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GBCS 2020-2021 School Year!

September 7, 2020
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WELCOME BACK!!! 
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First Day of School = Tuesday @ 8AM! 
 
Here are your Distance Learning Links: Google Classroom, Zoom, etc.
 

August 31, 2020
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PowerPoint Presentation for the New Parent/Guardian ZOOM Meet and Greet with a School Administrator: Monday, August 31
 
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August 29, 2020
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New Parent/Guardian ZOOM Meet and Greet with a School Administrator: Monday, August 31 @ 5:30
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Nuevo padre/tutor ZOOM Reunión/saludo con un administrador de la escuela:lunes 31 de agosto a las 5:30
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Recoja Chromebooks/iPads y materiales la próxima semana para el año escolar 2020-2021! Ver horario de recogida
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Pick up Chromebooks, iPads, and materials next week for the 2020-2021 school year! See pick up schedule:
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August 25, 2020
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Important Information for the 2020-2021 School Year at GBCS! Go to top

Please Read - Important Information!
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¡Información importante para el año escolar 2020-2021!Go to top

¡Información importante para el año escolar 2020-2021!
 
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Greater Brunswick Charter School - Re-Entry Plan for 2020-2021
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August 13, 2020
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Based on New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s August 12 announcement that school districts may delay in-person learning related to concerns about safety standards, Greater Brunswick Charter School's Board of Trustees has authorized a plan to be submitted to the NJDOE that educates students through the Distance Learning model for the first four months of the 2020-2021 school year.  This plan will follow Phase 1A - School Wide Full Distance Learning, as described in our Re-Entry Plan. (See below, August 10).

A decision regarding the learning model for January will be made at a future date.
 
We look forward to in-person teaching and learning, when it is safe to do so. Until then, our staff is busy designing rigorous distance learning practices that will increase student engagement, develop valuable real-time interactions, guide achievement, and more! 
 
All the best,
 
Vanessa Jones
Education Director

August 10, 2020
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Dear GBCS Community,
 
Seleccione su idioma preferido en la esquina superior izquierda = "Language."
 
Our school re-entry committees have been working diligently to construct a learning plan that ensures the health and safety of our students and staff while generating an environment conducive to learning and instruction.  GBCS prefers to begin the school year with a School-Wide Full Distance Learning Model,  all students working at home following a rigorous learning plan.   If that is not an option, as per an order from Governor Murphy, we will open with two instructional model choices for parents/guardians in September.  One model is our Hybrid Model (Distance Learning & In-School) and the other is a Full Distance Learning Model. 
 
Our current decisions are grounded in the guidance provided by the New Jersey Department of Education, Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan For Education, the CDC, our school configuration, and survey results from our parents and staff.  Our re-entry plan is flexible and subject to change pending the current health pandemic, state and city guidelines, and school decisions based on surveys and needs.  Our preliminary plan includes the following:
 
HEALTH & WELLNESS          
  • All students and staff will be required to wear a face-covering/mask (unless prohibited because of a documented medical condition and must maintain a six-foot distance from others).
  • Students will be given washable cloth face masks to wear.  If they prefer to wear a face-covering/mask from home, they may.  Remember to wash masks after each use.     
  • Students will be given reusable water bottles to use at school.  Water fountain refilling stations will be available if needed.  
  • We will follow an A/B schedule in order to maintain smaller class sizes and adhere to social distancing guidelines. (50% of students attend on A days, 50% on B days) 
  • We are planning for daily temperature readings and/or health screenings for all students and staff.  Students and staff must stay home if sick.  Students and staff who have symptoms at school will be isolated and sent home.  
  • All school facilities, including bathrooms, will be deep-cleaned frequently, and all safety guidelines will be vigorously enforced.  
TRANSPORTATION  
  • Transportation continues to be provided by the district where students live.  New Brunswick is planning to provide student transportation that will follow appropriate social distancing guidelines. Doing so will call for smaller numbers of students than usual to be transported during a single trip. They will continue to monitor the current pandemic conditions and, as conditions improve, will increase the number of students transported at a single time. Some bus routes may have more or fewer students and we will ensure all students are wearing a face-covering /mask.

MEALS 
  • When GBCS is operating in the Full Distance Learning Model, like we have since March, we will offer Grab and Go meals for the week, each Wednesday.  This will be in place of our current Monday and Wednesday food distribution plan.  This model will also be used for families who choose the Distance Learning model and not the Hybrid Learning model when it is available. 
  • Once we begin our Hybrid Model and students are In-School at least one day a week, students qualifying for free or reduced-price meals will receive Grab and Go breakfast and lunch meals at the end of in-person instruction days, providing meals for in-school and distance learning days for the week. 
  • School dismissal will be at 12:05.  All meals are designed to be eaten at home, not school. This will continue until, at least, indoor restaurant dining is open and infection rates are at an appropriate level.   
  • Paid Lunch students will be given the opportunity to order Grab and Go meals for the week, following the same distribution plan as above.
  TEACHING & LEARNING  
  • Greater Brunswick Charter School is dedicated to the students of our community and ensuring students receive a meaningful learning experience. We have planned a multi-tiered instructional model that provides the opportunity for distance learning and in-school learning for all students. Models vary by grade levels and are based on student and program needs.  
  • We are increasing our outdoor classroom spaces to allow more classes to be outside when appropriate.  
  • We are using a Phase-in model for the percentage of time each student will be In-School for instruction and the percentage of students who will be In-School at GBCS.  
  • Due to the specific, current nature of the pandemic, we prefer to begin the school year at Phase 1A- School-Wide Full Distance Learning Model,(pending Governor order) or Phase 1B-Hybrid Model (1 day in-school) and gradually and safely move to Phase 4-Full In-School (5 days in-school).  
  • These decisions and Phases allow for flexibility and are guided by current pandemic conditions.  Decisions will be made cautiously and with input from families and staff when deciding to increase time in-school, moving from Phase 2 to 3 and Phase 3 to 4. 
  • Unless the Governor gives an order for schools to begin the year using Full Distance Learning GBCS must offer a Hybrid model.  Parents/guardians will be required to make a choice between the Full Distance Learning Model and Hybrid Model.  The decision for Full Distance learning will last until the end of the first trimester (December) or until we transition to Phase 2, whichever comes first.  At that point, families will have the opportunity to change learning models.  Parents/guardians may request to move their children from the Hybrid to Full Distance Learning Model at any time during Phase 1A or 1B.  
  • Full Distance Learning Model:
    • School-Wide - Pending Governor Order
      • Full Distance Learning is when students spend 100% of their school time working at home. “School-Wide” means that the entire school will use this model, not requiring a choice from parents/guardians.  (This requires an executive order from Governor Murphy)
      • Educators at GBCS have identified elements of effective distance teaching and learning to build off of what we learned this past spring and improve our model.  We’ve learned a lot since March!  
      • The expectation and rigor of classes and assignments will reflect a traditional GBCS school program.  
      • The daily agenda for K-8 Distance Learning in all grades may include ZOOM mini-lessons, student-centered learning, small group ZOOM discussions, ZOOM partner work, projects, and independent work. 
      • Assignments will be given that will need to be completed online and offline, synchronously and asynchronously, while also working to strike a balance between screen time and book/paper/manipulative time.  
      • Distance Learning will include mandatory synchronous instruction Monday – Friday, following a regular school day schedule. Students are expected to log into all classes in order for instruction and learning to continue. Expectations will vary depending on grade level.  
    • Full Distance Learning -  By Parent/Guardian Choice
      • This model is the same as above, but instead of being school-wide, it is selected by the parent/guardian.  
  • Hybrid Model - In-School &  Distance Learning Model:
    • Hybrid Teaching and learning include a combination of In-School Learning and Distance Learning. 
    •  50% of a class will work In-School and 50% will work at home.  They will follow A/B Day Schedules.  (Phase 1B = 1 day per week, Group A on Monday, Group B on Tuesday, Phase 2 = 2 days per week, Group A on Monday and Thursday, Group B on Tuesday and Friday.  Wednesday = distance learning for all).  
    •  Students In-School will participate in the classroom while Distance Learning students will observe the teacher and/or content via video camera and participate from home.  
    • The Hybrid Model is very similar to the Distance Learning Model, just eliminating the need to connect with the teacher through ZOOM on In-School Days and it requires social distancing.  See the program details above.  
  • Percentage of Time In School increases from - Phase 1 to Phase 4
    • Phase-1A has Distance Learning five days a week (No In-School instruction)  
    • Phase-1B has In-School instruction one day a week and Distance Learning four days a week.
    • Phase 2 has In-School instruction two days a week and Distance Learning three days a week.  
    • Phase 3 has students in Grades K-3 In-School four days a week.  We will utilize extra classrooms in order to accomplish this Phase.  (Music Room, Art Room, Media Center, etc.) 
    • Phase 4 has In-School instruction five days a week for grades K-8.  
  • Percentage of Students In School increases from - Phase 2 to Phase 4 
    • Greater Brunswick Charter School will follow an A/B schedule in order to maintain smaller class sizes, adhere to social distancing guidelines, and reduce the percentage of students In-School. 
    • Students will be organized into two cohorts (A & B). Siblings will be assigned to the same cohort unless a parent requests otherwise.  
    • Classrooms will have 50% of the students they typically house.  Instead of 22 students in a room, there will be 11.  Students will be socially distanced in the classrooms, six feet apart. 
    • During Phase 1B and 2, no more than 50% of students at GBCS will be in a classroom or in the building.  
    • During Phase 3, up to 50% of students in grades 4-8 will be In-School, up to 11 per room,  and up to 100% of students in K-3 will be In-School, up to 11 per room.  We will utilize extra classrooms in order to accomplish this Phase.  (Music Room, Art Room, Media Center, etc.) 
  • Students will be separated into two groups (Group 1, Group 2) in order to create student cohorts that will attend school at the same time. Cohorts will be created to provide continuity across the school and grade levels. Parents/guardians will be notified which group their children are in, as well as which day(s) that group will have in-person instruction. Parents and students will also receive advanced notification of dates and times of online classes/Google Meets/ZOOM. 
Phase-In Learning Models for GBCS  

Learning Models - (Parent/Guardians Choose by 8/17 for 1st Trimester):

  1.     Full Distance Learning Model: 100% Working at Home 

          0 days In-School, early dismissal- Full Distance Learning


  1.    Hybrid Model - Phase-In Plan for In-School Attendance:

Phase 1A: *0 days In-School, early dismissal- Full Distance Learning.*Pending Governor Murphy’s Executive Order

Phase 1B: 1 day In-School per week, early dismissal 

     Group A: In-School Monday; Distance Learning- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday.

     Group B: In-School  Tuesday; Distance  Learning- Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday.


Phase 2:  2 days In-School per week, early dismissal. Gr.K-8 

     Group A: In-School Monday and Thursday; 
Distance Learning-Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday.

     Group B: In-School Tuesday and Friday; Distance 
Learning- Monday, Wednesday & Thursday.



Phase 3:  2 or 4 days In-School per week, early dismissal. Gr.4-8 (2 days), Gr. K-3 (4 days)

     Group A Grades 4-8: In-School Monday and Thursday; Virtual- Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday.

     Group B Grades 4-8: In-School Tuesday and Friday; Virtual- Monday, Wednesday & Thursday.

     Group A Grades K-3: In-School Monday, Tuesday,  Thursday, Friday; Virtual- Wednesday.

     Group B Grades K-3: In-School Monday, Tuesday,  Thursday, Friday; Virtual- Wednesday.


Phase 4:  5 days In-School, early dismissal or full day.  Gr. K-8 

     Group A Grades K-8: In-School Monday – Friday.

     Group B Grades K-8: In-School Monday – Friday.


PARENTAL/GUARDIAN SUPPORT AT HOME 

  • If you pick the Hybrid Model, during the next month have your child practice wearing face-coverings/masks, gradually increasing the period of time until they reach four hours.  The more comfortable they are wearing a face-covering/mask, the easier the transition to working in-school will be.  
  • While at home, consistently practice health and hygiene procedures such as temperature-taking, frequent hand washing, using hand sanitizers whenever soap and water are not available, and washing face coverings/masks after each use.
  • Ensure that you have more than one working thermometer in your home, along with alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Living, working, and learning during a global pandemic can be stressful and traumatic.  It is important to process and manage those emotions in healthy ways. Assess the social and emotional well being of your children and family.  Reach out for support when it is needed.  Contact GBCS if you’d like our help.  
  • The academic program in September will be more rigorous than it was in the spring.  Speak with your child/children about setting up expectations and routines to help their success. 

PRELIMINARY SCHOOL SCHEDULE

Schedule for Elementary and K-8 Schools : 
  • A multi-tiered model will be implemented based on student needs. 
  • Phase 1A  - Fully Distance Learning Model.  
    • Instruction and Learning will begin at 8:00 AM and continue until 1:30 PM.  
    • Grab and Go Meals for the week may be picked up on Wednesdays 
  • Phase 1B  - Hybrid Model.  Instruction will incorporate In-School and Distance Learning with a limited number of students in each class.
    • Students will be split into A/B groups to reduce In-School class sizes. 
    • Students will attend school for in-school instruction or distance learning from 8:00 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. every day.  
    • Grab and Go Meals for the week will be available at dismissal.  
    • Group A will attend in-school on Mondays (A Day) and Group B will attend in-person on Tuesdays (B Day). 
    • Instruction will be delivered in the same classroom all day, whenever possible.
  • Dismissal times for students who require transportation may differ.  

Instructional Time Schedules for Hybrid and Distance Learning Models
 
If we begin with Phase 1A:  
Start Time: 8:00 am
End Time: 1:35 pm
Staggered Dismissal begins at 1:30
 
If we begin with Phase 1B:  
Staggered Arrival begins at 7:45 am
Start Time: 8:00 am
End Time: 12:05 pm
Staggered Dismissal begins at 12:00
 
schedule 1
1A schedule
 
1B schedule
 
 

We submitted a comprehensive Restart and Recovery Plan to the New Jersey Department of Education and received approval that our plan meets their standards.  The document you are reading now is the summary of that plan.  Our re-entry committee -- which consists of school administrators, our nurse, teachers, our head custodian, our technology specialist, parents, and board members -- continue to refine and expand our plans.  
 
Next week we will release a new mandatory survey that will be essential to our planning efforts.   It will require families to select which Learning Model you prefer, Full Distance Learning or Hybrid.  (This is assuming Governor Murphy has not made an executive order for our state to have State-Wide Full Distance Learning.)   
 
Our entire school --  staff, administration, and board members -- continue to do everything necessary to ensure that we are ready for the upcoming school year by providing a safe and nurturing learning environment for all our students.
 
Thank you!
 
Vanessa Jones
Education Director 
 


Pick up Chromebooks, iPads, and materials next week for the 2020-2021 school year! See pick up schedule:
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