and our schools' populations.  Understandably, I have intentionally avoided identifying the team affected to protect identification of the athletes in quarantine.  All individuals directly impacted by this event have been personally contacted.  Again, this is a “close contact” protocol and we do not have any known positive COVID-19 cases among any EB students resulting from our team’s competition. 

    While I have you, just a reminder that if you are making a learning model change for your child, and only if you are making a change, whether from from the Remote to the Hybrid Learning Model or from Hybrid to the Remote Learning Model…you still have time to make changes but the forms, in Parent Access, will close at 9 AM, this coming Tuesday, October 27th.  

     

    October 22, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools, with your update for Thursday, October 22nd.

    Last evening we had our first positive COVID case within our Administration Building.  The individual, along with the department they work in, will quarantine for 14 days.  Because of our preplanning, the entire department can work remotely and district operations will not be impacted.  We also have one high school student quarantining as a "close contact" to a positive COVID case outside of school.

    Yesterday the CDC revised their definition of a “close contact”.  The clarification now states an accumulation of contacts that add up to 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period, all occurring less than 6 feet, with an individual known to have a positive COVID-19 lab test result, makes a "close contact".  We immediately began applying the new CDC guidance standard.

    As always, I am committed to keeping you informed and I appreciate that you will do the same for us.  If you have been in the presence of someone you just discovered has a positive case of COVID, you are a "close contact" if your interactions were within six feet and you think the total time of all your encounters was 15 minutes or longer...and you will need to quarantine for 14 days.  Beyond testing and wearing masks, rapid communication reinforces our defense against the spread of COVID within our school community.

    Thank you for everything you have done so far to help us create and maintain a safe environment in EBPS.  Let's keep it up!  

     

    October 20, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools with a critical update....one that you have been waiting for.

    As promised in our Restart and Recovery Plan to Reopen our schools, our Learning Model selection form will be reopened in Parent Access this evening if you wish to change from the Remote Learning Model to the Hybrid Learning Model...or if you wish to change from Hybrid Learning Model to the Remote Learning Model with an effective date of November 17th, which is the beginning of the second marking period.  If you are not making a change at this time you do not need to do anything.

    Concurrently, we are planning to combine secondary (HMS, CJHS and HS) Hybrid Learning Model Teams 1 and 3 and will also combine secondary Hybrid Learning Model Teams 2 and 4.  This will allow hybrid students to attend two days, be virtual two days then repeat the cycle. 

    Currently, secondary hybrid students attend two days and are virtual for six days.  Effective November 17th, secondary hybrid students will attend two days, be virtual two days, attend two days and be virtual for two days during the same window of time.  This will double secondary students’ face to face time in the Hybrid Learning Model but still preserve the sibling alignment built into our structure so older siblings can be home with younger siblings.  All other features of our instructional day, Grab and Go meals, as well Early Morning Program and After School Kids offerings remain unchanged. 

    This is very important...combining secondary teams will be deferred if we have any increase in positive COVID cases among our EBPS population or we encounter any person to person transmission of COVID within our schools’ communities, during the two weeks prior to November 17th,

    Here is the recap of the important dates:

    • October 20th - Learning Model Selection Forms will be reopened (If you are not making a change at this time you do not need to do anything)
    • October 27th - Learning Model Selection Forms will be closed at 9 AM.
    • November 10th - Communication regarding assignment of students moving from remote to hybrid will be sent to families.
    • November 17th - Second marking period begins with combined secondary teams 1 and 3, along with combined secondary teams 2 and 4, if the rate of positive COVID cases remains minimal and contained from spread within EBPS.  

     

    October 15, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools with a COVID update for today, Thursday, October 15th.

    Earlier today we had a self-report of a positive COVID-19 result for a Lawrence Brook student.  They had not been in school since October 8th because they were already quarantined as “close contact” to a family member.

    Now, because of this positive result seven students and six teachers, all who provided support in the classroom at varying times, will quarantine.

    I never like reporting another positive case of COVID.  I wish our student’s healthy return to school and want to highlight how the effectiveness of rapid self-reporting is allowing us to continue operating schools.  

    Increased opportunities for travel and gatherings are upon us.  Continue to monitor your family’s health.  If anyone in your family is ill and your children attend the Hybrid Learning Model, keep them out of school until they have been evaluated and cleared by a physician.

    I want to thank our community.  Let’s keep up the good work.  It is working for us.

     

    October 14, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.  Please allow me to share two important pieces of information.

    Parental and Staff permissions for our random COVID-19 testing program pilot with Middlesex County are available now.  A parent letter describing the program is attached.  Parents and guardians can access the forms for their children on Parent Access.  A separate letter and form will be sent to our staff. 

    The purpose of this program is to identify COVID-19 positives early and begin quarantining so we can protect the rest of our student and staff populations.  This is important as we continue to plan for greater frequency of face to face instruction for our Hybrid Learning Model students early in the second marking period.

    If you are an athletic parent this piece of information will be important to you.  I am aware of rumors circulating throughout our community about the future of athletics in EB.  I have not made any recommendation to modify, alter, suspend or discontinue any athletic offering.  There is no vote scheduled before the Board and none can be taken without a recommendation from me.

    As you can imagine, I monitor data that supports my decisions.  As I stated in a recent media report about athletics, it is my responsibility to keep the Board of Education informed.  As I have shared with the Board, to date among 673 athletes, we have not had a single student athlete to athlete COVID transmission.  

    So why is this important?  As we are about to begin Winter sports season with indoor practices and competitions, adhering to our established athletic safety protocols, without exception, is the only way we can successfully continue our path to our full recovery of all school activities. 

    Imagine it like this...our excellence in Academics, Athletics and Arts surrounded by an Atmosphere of trust in each other that we will continue the safety practices and rapid self-reporting we have established to protect everyone’s health.  If we do that, we will continue to accomplish the improbable...because we are EB and that is what we do. 



    Attachments:
    messages/attachments/6ad7432fc1dad49974df9d390ceb07db/Voluntary_COVID-19_Testing10142020.pdf 

     

     

    October 13, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools with an update for today, Tuesday, October 13th.

    Late this morning we were notified that a high school student tested positive for COVID-19 and will be quarantined for 14 days.  They had not been in school for a significant amount of time so we do not have any subsequent “close contacts” to report.

    As with every case of COVID, I wish our student a complete and healthy recovery.  I will use this opportunity to reaffirm again the importance of self reporting.  It is working for us and our continued safe operation of all our schools and athletics is dependent on continued, timely, self-reporting and quarantining.  Our next student and staff break is November 2nd-6th.  If you are traveling to quarantine states, identified on NJ.gov, or leaving the country you must quarantine upon your return and especially before any return to school.  Working together we can remain safe and continue all of our operations.

    Have a great rest of your day.

     

    October 9, 2020

    Good Evening East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    We have just been informed that one of our varsity athletes has a lab confirmed positive case of COVID-19.  The team will quarantine for our mandatory 14 day period. The student athlete has not been part of our hybrid learning model and has not been in school.  

    Based on guidance I received yesterday from the Middlesex Department of Health and CDC, we will no longer need to quarantine any contacts of “close contacts” for 72 hours so our quarantine group will be confined exclusively to our varsity team.   

    Again, we have one athlete with a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 and the rest of the team members are being quarantined as “close contacts” per NJDOH and CDC guidelines.

    Additionally, we were informed today that Hatikvah International Academy Charter School in EB is moving to remote instruction until October 26th because two of their students tested positive for COVID-19.  I confirmed that neither student is an EB resident nor did they ride our district provided buses.

    This serves as an important reminder for all of us as we begin another weekend of activities outside of school...if your child or any member of your family is exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 or even the flu, please keep your child home from school until they have been examined and cleared by a physician.   Thank you for what you are continuing to do, as a community, to ensure we can keep our schools open.

    Have a safe weekend. 

     

    October 8, 2020

    Good Morning East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    This morning’s call is entirely informational.  You may have heard yesterday that EBPS is partnering with Middlesex County and East Brunswick Township to offer random COVID-19 testing.  We will only test students with parental consent or staff with their consent.  Consent will continue throughout the 2020-2021 school year unless it is revoked.  I will communicate next week when we launch the consent forms for both students and staff.

    By next week we are putting two important pieces of information on our website:

    We will populate our own COVID-19 dashboard so our school community has accurate, real-time information about active COVID cases impacting our schools and associated 14 day quarantines for identified “close contacts”. (less than six feet of distancing for 15 minutes or longer with person having a lab confirmed positive COVID-19 test)

    We will be publishing our air quality test results, from an independent consultant, that certified our air quality was safe for school opening.

    For our Churchill families, school will continue in virtual format again tomorrow because of teacher staffing impacts resulting from quarantines this week.  Again, Mr. Hanas, Principal, will share specific details for CJHS students and families later today.

    For our Memorial Elementary families, we have a complete internet and phone outage caused by Comcast work in that area.  They are working to immediately resolve the outages.

    Have a great rest of your day.



    Attachments:
    EB_Schools_COVID-19_Testing_Pilot_Program-_Press_Release_FINAL_10.7.20.pdf (181.5 KB)

     

    October 7, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools with an important EBPS update.  I am sorry this messaging is later than the 2 PM time frame I previously shared with you. 

    Late today, we were notified that members of one of our athletic teams were in “close contact” with a player from the opposing team, during competition this week, who tested positive for COVID-19 today.  This will require the affected members of that team to quarantine for 14 days.  

    It is important to note that our student athletes are being quarantined  as “close contacts” and we are not aware of any positive COVID-19 cases among any of the EB team members at this time. 

    We have a significant number of teachers who had been contacts of those “close contacts” this past Tuesday and they must quarantine for 72 hours.  Because we will have a shortage of teachers who can be in the building for the face to face component of our hybrid learning model.  CJHS will be closed for in-person learning activities but will operate from a virtual learning environment tomorrow, Thursday, October 8th for all students and staff.

    Specific details for the Churchill students and staff regarding tomorrow will immediately follow this message from Mr. Hanas, Principal CJHS.

     

    October 5, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools with another EBPS update.

    To the extent that I can, any communications related to positive COVID-19 and associated “close contact” notifications will be sent at 2 PM on the days they occur.

    Today I must report:

    A confirmed positive COVID test result for a Frost student.

    Additionally, we have presumptive positive COVID’s for one Churchill student and one high school student. 

    When we identify “close contacts” we are following current CDC guidelines...less than six feet of distancing from a person with a positive COVID-19 test result for 15 minutes or longer.  Close contacts for today’s events are:

    Frost:  6 students and 3 staff

    HMS:  2 additional staff from this past weekend’s exposure.

    Churchill:  14 students and 16 staff

    EBHS:  11 students and 8 staff

    Among Athletics:  17 student athletes will quarantine for 14 days and an additional 53 student athletes will quarantine for 72 hours because they were contacts of “close contacts”.

    I want to assure the EB community that we have taken immediate proactive measures to quarantine all “close contacts” relative to today’s cases.  The number of identified students and staff is significant because it includes two presumptive cases that we are acting on out of extreme caution and for the protection of our schools’ populations.

    None of the positive or presumptive COVID cases reported today are the result of person to person transmissions within our schools.  We have documented that these transmissions have occurred outside of schools. 

    Today represents the scope of challenges we must overcome to continue operating our schools.  I am confident, as we rapidly address positive COVID-19 cases in our schools and quarantine all known “close contacts”, we can continue to maintain the safe environment we have established in EBPS.

     

    October 4, 2020

     

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    This morning we completed notification of impacted students and teachers after receiving a self-report of a positive case of COVID-19 with a Hammarskjod Middle School student.  In total, 14 students and nine teachers will quarantine for our mandatory 14 day period.

    I want to acknowledge the prompt notification by the impacted family.  Their quick action was exactly the response needed to ensure that we can continue to operate all our schools safely.  In this case and along with every other one we will have in the future...and undoubtedly we will have more, I pledge our support to our students, their families and our staff...so they may recover quickly and completely, continue to stay connected to their classes and return to school when it is safe to do so.

    Thank you for your continued vigilance.  Colder weather and fewer opportunities to socially distance outside will bring new challenges.  Together, let’s continue the practices we have proven to keep ourselves safe.

    Have a great rest of your weekend.    

     

    October 1, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools...happily, with your September update!

    After opening our schools and remaining open for the entire month of September, I want to thank the EB community for your resolve and commitment to keeping our student and staff populations safe.  Self reporting of “close contacts”, positive cases of COVID-19 in your families or travel to quarantine states or countries are absolutely critical as we begin planning for the next phase of our recovery.  

    As promised in our Restart and Recovery Plan to Reopen our Schools, families have the opportunity to reselect the learning model for their child for the second marking period which begins November 17th.  If it helps in your decision making...during the first month of school we have had one confirmed positive student COVID case and one false positive staff COVID case. Our contact identification and tracing is working. 

    As you can see, it is through our collective efforts as a school and community that we are able to achieve such a significant outcome...but our work is far from over.   As we begin to reintroduce more students to schools' populations, our continued vigilance becomes even more important.

    I feel confident that we have created a safe environment in EBPS.  If you would like to reselect your child’s learning model, moving from full time remote to hybrid, we are ready to welcome them for face to face instruction.  We are requesting all changes to your child’s learning model selection be completed in the Parent Portal.  A new form allowing your changes will be active the week of October 19th and all forms requesting changes must be completed by the end of the school day, October 26th.  These changes will be effective November 17th.

    If you are not making changes to your child’s learning model selection you do not need to complete any form at this time.

    I wish you all a great evening.

     

    September 22, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    Today, I must report we have three confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 impacting EBPS.  It is extremely important for you to know these positive COVID cases were not from transmissions within our schools.  They occurred outside of school.  I believe we have created very safe environments in all our facilities, with robust cleaning and sanitizing, supported by our well thought out protocols.

    One case had direct contact with selected teachers and students on Team 3 at EBHS and that resulted in 10 teachers and 27 students being quarantined as “close contacts”.  This illustrates the far reaching impact a singular positive COVID case can have on our schools and our ability to safely remain open.  

    Additionally, we have two cases from local athletic teams, not related to EB schools, testing positive for COVID-19 and they have in turn created  “close contacts” at Central, Chittick, Lawrence Brook and Memorial Elementary Schools, as well as Hammarskjold Middle School which includes our ELA, Before Care and and After School Kids programs.

    All impacted staff and students have been notified and placed in quarantine.  I cannot overemphasize the critical nature of immediate reporting of either positive COVID-19 test results or "close contact" situations outside of school.  If your child or family has been in the presence of a known positive COVID-19 individual or family, keep your children home and call us immediately so we can guide you with next steps for your child’s reentry to school.   If your child presents flu like symptoms please keep them and their siblings home until they have been evaluated and cleared by a physician. 

    Thank you for your continued vigilance and support in this critical effort.

     

    September 14, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    Today is a continuation of my ongoing effort to keep you informed about our recovery to reopen our schools.

    Between Friday evening and this morning we have had additional self reports of “close contacts” with persons having diagnosed positive cases of COVID-19.  One staff member at Central Elementary along with students at Chittick and Memorial Elementary Schools have reported. 

    I anticipate that “close contact” notifications will become one of our new routine occurrences so I wanted to share our district protocol going forward. Notifications of “close contacts” will be communicated by each building principal to whomever is appropriate for each particular circumstance. 

    Known positive COVID-19 cases, within our school community, will be treated with the highest priority for school community communication directly from me.  For everyone’s health and safety please continue to immediately contact your child’s principal to inform us of a "close contact" or a diagnosed positive case of COVID-19.  

    If your child, or someone in your household, is experiencing flu-like symptoms please keep children home until they have been evaluated by a physician and have been cleared to return to school.  It will take all of us working together each day to protect our school population and continue to keep EBPS open. Thank you for continuing to partner with us in this critical effort.

    Have a great rest of your day.

     

    September 11, 2020

    Good afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    Earlier this morning we had two separate high school student self reports with “close contacts”, of individuals testing positive for COVID-19, outside of school.  Close contact is defined by the CDC as being less than six feet from a person testing positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or longer.  Following our protocol, the students have moved to virtual learning until their 14 day quarantine periods expire.  All EBPS staff who had contact with these students this past Tuesday and Wednesday have been notified.  We believe the risk in these cases are minimal but we treat each case like these with the highest degree of caution.  Again, there is no report of any student testing positive for COVID-19.  These are two independent self reported close contacts.

    Another reason for my communication is to reinforce that self reporting is working and if we build a culture that promotes immediate notification of any “close contact”, we will have the capacity to keep our entire school district population safer...and that means we can keep our schools open.  This directly impacts our ability to begin to consolidate cohorts and bring more students into schools when state guidance and science permits us to do so.

    As we complete our first week, thank you to everyone for supporting our collective efforts to reopen East Brunswick Public Schools.  As I visit schools I see everyone following the plan we created.  That makes me proud and as a community you should be proud too because you are integral partners in our continued success.  Help us by being vigilant over the weekend and into next week.  Early notification of close contacts equals a safer school environment.

    Have a safe weekend.

     

    September 9, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    We are aggressively following our established protocols when a student or staff member has been identified as a “close contact” to someone who tested positive for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and attended school before we received notification.  We coordinate closely with public health officials and our own district physician, following CDC, state, and local health department guidance in order to assure the health and safety of our community. 

    Today we were notified that several students, representing several schools, were “close contacts” to someone testing positive for COVID-19 outside of EBPS and they attended schools yesterday, September 8th, as part of hybrid cohorts.  As a precaution, those students and their siblings will quarantine for 14 days and participate virtually.  They must remain symptom free before returning to school.

    At this point none of these students have tested positive for COVID-19. They are being treated as “close contacts”.  According to the Middlesex Department of Health, any potential for COVID-19 transmission is mitigated by the precautions we have in place - wearing masks, six feet of distancing and frequent cleaning.  

    In fact, cleaning and disinfecting of all exposed areas has been completed. Each school is also taking precautions to prevent the introduction and spread of viruses and other germs and is cleaning frequently touched surfaces daily.  

    We understand the level of concern regarding COVID-19. You should continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention promoted safeguards, such as: 

    • Staying home when you are sick; 
    • Washing hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds; 
    • Covering coughs and sneezes and properly disposing of tissues; 
    • Limiting close contact with people who are sick and not sharing food, drinks and utensils; 
    • Practicing social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart); 
    • Wearing a face covering while in school; and 
    • Continuing to monitor your health for symptoms. 

    As always, we appreciate your support and cannot overemphasize the importance of immediate notification if you or a member of your family has been in close contact with a person testing positive for COVID-19.  In fact, our school district success in remaining open depends on immediate notification of "close contact" or positive COVID-19 test results.

    You can assist us by remaining vigilant but sensible in your approach to dealing with this health concern.  We do not have any immediate cause for concern but I thought it was important that you hear the precautions we are taking directly from me.

     

    September 4, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    Here we are, the last workday before students return to the new school year...a year like no other before.  There are so many people with sweat equity invested in our opening.  Our school board (who met at least weekly before this week) teachers and nurses (who have been in this week preparing), support, maintenance and custodial staff, bus drivers, School Security Officers, administrators and especially each of you...representing the community we serve.  Without your support our re-opening would not have been possible.  

    I know and accept the enormous responsibility for what we are about to accomplish.  We have the plan...the time has come to implement the plan.  We will do it safely...

    EDI Indoor Air Quality Evaluation for EBPS 

    with the flexibility to make immediate and thoughtful decisions that improve the teaching and learning environment for our students and staff.

    Thank you East Brunswick Community...We are ready to go! 

    Welcome Back Video

     

    August 29, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools...this time in response to a media article published this morning that questioned our safe return to school.

    Here are the facts on our EBPS ventilation system:

    We have always been proactive in assessing, evaluating and improving our indoor air quality and we will continue that endeavor as an ongoing practice beyond the restart of our schools.    

    We worked hard to exceed every checklist item on our Restart and Recovery Plan to Reopen Schools...because every one of our students and staff, as well as the entire East Brunswick Community deserve that level of attention and commitment, especially to environmental safety.  The state's approval of our plan solidifies that commitment from me and every member of my administrative team...every single day.

    There has been a lot of discussion about the type of filters we use in our district HVAC systems.  We always have used the highest rated filters that meet each of our system's operational specifications.  HVAC filters have Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value or (MERV) as defined by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).  

    No filter can act as a singular prevention against COVID-19.  Filter upgrades remain possible components of a comprehensive approach to environmental safety if they do not impede the critical indoor/outdoor air exchange rates of the HVAC systems where they are installed.  

    In addition to upgrading all our facility Roof Top Units (RTU’s) from MERV 8 to MERV 13 filtration, we continue to exceed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/indoor-air-and-coronavirus-covid-19 to ensure the highest environmental safety standards in all our facilities by:

    1. Reducing Room Occupation…Our highest occupation, as we start school, will be less than 25% in elementary schools.
    2. Wearing masks.  For our population, 100% of the occupants will wear masks; 100% of the time.
    3. Maintaining 6’ distancing.
    4. Cleaning, on a routine schedule, all classroom and facility hard and touch surfaces.
    5. Vacuuming all floor surfaces with a HEPA vacuum cleaner.
    6. Electrostatically spray cleaning rooms with a hospital grade disinfectant.
    7. Maintaining HVAC unit operations to ensure optimum indoor/outdoor air exchange rates.
    8. Practicing and reinforcing routine hand washing and sanitizing.  We have installed portable hand wash units in all schools to augment our restroom facilities.  Disinfecting spray and hand sanitizer are in all classrooms.  

    I wanted you to know our buildings exceed the published safety protocols for occupancy by students and staff and we look forward to welcoming back our students who have selected the Hybrid Learning Model.

     

    August 27, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    I want to provide a few updates as we approach the opening of school.

    Student forms that need to be completed annually are now available through Parent Access.  Both Hybrid and Virtual students need to complete all forms by Thursday, September 3rd.  If you do not have internet access, please reach out to your child’s school for assistance.

    Tomorrow, Friday, August 28th, elementary parents will be able to access homeroom teachers and student rotation groups for in person learners, through Parent Access, after 3 PM and secondary schools, grades 6-12, will send information on rotation group assignments, for in person learners, by the end of the day.   

    Next week, secondary schools will notify parents when student schedules will be available on Parent Access and all parents will receive information from their child's principal with information about the first days of school. 

     

    August 25, 2020

    Good Morning East Brunswick Community, 

    This is Victor Valeski Superintendent of Schools and Danielle Blalock, Supervisor of Student Services.

    The East Brunswick Public School Nurses are working to ensure safety protocols for the opening of schools.  Please enjoy the video, my department created, which will help you and your family understand our expectations and safety protocols that will remain in place as we come back into our schools and buildings.

    The link to the YouTube video is in the email associated with this message.

    https://youtu.be/aIxWWGzDQiY

    The health and wellness of all students and staff remain our number one priority during our recovery. 

    We wish you all a great afternoon and rest of your summer.

     

    August 18, 2020

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    We clearly heard from members of the school community at last Thursday’s board meeting, the desire to have a “town hall” type forum to discuss our upcoming school year...whether it is the "In-Person Hybrid" learning model or "Full-time Remote" learning model.

    Please join representatives of the administrative team at our Education Breakout, tomorrow, Wednesday, August 19th from 6-8 PM, on YouTube at https://youtu.be/ahg_hmLpuFY 

    The link will also be posted at the top of the homepage of our website.

    You will be able to use the “chat” feature in YouTube to ask questions in our moderated community forum.  Don’t forget to check the Frequently Asked Questions in our Restart & Recovery Plan to Reopen Schools tile on the homepage of our website.  A variety of questions, with answers, have already been posted there and we intend to keep that feature active for your immediate reference.

    Because the deadline to respond to each child’s Restart and Recovery Plan selection was extended to yesterday, Monday, August 17th, cohort placements will now be distributed the last week of August.

    I also wanted to share the following important administrative changes in EBPS:

    • Matthew Hanas, former Assistant Principal at East Brunswick High School, is the incoming Principal for Churchill Junior High School;  Mark Sutor will continue to assist the transition until his retirement in January. 
    • Russell Petronko, former Assistant Principal at Hammarskjold Middle School, is the incoming Assistant Principal for East Brunswick High School.
    • Christine Sce, former Assistant Principal at East Brunswick High School, is the new Principal for Chittick Elementary School.

     

    Victor Valeski,

    Superintendent of Schools