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Novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Update: March 31st, 2020

Novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update:  Tuesday, March 31, 2020

On Monday, March 30th Nickelodeon hosted a one hour special called The Kids’ Guide to Coronavirus with Kristen Bell, which Lore Principal Kawalek watched with her family and recommended.   Here is the link to the program: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAhfsC73JgM

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Novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update:  Friday, March 27, 2020

28 free virtual field trips and activities for families in quarantine - These are great links!

https://www.wearethemighty.com/MIGHTY-SURVIVAL/free-virtual-field-trips-quarantine

While the world is sorting out the new normal of social distancing, parents everywhere are also trying to do it with full-time jobs, and in many cases, no child care. For the first time in most of our lifetimes, schools have been shut down for extended periods, and no one really knows when it will end. Moms and dads are suddenly finding themselves wearing far too many hats: parent, employee, caregiver and teacher are just naming a few.

Science & Exploration

World Image

NASA is offering a slew of STEM activities for grades K- 4. Activities range from building foam rockets to solving space station emoji puzzles. Parents can also download coloring sheets and books for younger kids.

https://www.nasa.gov/stem-at-home-for-students-k-4.html

Discovery Education offers free virtual field trips complete with companion guides and hands-on learning activities. For example, kids can explore Polar Bears And The Tundra or take a look behind the scenes of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas

https://www.discoveryeducation.com/learn/tundra-connections/

Take a trip to Mars. Explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover. The site is in the middle of an update, but the 360 mode offers a great digital view.

https://accessmars.withgoogle.com/

Zoo Cams

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden Every weekday at 3 PM EDT, the Cincinnati Zoo will host a Home Safari Facebook Live that features a different animal each day. For those who don't have social media, the zoo will post the safaris on both their website and YouTube.

https://www.facebook.com/cincinnatizoo/

Panda Cam Zoo Atlanta Pandas are always fun to watch, quarantine or not, and Zoo Atlanta offers this live stream of the only panda twins in the United States, Ya Lun and Xi Lun.

https://zooatlanta.org/panda-cam/

Monterey Bay Aquarium offers ten live cams where viewers can sneak a peek at the sharks, do a little birdwatching in the aviary, and they can even check the goings-on in the open sea.

https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals-and-exhibits/live-web-cams

The San Diego Zoo has ten live cams to choose from, including penguins, tigers, koalas and giraffes. The zoo also has a website exclusively for kids that's loaded with videos, stories, activities and games.

https://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/live-cams 

Historical Sites & Museums

The Smithsonian Museum offers virtual tours of their current and permanent exhibits, and viewers can even take a look at a few of the past exhibits. Users can easily navigate between adjoining rooms of the museum and click on the camera icons for a closer look.

https://naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour

Virtual tours of other world-famous museums:

The Great Wall Of China This virtual tour offers a breathtaking view of the Great Wall Of China, and visitors can even read up a little on its history.

https://www.thechinaguide.com/destination/great-wall-of-china

Virtual tours of other historical sites:

Storytime & Doodling

Josh Gad is even doing his part to help parents deal with life in quarantine. Every night on Twitter, Josh Gad is doing ten-minute storytime. Josh has already read a few children's classics like The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt; The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein and Hooray for Diffendoofer Da by Dr. Seuss. And it looks like he plans to do so for the foreseeable future. This one is not to miss, as he puts a little Josh Gad into it with voices and everything!

https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1vOxwoPrnYgxBhttps://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1vOxwoPrnYgxB

How About a Lunch Doodle? Mo Willems, beloved author of Waiting Is Not Easy! and The Pigeon HAS To Go To School! is hosting a Livestream Lunch Doodle. Every day at 1 PM EST, new episodes will be posted on the Mo Willems page on the Kennedy Center's Website. Additionally, Willem is encouraging kids to send him questions at LUNCHDOODLES@kennedy-center.org, and he will attempt to answer those questions in his videos.

https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/

Pete The Cat creator James Dean presents virtual storytime every day at 12 PM on Instagram Live.

https://www.instagram.com/petethecatofficial/

We all have to do our part to stem the outbreak of Coronavirus, but life in quarantine doesn't have to be that bad. Every day, new resources are popping up to help us get through it. These virtual tours and online resources have a little something for kids of all ages. What a great opportunity to see the world from the comfort of your own couch! 

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Novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update:  Thursday, March 26, 2020

Tired of Netflix?  14 World-Class Museums Offering Virtual Tours Right From Your Laptop – Staying in doesn’t have to mean losing access to culture. 

https://robbreport.com/lifestyle/news/14-virtual-museum-to-visit-during-social-distancing-and-quarantine-2905827/

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Novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Times of Trenton – Tuesday, March 24, 2020 

Family Fun – N.J. zoo hosting a ‘virtual school’ for kids every day and it is adorable (Cape May County Zoo) 

https://www.nj.com/coronavirus/2020/03/nj-zoo-hosting-a-virtual-school-for-kids-every-day-and-its-adorable.html

'Click' this link for the pdf version of the article: N.J. zoo hosting a 'virtual school' for kids every day and it is adorable  

 

The Star Ledger - Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Social Media - Bon Jovi invites fans to finish coronavirus son in interactive project

https://www.nj.com/entertainment/2020/03/neil-diamond-reworks-sweet-caroline-for-coronavirus-joining-michael-stipe-steve-martin-in-home-performances.html

 'Click' this link for the pdf version of the article: Bon Jovi invites fans to finish coronavirus song in interactive project 

 

The Star Ledger – Monday, March 23, 2020 

Family – The COVID-19 OUTBREAK IN THE KITCHEN – How to cook for and with your kids during the break 

https://www.seattletimes.com/life/food-drink/how-to-cook-for-and-with-your-kids-during-the-extended-coronavirus-school-closures/  

'Click' this link for the pdf version of article: How to cook for and with your kids during the extended coronavirus school closures  

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Novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 

Mercer County COVID-Update March 18, 2020 4:00PM:  Have questions about COVID-19?  The NJ Poison Control Center and 211 have partnered with the State to provide information to the public.  'Click' the link below:

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/NJMERCER/bulletins/281e4f6

Need counseling services for your child?  Please contact: 

Dr. Karen Allen

Director of Counseling Services and Assessment

The Ewing Public Schools 

Phone:  1 (609) 538-9800 X2122

Email:  kbenton@ewingboe.org

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Important Ewing Public Schools Information March 18th, 2020 9:00AM:

The online home instruction portal is now open for students on the website homepage.  

Students should complete the work for their grade level and content area each day through Friday.   

Secondary level teachers may supplement this work through their own Google Classroom.  

We move fully to Google Classroom on Monday.  

Thank you. 

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Novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 

Mercer County COVID-19 Update:  Coping with social distancing and isolation during COVID-19

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/NJMERCER/bulletins/281aea6

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Novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Monday, March 16, 2020 

Coronavirus and Parenting What You Need to Know Now

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/13/814615866/coronavirus-and-parenting-what-you-need-to-know-now

Additional Information:  Supporting Children Through COVID-19 Pandemic

     American Psychological Association

     Healthy Children.org

     National Association of School Psychologists

     New Jersey Department of Health

     Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

     The National Child Trauma Stress Network

Information from Comcast to receive discount for qualifying families:

https://corporate.comcast.com/press/releases/internet-essentials-low-income-broadband-coronavirus-pandemic

The district representative from Comcast advised parents to go to the site or call the number below.    

To sign up, applicants can simply visit www.internetessentials.com. The accessible website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

Once everything has been approved it will take several days to ship and install the router and then the customer will have free internet for 90 days.  After, the service is only $9.95 + taxes a month.  

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Novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Friday, March 13, 2020 

The following articles have been added to our Novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Page:

Mental Health Considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak: 

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf?sfvrsn=6d3578af_2

Coronavirus anxiety:  Why the outbreak feeds worry and five simple ways to reduce coronavirus anxiety

https://www.uchealth.org/today/coronavirus-anxiety-tips-for-reducing-worries/?utm_source=UCHealth+Today&fbclid=IwAR3Oj9bMmhPDkV1pjuJirtE62Q-RQLh_gckEY9GnR43IUwHgJ2Q_nsRHqbE 

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Novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Thursday, March 12, 2020 

March 12th, 2020 

To: Ewing School Community

Fr: Michael Nitti, Superintendent of Schools

Re: Ewing Schools Public Health-Related School Closure Plan 

Thank you for your patience, support and understanding as we navigate the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis. 

In a broadcast memo “Guidance Regarding Requirements for Public Health-Related School Closure” dated March 5th, 2020; the New Jersey Department of Education encouraged school districts to develop a school health-related closure preparedness plan related to concerns of the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. 

Our priority at the Ewing Schools is always the health and safety of our students.  This will drive any decisions we make, in collaboration with public health officials, regarding our school operations.  We also recognize the vital role that schools have in a community, in a myriad of complex aspects, and know how important it is that schools are open to serve our students. 

As you most likely know, schools are required by law to have 180 days of school for students.  According to the broadcast memo, “In the event a board of education is provided a written directive by either the NJDOH or the health officer of the jurisdiction to institute a public-health related closure, the (district) may utilize home instruction to provide services to students.”  The correspondence goes on to state that home instruction consistent with standards clarified by the state will count towards the 180-day requirement for school.

 In accordance with the terms of this guidance, the Ewing Schools has developed the following framework with regard to the prospect of a health-related closure: 

Tier I Approach: Use of Weather Emergency Days 

If school is closed for a short-term duration by the district administration due to public health concerns we will simply proceed in accordance with traditional weather-related closures. Remember, the only way for a day when school is not “traditionally open” to count towards the 180-day mandate is if we were directed to shut down by public health officials. 

As of this writing we have not used the two weather emergency days built into the calendar.  If necessary, the district will first use these two weather emergency days.  If a third day is needed for closure, we would then make the designated professional development day of April 23rd an early dismissal day for students.  If more than three Tier 1 days are used prior to Spring Break, we would implement early dismissal school days on the following dates as needed: 

  • Monday, April 6th
  • Tuesday, April 7th
  • Wednesday, April 8th
  • Thursday, April 9th 

If school is closed for a short-term duration by state public health officials, and thus eligible to count towards the 180 day requirement with acceptable home instruction, a decision will be made by the district administration to use either a Tier I or Tier II approach based upon the length of the closure and other factors.  

Tier II Approach: District Developed Online Home Instruction Days 

If school is closed by state public health officials, the district may implement district developed home instruction in accordance with state guidelines that meet the standards towards the 180 days of school mandate. 

The district currently has three days of district developed online home instruction lessons that were created by stakeholders with relevance and expertise ready for implementation.  These home instruction activities are organized by grade-level and/or subject area, are aligned with curriculum standards and will be made available on the district website through a portal: 

https://sites.google.com/ewingboe.org/ewinghealthpreparednessplan/home 

The learning activities are aligned with state expectations for home instruction and will be evaluated by educators upon the resumption of school. 

If a student is unable to access the portal, please contact the appropriate remote learning coordinators listed below to receive a paper packet of the home instruction activities. 

Notes about Tier II Approach: District Developed Online Home Instruction Days 

  • Specific developmentally-appropriate lessons and modified activities have been designed for special education students.
  • Packaged food in accordance with government standards for eligible students will be available at each district school for pick-up.

Tier III Approach: Virtual Interactive Learning Days 

If school is closed by state public health officials for an extended duration of time, the Ewing Schools will move to Virtual Interactive Learning. 

Essentially, the Ewing Schools will be open online from 9:00AM to 1:30PM daily during designated school days with the goal of each staff member fulfilling their role to provide a high quality education to our students. 

Teachers will design and implement learning activities for their students via Google Classroom or posting on the Genesis Parent Portal.  All certified staff members will be available during this time to engage and support students via technology such as Google Hangout or more traditional approaches such as email and phone.  Our counselors, child study team members and other student-support staff will continue to service the needs of their students through these platforms. The emphasis will be on the designing of flexible but meaningful instruction and assessment for the continuity of learning during this crisis. 

If the district moves to a Tier III Approach: Virtual Interactive Learning Days, we will provide Chromebooks to any student who needs one for the duration of the closure.  If internet access is not available at home for the student, we will explore other possibilities to provide it, or give the student a supplementary home instruction packet. 

Please contact the appropriate remote learning coordinator for information or questions. 

Notes about Tier III Approach: Virtual Interactive Learning Day 

  • Packaged food in accordance with government standards for eligible students will be available at each district school for pick-up.

In closing, if we have to adopt this approach due to public health concerns we will most certainly be entering uncharted territory.  There will be challenges but I can assure you that all the educators of the Ewing Schools will work very hard to make this experience as educationally meaningful and beneficial as possible.  Our staff is dedicated to their students, and I know our school community will work together to effectively navigate this crisis.  

Thank you to the many people involved in the design of this approach. 

Remote Learning Program Coordinators: 

Antheil Elementary School:               

                Grades K-2:  Ms. Maria Petsos

                                     Email:  mpetsos@ewingboe.org

                                    Phone number:  1 (609) 538-9800 X4154  

                

                Grades 3-5:  Mr. Chuck Welsh

                                    Email:  cwelsh@ewingboe.org

                                    Phone number:  1 (609) 538-9800 X4102 

Lore Elementary School:               

                Grades K-2:  Mrs. Michelle Conway

                                      Email:  mconway@ewingboe.org

                                     Phone number:  1 (609) 538-9800 X3153      

               

                Grades 3-5:  Mrs. Kelly Kawalek

                                     Email:  kkawalek@ewingboe.org

                                     Phone number:  1 (609) 538-9800 X6102          

 

Parkway Elementary School:               

                Grades K-2:  Ms. Sara Graja

                                     Email: sgraja@ewingboe.org

                                     Phone number:  1 (609) 538-9800 X2156

 

                Grades 3-5: Mrs. Nicole Harris

                                     Email:  nharris@ewingboe.org

                                     Phone number:  1 (609) 538-9800 X5102

 

Fisher Middle School:               

                Grade 6: Mr. Scott Sheplock

                                  Email:  ssheplock@ewingboe.org

                                  Phone number:  1 (609) 538-9800 X3104

               

                Grade 7: Mr. Hugh Dwyer

                               Email:  hdwyer@ewingboe.org

                               Phone number:  1 (609) 538-9800 X3109

                                 

                Grade 8: Dr. Maggy Hanna

                                 Email:  mhanna@ewingboe.org

                                 Phone number:  1 (609) 538-9800 X3102

 

 O’Brien Academy:               

                Grades K-8:  Mr. David Hauserman

                                      Email:  dhauserman@ewingboe.org

                                      Phone number:  1 (609) 538-9800 X3701 

Ewing High School:               

                Grade 9:  Mr. Clifford “Kip” Harrison

                               Email:  charrison@ewingboe.org

                                Phone number:   1 (609) 538-9800 X2104  

               

                Grade 10: Ms. Shalieka Jarrett

                                   Email:  sjarrett@ewingboe.org

                                   Phone number:  1 (609) 538-9800 X2109                                  

 

                Grade 11: Mr. Edward Chmiel

                                 Email:  echmiel@ewingboe.org

                                 Phone number:  1 (609) 538-9800 X2102

 

                Grade 12: Mr. Brock Mislan

                                  Email:  bmislan@ewingboe.org

                                  Phone number:  1 (609) 538-9800 X2152

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The following have been added to our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Page 

Reading: Talking to Children about COVID-19

A Look at the Ewing Schools enhanced school cleanliness and disinfection protocols   

Novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Tuesday, March 10, 2020 

Please review the following document, Talking to Children about COVID-19 created by the NASP and NASN. 

Please 'click' this link to review, Talking to Children about COVID-19.

As the district strives to effectively handle the challenges of Coronavirus, following is an overview of our enhanced school cleanliness and disinfection protocols: 

During the day, the Ewing Schools facilities crew is focused on: 

Cleaning all hard surfaces including: cafeteria tables and benches, water fountains/bottle filling stations, all door handles and bathrooms during daily checks. Hard surfaces are cleaned often and repeatedly during periodic checks. 

The building principal and school nurse communicates daily with the head custodian to identify areas of concern, in which case, additional cleaning and sanitizing is performed. 

Any items that are used by multiple individuals are wiped down frequently. 

During the evening shift, Day and Night Head Custodians review the morning/afternoon reports, notes and events.

Communication includes a review of any areas of concern identified by the administration or school nurse. 

All hard surfaces are cleaned by assigned Night Custodians: cafeteria tables and benches, water fountains/bottle filling stations, all door handles and bathrooms are all cleaned for a second time, then sanitized. Additional nightly cleaning & sanitizing includes: hard surfaces in classrooms (desks, tables, chairs, door handles) and locker rooms. 

Special attention is given to high traffic areas and frequently used areas/items. 

All products used by the school district are CDC approved cleaners and sanitizers that are effective in killing Coronavirus, as well as many other viruses and bacteria’s that can be found in heavy-use buildings. All district products are listed in our Right to Know program that is accessible through the district website.

'Click' the link below to have a look at our staff using advanced sanitizer technology as part of our enhanced protocols:

Here is a look at our staff using advanced sanitizer technology as part of our enhanced protocols. 

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Novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update:  March 9, 2020

We continue to strive to react proactively and appropriately to Coronavirus concerns. 

We have implemented enhanced and aggressive sanitation and cleaning protocol in our schools.  New technology has been secured and utilized. In addition, student busses, provided by private contractors Rick Bus and Dapper Bus companies and our own district busses, are being cleaned and sanitized daily by wiping down the seats, seatbelts and handrails at the end of each day. 

We continue to emphasize the importance of proper hand-washing and thorough hygiene for all school community members.  

Please join us in emphasizing “social distancing” throughout the school community.  This means "self-shielding" measures for students and staff such as limiting physical contact, avoiding sharing food and drink, implementing the "elbow bump" and the "Dracula sneeze,” carefully evaluating and potentially reducing outside visitors and groups, taking a close look at outside trips and excursions, and trying to minimize large group gatherings. 

As you know, the DOE released the Broadcast memo: Guidance Regarding Requirements for Public Health-Related School Closure.  

A couple points of note: Our priority is always the health and safety of our staff and students.  This will drive any decisions we make regarding our school operations. With regard to the potential closing of school, we currently have the ability to absorb several days of closed school in our calendar due to unused weather emergency days and other flexible options.  From an instructional point of view, our goal will be to get our 180 days of school in prior to June 30th 

According to the State DOE Guidance memo, the opportunity to provide online, distance or home instruction will only count towards the mandated 180 days if school is officially closed by state health officials.  It was noted that public health officials have never closed a school, even when influenza outbreaks resulted in absentee rates of 50 to 60 percent. 

At this time, we are currently doing what the guidance memo suggested, exploring, planning and preparing for that possibility. Our administrative team will work with our teaching staff on this framework. As of this writing, we are still awaiting specific guidelines for this type of learning from state DOE officials, and hope to receive more information shortly. 

Thank you. 

Michael Nitti

Superintendent

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Novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update:   Friday, February 28, 2020

Dear Parents,

The District has implemented enhanced daily cleaning and sanitizing at all of our schools. While hand washing with soap and water is always preferred to the use of sanitizers, please remind students to use the school-provided sanitizers when hand washing is not available. 

The following precautions are recommended for preventing the flu and other viruses including but not limited to the Coronavirus: 

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your sleeve, not your hands. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth/Hand-shaking and physical contact should be minimized in schools. 
  • Wash hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. 
  • Keep your children home when they are sick. 
  • Children and staff should not return to school unless they have been fever-free without medication for 24 hours. 
  • Avoid people who are sick 
  • Get a flu shot – it’s not too late to be protected 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces and objects.

In addition, student busses, private contractors Rick Bus and Dapper Bus companies and our own district busses, are being cleaned and sanitized daily by wiping down the seats, seatbelts and handrails at the end of each day.

Please 'click' the link below for an updated 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Child Care and K-12 Schools information posted by the State of New Jersey Department of Education from the State of New Jersey Department of Health March 4, 2020:

https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_schoolbusiness.shtml

 

Hand washing