Superintendent's Corner

Superintendent's Corner
Annette Castiglione

A Message from the Superintendent

CLICK HERE

Please Click on the Coronavirus Icon Above & Facebook  For Current District Updates, THANK YOU! 

Superintendent of Schools

 s

April 3, 2020

Dear Bellmawr Learning Community Member,

 We are now beginning week four of our school closure. I want to begin by thanking the countless number of individuals who have continued to work and volunteer to help ensure that our students are being fed and have technology to use. Our teachers are managing as they learn a whole new way to teach and learn, while raising and assisting their own children with the learning challenges they face. Our community is pulling together in so many ways with groups of people helping the sick and elderly with food distribution, volunteering to help with our meal distribution each week.  It is truly remarkable how we all come together to support one another in times of hardship.

We have made some decisions regarding grading and spring break that I wanted to share with all of you. There have been hours of discussion on these topics, and I realize these decisions will not be welcomed by everyone. Yet, decisions must be made, and, as always, I will continue to make decisions that I believe are in the best interest of our kids, our staff, and our community.

Spring Break

Spring break will go on as planned. Our staff, our students, our parents, and our support staff who are working tirelessly to get meals and technology out to our students, need time to recharge their batteries. Our kids and teachers can use this time to catch up. This new learning environment is a challenge for all, and this break will afford us the opportunity to take a deep breath, catch up where we need to, and spend time with one another without dealing with the challenges that remote learning has presented to all of us.

At this time, we are not certain that we will return to school on April 20, 2020. The President has said it is likely that we will stay out until the first week in May.  I want you to know that we are prepared for either scenario. Our teachers are planning for remote instruction if we do not return on April 20th. The Governor has said he will render a decision on April 13th,

 Third and Fourth Marking Periods

The third marking period ended on Friday April 3, 2020. Report cards will be distributed as planned on April 9, 2020 which is also the beginning of Spring Break. Fourth marking period begins Monday April 6,2020. It is likely that we will move to a different measure of grading for fourth marking period. That will certainly depend upon how long we are out of school. In any event it is the expectation that your child(ren) complete the assignments he/she has been given. Our teachers are working tirelessly to address issues with remote learning, the need for packets and know the importance of communicating with you and your children. Please help us by reminding your children of the importance of completing their assignments to the best of their ability. And remember you can always reach out to the teachers, the principal or me with any questions you may have.

It is critical that we all remain flexible, understanding, and communicative during this period. Finding the correct balance in recognition of the immense responsibilities we all share right now is critical to our social and emotional well-being. I will continue to communicate this to our staff, as well.

 PreK Registration

Registration for pre k concluded March13th.  At this time, our classes are full.  We of course will resume the registration process when we return but those children will be placed on a waiting list.

 Summer Camp Registration

The last weeks of March had been devoted to camp registration. Right now, we are not in the position to take registrations for camp.  We intend to open that process as soon as we return. The same holds true for our CARE program.

Last Days of School 2019-20

I am painfully aware of the many wonderful activities that mark the beginning of spring in our district: 4th grade transition, all the wonderful 8th grade activities, our Multicultural Fair, Art Show, Green Fair, spring sports, field days, NJHS to name just a few.  We are talking about how we might celebrate some of these things if we come back before the last day official day of school which will be Friday, June 12, 2020.  We are also exploring how to do some of these things during the summer if we are able. 

Thank you for being our educational partners. I am very aware of the added stress this has placed on our parents. If we continue to communicate with kindness and consideration, we can manage these challenges and overcome them together. Please remember to visit our district web site, Facebook pages, the schools’ websites and of course the teachers’ pages.  I have viewed so many fantastic lessons. I hope you get a chance to see them too.

I am amazed by the creative ways that our staff, students, and community are engaging with one another through social media. These happy communications do help all of us better cope with the added stress we are under.

 

Stay safe and healthy everyone,
Warmest Regards,

Annette Castiglione
Superintendent