Remote Instruction for All: January 4-15, 2021

Dear Summit Public Schools Community,

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and well. As we approach Thanksgiving, I am sure many of you are beginning to think about holiday plans for the winter break. The holiday season can be a busy and stressful time for all of us, and the circumstances of this year will likely add an additional layer of stress. The desire to spend time with family and friends may be tempered by the pandemic and the need to follow health and safety protocols.

As we have previously communicated, our top two priorities for reopening schools and staying open include the health and safety of our students and staff, and the social-emotional well-being of our school community. We will continue to approach our decision-making process with these guiding principles at the forefront. Therefore, we are preparing to implement our remote instructional plan for all students in the district from Monday, January 4, 2021, through January 15, 2021. The entire district will return to our current in-person instructional model on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. During this time, high school and middle school athletics will continue in-person activities as usual. Please keep in mind that this is not an extended break. Remote instruction from January 4-15 will continue to be rigorous and held to the high standards our students and community expect and deserve.

This 14-day period will create space between holiday celebrations and the return to in-person instruction, and will mitigate potential spread of COVID-19. In order for this plan to be effective, we ask that families who travel over the winter break return to New Jersey by January 3 at the latest. After January 3, please limit your social gatherings to ensure we return to school in the safest manner possible.

This decision was made in collaboration with our Board of Education and administration, in addition to feedback from the Summit Educational Association and the PTO President’s Council. This is not an encouragement to travel or put anyone’s health at risk. This is the District’s effort to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus by providing staff and families the opportunity to quarantine, if necessary, without interrupting instruction. Our intent is to ease the minds of our staff members and Summit families who are trying to balance seeing loved ones during the holidays and keeping the school community healthy and safe.

In order for this to be successful, your cooperation is necessary. If we all continue to do our part, we can enjoy the holiday season and return to in-person instruction safely. Thank you for your ongoing support, efforts, and patience. I hope you all have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving break.

Be well,

Scott D. Hough
Superintendent of Schools