Welcome Back

September 4, 2020

Greetings Hardyston families, 

I hope you have had a restful and enjoyable summer! In a few days, the end of summer vacation and the beginning of another school year will be upon us.  We all know that this return to school is unlike any other we have experienced. There is no denying that things will be different, but the staff and I have been working hard all summer to make sure that we are ready when the students come through our doors. We are all very excited to see the students again!

Below I have included a lot of information for our return to school. My goal was to paint a picture of your child’s day from before they leave the house until they are on their way back home to you. Please read so you know what to expect. There are also some very important changes to the pick up procedures. Please be sure to review that carefully. 

I have tried to be thorough, but  I am sure some questions will still remain. For detailed information on Hardyston’s Restart Plan, please read Mr. Ryder’s Restart Parent Letter that was shared at the beginning of August. If you have any questions or would like clarification, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I am here to help.  I wish you all the best and I am looking forward to working with you and your children this year. It’s going to be different, but it is going to be great!
Back to School Night, will be virtual this year. All teacher messages will be posted to the district website on Monday, September 21.  

Jennifer Cimaglia

                                                 Staff Updates
                         (new staff and changes to teaching assignments)
Tammy Peek, intervention teacher
Rebecca Tooker, grade 2 teacher
Karen Kusma, multiple disabled teacher and grade 3 math resource room
Danielle Derby, grade 1 teacher
Christine Malloy, grade 1 teacher
Amanda Sanders, grade 4 ELA and social studies teacher
Jill Brown, grade 2 teacher
Jill Corbett, grade 4 teacher and Wilson reading teacher
Justine Maris, Wilson reading teacher
Wendy Stoffles, nurse
Trish Lovett, nurse (part time)


Returning to School

Virtual Students – you will log in to your live class on Tuesday, September 8. An email was sent to the parents of all virtual students at 3 pm on September 4 with instructions on how to access your teacher’s meet link. During that meet the teacher will help you join your new google classroom.   

Hybrid Students – cohort blue will report to school on Tuesday, 9/8 and Wednesday, 9/9. On those days, cohort gold will be participating in independent learning.
On Thursday, 9/9 and Friday, 9/10, cohort gold will report to school. On those days, cohort blue will be participating in independent learning.

The independent learning assignments can be found on the HTPS weekly blast.  Please remember, there is no set schedule for independent learning days.

When it is your day to come to school, here is what to do/expect:

Before you leave the house

  • Take your child’s temperature and make sure he or she doesn’t have any COVID symptoms, which can include gastrointestinal symptoms (such as vomiting or diarrhea), shortness of breath, cough, body aches, or unexplained rash
  • Make sure your child has a mask

At the bus stop

  • Wear a mask at the bus stop and maintain social distance

On the bus

  • Students must wear a mask as they get on and during the ride
  • Students will be assigned seats according to when they board the bus (the first ones to board sit in the back) and siblings will be assigned to sit together

Exiting the bus

  • Students will be scanned for a temperature as they exit the bus
  • Any child found to have a temperature of 100.0 or higher will be escorted to the nurse

Drop off

  • If you are driving your child to school please read the attached drop off procedures carefully or listen to this recording. This is VERY important information
  • Students will be scanned for a temperature while they are still in the car. All occupants in the car must wear a mask
  • Any child found to have a temperature of 100.0 or higher will not be allowed to come to school and must return home

Entering the classroom

  • Students will sanitize hands before they enter (there is sanitizer mounted outside of every classroom)
  • Students will walk directly into the classroom and sit at their desk
  • Jackets and book bags will be stored on each student’s chair. Students will not be using a cubby or the coat closet. This is to ensure that social distance is maintained.

The day

  • Students will wear a mask except when eating or drinking and during gym class
  • Desks have been separated and spaced out to ensure social distancing
  • Teachers will maintain social distance while allowing for movement, socialization, and interaction
  • No materials will be shared. Chrome books and school supplies need to travel back and forth each day
  • Hand hygiene will be emphasized throughout the day
  • Students will not switch classes for specials or for lunch
  • Students will go outside for gym (this won’t be daily)
  • Students will go outside for recess (this will be daily)

Snack, water, lunch

  • All food will be eaten in the classroom. If you are in an allergy aware classroom, you will receive a letter in the mail before school starts indicating what food item(s) cannot enter the classroom. Please be sure to follow those protocols when packing snack or lunch for your child.  This is for the safety of our severely allergic students.
  • Students can bring in or buy lunch. If a student buys, lunch will be delivered to the classroom.
  • Send your child in with water. It’s best to limit children in the hallways filling water bottles.

What the week looks like (the hybrid schedule)

Cohort Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Blue In-Person
Live Virtual Instruction
(blue and gold cohorts combined)
Independent Learning
(no set time to login)
Independent Learning
(no set time to login)
Independent Learning
(no set time to login)

Independent Learning
(no set time to login)

Virtual Instruction
(blue and gold cohorts combined)

* all hybrid students have three live days of teaching per week & two independent learning days per week

  • Two days per week, your child will work independently with no live teaching or set schedule to follow
  • Wednesday is a live day of instruction for all students on a half day schedule. Students will need to login at 9 am daily. The day ends at 1:10 pm. Teachers will post a Wednesday schedule.  
  • Tutorials for using Google Classroom will be posted on the HTPS Weekly Blast.  
  • If you have any trouble accessing your child’s Google classroom, please contact Mrs. Scognamiglio at [email protected]

The first week of school

  • Since we’re starting on a Tuesday and we want all students to come to school two days that week, the schedule has been adjusted. Please see the September Cohort Calendar. There is no virtual day in the first week.
  • If your child is in the gold cohort, their first two days of school will be independent learning days. This means that there is no live interaction with their teacher on these days.   Those students will watch tutorials on how to navigate virtual learning and google classroom. The videos will be posted and easily accessible on the HTPS Weekly Blast, so your child will not need to login to Google Classroom.  If you don’t know your Google password, don’t worry. You will get it from your teacher on the first day in person classes.
  • If you responded to the survey stating that you need a device or hotspot, you will be contacted with information on when to pick it up. 

Dismissal  – bus

  • Students will be dismissed by grade level to the buses. Teachers will walk the class out and maintain social distance. Grade 4 will dismiss first, followed by grade 3 and so on.

Dismissal – parent pick up *important, please read carefully*

  • If you are picking your child up from school, please read the attached pick up procedures carefully or listen to this recording. This is VERY important information
  • Please send a note in each day you are picking your child up from school. If you will pick up each day, one note can serve for the entire year. Please include your child’s last name in the note.
  • If your plans change and you need to pick up, you must notify the office of pick ups by 2:30. A phone call at 3:15 is not enough notice.

We Need Your Help!

Water Please send your child with a water bottle(s). We want to limit students in the halls.

Mask endurance Please have your child(ren) get used to wearing a mask and build ‘mask endurance.’ Some interesting methods include having your child wear a mask while he or she plays video games, reads a book, or colors. The idea is that your child wears the mask while engaging in activities they enjoy so they start to get used to the mask while they’re distracted.

Maintaining social distance  Please reinforce with your child that they need to keep their distance from their classmates, especially at recess and when lining up for parent pick up. They cannot hear this message too often.