Borough of Hopatcong School District – Important Community Updates on Reopening Plans

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On July 29. 2020 Superintendent Mr. Arthur DiBenedetto and Assistant Superintendent Mr. Joseph S. Piccirillo provided important updates on the Borough of Hopatcong reopening plans, survey results, movement of personnel within the district, and other key important information that you need to know.

HSD 07 29 2020 Movie CoverThe following are the key topics covered and we urge all parents to please watch the video to understand all of the changes and their options as Mr. Arthur DiBenedetto states at the beginning of the video, the keywords right now are “Plans need to stay Fluid and allow for the needed change” as they work with Parents, Teachers, and Students for the best possible solution for everyone involved.

Highlights from the Video: Watch the Video

  • Mark your Calendars for two new Community Single Issue Meetings:

Single Issue Meeting #1: August 18, 2020 (6:00 PM)

To provide more updates, and most importantly answer everyone’s questions on the reopening

Single Issue Meeting #2: August 27, 2020 (6:00 PM)

Based on the additional questions from meeting #1, they will tie everything together in the second meeting as the final plan

Please continue to contact the Superintendents Directly with any questions:

They are handling about 50 questions a day from parents, which are helping to round out the plan and add to the online Q&A, so please keep the questions coming.

Superintendent Mr. Arthur DiBenedetto

(973) 398-8801 adibenedetto@hopatcongschools.org

Assistant Superintendent Mr. Joseph S. Piccirillo

973) 398-8802 jpiccirillo@hopatcongschools.org

Recent Survey Results: Total of 798 Responses

Survey Question #1: Will you send you kid(s) back to school or prefer virtual learning?  24.9% intend to use Virtual Only

Survey Question #2: Will you have difficulties in Childcare under the plan: 31.6% Yes it would provide a significant difficulty

Survey Question #3: Will you kid(s) ride the bus? Only 36.2% will take the Bus

Reopening Plans:

The district will open a few days after Labor Day, depending on any additional changes from the Governor. The current District plan was created by multiple sources of committees and input and is currently on the website (https://sites.google.com/hopatcongschools.org/covid-19/). The site was demonstrated during the video as to where to get the information, and that is updated daily based upon new information.

Every School day will be an early dismissal day as PE/Health/ Gym and Lunch have been eliminated

Students will be organized into four different groups:

A Weeks: A Students that attend the first week, and learn virtually the next week

B Weeks: B Students that attend the second week, and learn virtually the other week

Note: The groups alternate each week A’s or B’s only in school for that week

V Students: Will learn virtually each week

All Students: Special Groups of Students that will be attending every day

NEW INFORMATION: Parents can now change their mind at any time to change between the groups by notifying the Superintendents

Assistance with Child Care:

AlphaBest LogoThe school district is currently working with “AlphaBEST” on their ability to provide both childcare, and attention to their virtual learning lessons for that day. The School District is hoping that some of the costs could be subsidized for the parents (still in the works).

School District is looking to hire:

  • Substitute Teachers
  • High School Secretary to the Principal
  • English Language Arts Teacher Grade 7
  • Special Education at the Middle School

The transition of Current Employees

  • Jeffrey Hallenbeck moves to District Administrator under the Superintendents
  • Carolyn Joseph will be retiring
  • Emil Binotto will be out on medical leave
  • Stephanie Martinez (Science Teacher) will assume the temporary role of Principal of Grades 9th - 12th
  • Several Secretarial changes are being made

New Hires:

  • New Additional Nurse that will be roaming the schools as a back-up

Updates to the School District:

  • All lighting will be changed to LED lighting ($68,000 annual savings)
  • New Outdoor Track has been Installed
  • All new items have been ordered for the Cosmetology Lab
  • New Fitness Center is now Complete
  • Cell Tower Revenue will allow for new Tennis Courts to be installed by the Senior Center

In Closing:

Thanks to the Community for their understanding of the fluidity of the situation and the fact that somethings have to change.

The support of the Board of Education has been outstanding, they have been efficient and trusting and he is thankful their participation has been on such a trusting nature

We humbly ask they everyone continue to provide feedback; they will try and accommodate everyone possible

Please do not forget the two upcoming meetings on August 18th and 27th (listed above)

Single Issue Meeting #1: August 18, 2020 (6:00 PM)

To provide more updates, and most importantly answer everyone’s questions on the reopening

Single Issue Meeting #2: August 27, 2020 (6:00 PM)

Based on the additional questions for meeting #1, they will tie everything together in the second meeting as the final plan


 

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