Welcome to Forest Avenue School!Matthew J. Murphy, Principale-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPh: 973-429-8308_______________________________________________________
Dear Forest Avenue School Parents & Guardians,
I hope that this summer has given you the opportunity to relax and spend time with family and friends. The summer months have been a busy time at FAS, with planning alternate schedules, rosters, and new health and safety practices and protocols. Despite the challenges, it has been a gratifying process with the prospect of children once again learning “in” school serving as the light at the end of the tunnel.
For much of the summer, I walked past the sign on the FAS lawn which reads, “We Are All in this Together!” The meaning of this statement could not be more relevant than right now as students return on Tuesday, September 1st. The Forest parent community made it clear that the overwhelming preference of families is for the children to return to school (approximately 80%). In order for us to make this return as safe as possible for each and every returning student and staff member, I must plead with families to be open and honest with our school in regard to reporting the following circumstances:
- Your family’s recent travels to states identified by NJ as high risk (requiring a 14-day quarantine)
- The illness symptoms experienced by your child, siblings, family members, caregivers (those who your family has been exposed to), even if you are not sure if it is COVID-related
- Family members experiencing symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 and any planned testing, whether results have been received yet or not.
- Any other relevant circumstances that you are not sure whether or not to report
The Forest staff and I have committed to reporting our own unique personal circumstances to the School Nurse and school administration and we ask that you please do the same so that we can provide the healthiest, safest school environment possible. I personally thank all of our families that have already proactively contacted me, the teachers, or Nurse Reilly about your unique family illness and travel circumstances and we are working diligently to provide you with clear, cautious guidance on a case by case basis. In the case a period of quarantine is required for your child/family, we will provide your child(ren) with a temporary virtual learning experience so as not to delay the start of their learning. Despite the inconvenience a temporary quarantine may cause any family, it is an essential and worthwhile investment in the safety of our entire community. We are indeed “All in this Together!” and must depend on and trust one another for the safety of all!
Please visit our school’s website (Forest Avenue School Website) which includes detailed information regarding our Learning Programs and Health and Safety protocols and practices at Forest Avenue. Please access the “School Information” link (Back to School Forms and Information) for specifics about the start of the school year. Make sure to read, fill out, and return the Dismissal Policy Form by Friday September 4th.(Dismissal Form - Click Here)
All families must re-register each child through Family Access on our website. Please complete this process for each child you have attending our school. This is necessary to verify information regarding emergency contacts; publicity permission; review of form notifications and school handbooks; and to be included in the Forest Avenue Home and School Directory. Your username and password is the same from last year. If you forgot, click on “forgot username or password” and an email will be sent to you. New families please email the technology department at email@example.com for a username and password.
School Opening and Hours
Our new school year will begin on Tuesday, September 1st. School hours for students in grades Kindergarten, One, and Two are modified for the first phase of our return to school. Families have been made aware of their child’s placement and general AM, PM, Virtual, and Special Education schedules. Further details for specific classes and student services will be communicated in the coming days.
8:30 Arrival - AM Cohort
8:40 - 9:20 Period 1
9:25 - 10:05 Period 2
10:10 - 10:50 Period 3
11:00 Dismissal - AM Cohort
11:00 - 12:50 Cleaning/sanitizing
12:50 Arrival - PM Cohort
1:00 - 1:40 Period 1
1:45 - 2:25 Period 2
2:30 - 3:10 Period 3
3:20 Dismissal - PM Cohort
Daily Health Form - Prior to Arrival
Prior to arriving, parents must log in to Skyward to answer the Wellness questions for their child. This can be downloaded as an app and completed in seconds. This must be done each day before a child arrives at school.
Students and staff must wear a mask that covers both their nose and mouth. Children will be provided a cloth mask and should come to school each day with a clean face covering. Please send a “back-up” face mask in their backpack in case their mask becomes soiled or breaks. Face coverings should be laundered daily.
All students will be screened at their assigned entry door by a staff member using a touch-free thermometer. The staff member will hold the thermometer approximately 2-4 inches from your child’s forehead and quickly retrieve a reading. If after a few scans a child’s temperature still reads greater than 100.4 degrees, the School Nurse will be contacted to conduct a more thorough screening. It is requested that parents and caregivers remain available via phone in case it is determined that a child must be picked up as soon as possible. If your child is unfamiliar with non-touch thermometer scans, please discuss it at home before school. A graphic of the thermometer is provided below.
AM and PM Student Arrival
During the first week of school, teachers will be outside to assist children as they arrive. As AM and PM cohorts arrive at their scheduled times (8:30 AM & 12:50 PM), teacher name signs and distanced ground markers will be available so that students know where to line up. Once students are in lines, teachers will proceed to the assigned entry door where student temperatures will be scanned. Starting the second week of school, students will enter their assigned door on their own and walk directly to their classroom. Please note that there will be no additional staff supervision for students on school grounds prior to the 8:30AM and 12:50PM entry times. Students arriving after 8:40AM or 1:00PM are considered tardy and must be buzzed in by a parent/caregiver at the Main Entrance for screening and entry. Please do everything possible to arrive on time.
Assigned Arrival Doors
Mrs. Goldstein’s class and Mrs. Petruzzi’s class will enter at the K Wing Door next to playground
Mrs. Chiapperini’s class, Ms. Millien’s class, Mrs. Murach’s class, and Ms. Waldron’s class will enter at the Main Hallway Playground-side Door.
Mrs. Blazier’s class, Ms. Klein’s class, Ms. Lally’s class, and Ms. Roqueni’s class will enter at the Main/Front Door
Should the need arise for your child (if attending in the AM session) to arrive at school prior to the normal 8:30 AM arrival time, parents might consider enrolling their child in the Before-Care Program. Please contact the Before-Care Program at 973-429-1269 for further information.
Suggested Walking Routes to School
- Ridgewood Avenue will be guarded at:
Glen Ridge Parkway
- Forest Avenue will be guarded at:
Glen Ridge Parkway at the School
Use the shortest route to Ridgewood or Forest Avenue; cross Bay Avenue only where guarded; cross Ridgewood Avenue at a traffic light or Glen Ridge Parkway.
AM and PM Student Dismissal
Dismissal for students will take place at 11:00 AM for the AM cohort and 3:20 PM for the PM cohort. Students must be dismissed to parents or caregivers. Teachers dismiss using a “Line of Sight” system and refrain from releasing the child until a visual connection is made between the teacher and parent/caregiver. Please be patient at dismissal, as classes will be staggering exit times to allow for appropriate distancing.
If there is a change to your normal dismissal routine, a signed note stating the change must be given to your child’s teacher at arrival. Those students who have permission to walk home must leave the playground area promptly at dismissal. Students are not permitted to play on the playground in the initial phase of the Reopening Plan.
Assigned Dismissal Doors
Mrs. Goldstein’s class will dismiss at from the K Wing Door next to playground (Same door as arrival)
Mrs. Petruzzi’s class will dismiss at the Kindergarten Patio Door nearest to the Stonehouse Rd/Glen Ridge Parkway intersection (Formerly the Pre-K Patio; Different from arrival door).
Mrs. Chiapperini’s class, Ms. Millien’s class, and Ms. Waldron’s class will dismiss at the Main Hallway Playground-side Door (Same door as arrival)
Mrs. Murach’s class and Ms. Lally’s class will dismiss at the Glen Ridge Parkway-side door nearest to the Forest Ave/Glen Ridge Parkway intersection (Double doors at stairs; Different from arrival door)
Mrs. Blazier’s class, Ms. Klein’s class, and Ms. Roqueni’s class will dismiss at the Main/Front Door (Same door as arrival)
The playground will be closed during the first phase of school reopening. Consideration is being given as to when it may be possible to reopen the playground. At this time, we are asking that all parents and caregivers do not remain on the school grounds before, during, or after school hours.
Reporting Student Absences
Parents should inform the Main Office (973-429-8308; firstname.lastname@example.org) and the School Nurse (973-429-3481; email@example.com) by 8:45 AM if your child will be absent for the day. Parents must provide the date of the absence and the reason for the absence.
For families that prefer to report absences online, parents can also now login to Family Access and "Request Absence" right in Skyward. Simply follow the prompts!
Student Pick-ups During School Hours
Please schedule doctor and dentist wellness appointments at the time your child is not attending school in person whenever possible. If a child is to be excused early, notification must be provided to the Main Office explaining the reason for the early dismissal. A parent should ring the doorbell at the Main Entrance at the prearranged time and a staff member will bring your child to the door.
Parents/caregivers picking up students due to illness will report to the Kindergarten Wing Playground-side door at a prearranged time. The School Nurse will bring your child to the door and ask that you sign a Student Exclusion Slip to release your child.
We are limiting the number of visitors to the building. Visitors must have a scheduled appointment, wear a face covering, have their temperature scanned, and answer Health Form/Questionnaire questions prior to entry. It must be an essential reason for parents to come into the building. All visitors must also have a valid driver’s license or government issued ID that is scanned and approved in order to gain entry into the building and to receive the proper identification badge.
With our shortened day, we are not having a snack time. Students may bring one water bottle to be stored in their backpack and used under the direction of the classroom teacher.
School supply kits ordered by parents via the Forest Avenue Home and School Fundraiser are slightly delayed. We will be in contact with parents upon the arrival of the supplies with distribution information. Parents that have not yet purchased supplies can find the grade-level supply list on the school website: K-2 Supply Lists. There is a possibility we will also soon request art supplies for our Art Program, due to our inability to share supplies between students at school.
Drop-off and Pick-up of Items During the School Day
The drop-off and pick-up of items during the school day is highly discouraged; however, there will be a Drop-off Bin and a Pick-up Bin near the Main Door to be used if necessary. Any parents utilizing the bins should communicate with the teacher or Main Office prior to doing so. Parents should place any items in a zip-lock bag labeled clearly with the student’s name and teacher’s name. Any parents needing to drop-off or pick-up student medications should make those arrangements with the School Nurse in advance.
Using the Drop-Off Zone
A Drop-off Zone is available in the morning for your convenience. Parents must arrange child car seats, disable the rear passenger-side child safety door lock, and practice the drop-off zone procedures with their child(ren) prior to using the Drop-off Zone at school. Parents are not allowed to leave the vehicle to assist their child. Once your child is comfortable with exiting your vehicle and familiar with walking to the assigned entry door, this will be an easy, convenient drop off method.
The Drop-off Zone begins immediately after the yellow curb, beyond the school driveway on Forest Avenue, and runs alongside the field. It is clearly marked by safety cones and signs indicating “DROP OFF ZONE - NO STANDING”. Please pull your vehicle alongside the curb as far as possible toward the end of the Drop-off Zone (along the field toward Sunset Ave; marked by an orange safety cone). Have your child(ren) independently exit the rear passenger-side of your vehicle, close the rear passenger door of your vehicle and proceed down the sidewalk toward school.
Drivers must remain in the vehicle and pull away slowly and safely once your child is on the sidewalk. There is no parking in the Drop-Off Zone. If the driver gets out of the car, even for a moment, the car is considered illegally parked and the procedure for the Drop-Off Zone ceases to work properly. Mr. Murphy and/or a staff member will be present along the Drop-off Zone to supervise youngsters being dropped off and to direct the children to the entry doors.
In the case that you would prefer to exit your vehicle, you are welcome to park and walk your child to their entry door. Public street parking is available on the alternate side of Forest Avenue and on surrounding streets. Please avoid blocking the driveways of local homes.
Please feel free to contact the Main Office at (973) 429-8308 if you have questions. The Forest Avenue School staff and I look forward to welcoming you back to school. Working together, we will have a safe, healthy school year!
Matthew J. Murphy, Principal