August 20, 2021
A MESSAGE FROM HEAD OF SCHOOL JALAJ DESAI
Dear SRDS Community,If this global pandemic has taught us anything, it is that being “all in” and “all together” have never been more important, and we are making every effort to ensure our community’s safe return to the SRDS campus for the 2021-2022 academic year. We will all return with a deeper appreciation for the transformative experiences and meaningful relationships that come from learning together on our beautiful campus. Of course, protecting the health and well-being of all members of our community is our highest priority. The SRDS community has proven that we can overcome challenges and make sacrifices for the greater good, and we are confident that these strategies will allow us to continue to offer students an exceptional educational experience and vibrant community life. This is evident as we start the new year by launching a number of new initiatives and exciting programs for our students, including our new math program and entrepreneurship projects in the Lower School, the new Capstone Research Projects in the Middle School, new AP Human Geography and Research & Writing courses in 9th grade, and the launch of our restructured after-school Coaching Academy.
As during this past year, our daily actions and choices will impact the health and well-being of classmates, faculty and staff, as well as our ability to remain together for the fall trimester. We ask for your continued partnership in abiding by a set of collective community expectations designed to keep everyone on our campus healthy and well. The COVID-19 expectations are outlined below. Please note that our plans take into account the guidance and direction provided by the State of New Jersey (NJDOH), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Given the fluid nature of the pandemic, we will make adjustments quickly as needed and will keep all families updated as we proceed through the school year. While much has been done from a planning, logistics and public-health standpoint, the responsibility lies with all of us to fully commit to the following practices.
I invite you to participate in our upcoming virtual Parent Town Hall meetings to further discuss our plans (Zoom links will be sent via email closer to the date):
- Upper School - Wednesday, September 1 at 12:00 pm
- Middle School - Wednesday, September 1 at 1:30 pm
- Lower School - Wednesday, September 1 at 3:00 pm
I thank you again for your support and partnership during this time. The deep care and connection that make the Saddle River Day School community so special have never been stronger, and we all look forward to joyfully reuniting on campus next month.
Jalaj Desai & the SRDS COVID Protocol Task Force
Guidelines, Policies, and Procedures for 2021-2022
- As of now, the NJ State Governor has mandated masks at all times indoors for all individuals on campus. Masks outdoors are optional, including for outdoor recess in Lower & Middle School.
- Students must wear masks when traveling on buses at all times and open windows are recommended, per NJDOH guidelines. Buses will be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
- Currently, the CDC defines “close contacts” as 3’ or under. We will maximize indoor distancing while maintaining a minimum distance of 3’ per CDC guidelines.
- The lockers and water fountains will not be used until further notice.
- The “big tent” will be available once again for use on the Upper Field.
- Students will not be using the locker rooms or changing for P.E.
- P.E. classes will be held outside, weather permitting, until November. In the case of inclement weather, the “big tent” will be utilized as much as possible, if feasible. In instances that this is not possible, P.E. will be held in the classrooms.
- Plexiglass shields on student desks and physical barriers in the hallways will not be used.
- Currently, the CDC defines “close contacts” as 3’ or under. We will maximize indoor distancing while maintaining a minimum distance of 3’ per CDC guidelines. “Casual contacts” is defined as 3-6’ without a mask.
- We are currently awaiting guidelines from the NJDOH regarding the quarantine protocol for close and casual contacts.
VENTILATION/CLEANING & DISINFECTION:
- Every room on campus will continue to be equipped with an air purifying ventilation system.
- The campus will continue to be cleaned and disinfected multiple times per day.
- PreK 4 - Grade 12 will travel to the cafeteria to get their lunches each day. Students will eat in the back gym or the commons.
- Hot food will be served and all other food items will be individually packaged as they were last year. There will be no beverage fountains; water bottles and milk in cartons will be available.
- As a rule, parents/guardians will not be permitted in the buildings on campus and meetings should be held virtually. Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.
- The Fall Back-to-School Nights will all be virtual.
- Parent Coffees will be in person under the big tent, weather permitting; a virtual option will be provided as well.
OUT of STATE TRAVEL:
- Please refer to the CDC “COVID Data Tracker” map for transmission rates by state: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_community
- It is our policy that if you travel out of state to an area with a higher transmission rate than NJ and are unvaccinated, you must quarantine for 4 days and get PCR tested on the 5th day after returning home. Students may return to campus with a negative PCR test as soon as test results are available. Send test results to Nurse Ann Hanna - firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you choose not to take a PCR test, our policy is that you quarantine for 7 days and return to school on day 8.
- Vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine. Please refer to the CDC guidelines for travel recommendations.
- For students who are quarantining, remote learning will be provided.
- While you await test results for SRDS student/s, siblings or other family members, we request that you do not send child/ren to campus.
- School-wide testing may be administered at intermittent times during the school year.
COVID-19 SCREENING CONSENT FORM:
- We ask that all families fill out and e-sign the “COVID-19 CONSENT FORM” prior to the start of the school year. This form will be on record with our school nurse Ann Hanna for the 2021-2022 year.
REMOTE LEARNING POLICY:
NEW AND IMPROVED:
We are also excited to announce that the following changes and upgrades have been implemented in North and Alford Halls:
- Library - this space will be repurposed and will become the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. IDEAS Lab classes, Engineering and Design classes, Robotics, etc. will be conducted in this space.
- Learning Center and School Counselor Office Office - a newly designated area has been created downstairs in North Hall (N106 & N107).
- The Rebel Vision Production Studio and control room will be open again.
- Music classes will be held in the Green/Music room again.