H.W. Mountz holds final BOE meeting before reopening

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SPRING LAKE — The H.W. Mountz Board of Education had its final special meeting before the start of the school year on Tuesday Night tying up loose ends before students enter the building on Sept. 9 for their half-day schedule.

Mr. LaValva said a video was circulated to district parents over the weekend outlining the processes in place for students going to and from school, as well as what students can expect while they are at school during the “stage two” part of the school’s four-stage reopening plan, with stage four a return to full normalcy. The board officially approved of the plan at Tuesday’s meeting.

Students will return to school in-person for five days a week on a half-day schedule, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. Students and staff will wear masks at all times where social distancing is not possible

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While he said most of the questions had been cleared up, he received several questions from parents regarding remote learning, by which roughly 10 percent of Mountz’ student population will be learning, that he wanted to clarify.

“I wanted to clarify that they can choose remote learning to start the school year by sending me a written correspondence, and I’ve already received several, by [Wednesday]. But then if they wanted to they could also choose remote instruction on a monthly basis. They can begin in October, for example, they can choose remote at that point. And that’s as long as we stay within stage two or stage three.”

Additionally, on Sept. 8, the day before school starts, Mr. LaValva said that the school will be hosting an orientation for remote learners.

“We will invite the remote learners who are borrowing equipment from the school and we’ll go over with them how they can logon so they can start their year the very same day we start our year.”

Mr. LaValva also confirmed once again that there will be after-school care available for students who need it from 12:40 p.m. to 3 p.m., something 15 families expressed they may need.

The board also approved a contingency plan to return to full remote learning in the event that the building has to be shut down due to the virus.

Several of the school’s teaching assistants were also approved for substitution positions, so that in the event of a teacher’s absence the position can be filled in-house without more people coming in and out of the building, Board President James Worth said.

Additionally, Mr. LaValva said that at this time the school is yet to hire a Spanish teacher, however with the students’ “special class” rotation scheduling, he hopes a teacher can be hired as soon as possible and students will be able to take Spanish at a later rotation. He said he is also exploring possibly sharing a Spanish teacher with another school.

The next board of education meeting will be on DATE at 6:30 p.m. Mr. LaValva said that the board will make every effort to hold that board meeting in person at the school, 411 Tuttle Ave.

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