An Message from Dr. Harttraft on Synchronous LearningNovember 12, 2020
Dear SCVTS Educational Community members,
Thank you for your ongoing cooperation with a number of requests and requirements that we have successfully put in place to keep our community healthy and safe during our Hybrid instructional model, implemented since October 5 th, 2020.
It has truly been a joint effort to maintain the in-person instructional model while monitoring any potential COVID risks and/or possible risks of exposure. We have been maintaining close contact with the sending districts, the local health organizations and medical experts to help guide our quarantining decisions. Our administrative staff and nurses have been following up on information attained from various sources to ensure our safety. This has been a monumental effort but critically necessary. I ask that you please, continue to cooperate and provide us with the valuable information requested. This is vital to our processes and we remain mindful of our responsibilities regarding confidentiality.
Parents, guardians, students and staff have continued to provide important COVID information on a daily basis necessary for us to safely continue in-person instruction.
Regarding instruction, a significant number of parents have voiced a desire for us to implement a synchronous schedule to better align with the sending districts’ schedules and to provide more structure for remote learners. Additionally, many of our teachers are already providing synchronous learning causing issues with equity. Lastly, we are under federal and state mandates to offer more structured learning for our special education population.
Recent survey data has indicated that our next phase must include a move to a synchronous schedule each day. We will be beginning with this scheduled phase on November 30 th , upon our return from the Thanksgiving break.
Based on much debate and discussion, the school will be moving to 5 days a week of synchronous teaching for all students in the core academics (English, math, science, social studies and Spanish). The Friday remote schedule will be reduced to a half day for students from 8:00AM to 12:20PM. The weekly schedule can be found on the website. It is our hope that this will streamline future efforts if and when a return to all
remote learning is needed.
As has been our practice, we will be monitoring our progress and make changes as necessary. Please continue to respond to our requests for survey information, your input is important to our success.
Thank you again for your continued cooperation and patience during this most difficult time.
Chrys Harttraft, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
SCVTHS Begins Hybrid Schedule for Students
On Monday, October 5, Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School (SCVTHS) began the first day of the hybrid learning schedule, welcoming students back into the buildings for the first time since March. Principal Hector Montes and the school’s Linkages department personally welcomed the students back to the building by giving out gift bags, which included items such as water bottles, snacks, earbuds, notepads and stress balls.
Each day, all nine scheduled periods will occur. However, students have been split into two groups (A & B) in order to reduce the number of students in the buildings. Students in the A group will report to school on Mondays and Wednesdays. B group students will report on Tuesdays and Thursdays. When not participating in in-person learning, students are to participate in remote instruction. All students will be learning remotely on Fridays.
As with many of the changes this year, SCVTHS has developed and prioritized enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures to reduce the spread of contagions. Each day, using EPA registered disinfectants, and EPA protocols, the buildings will be cleaned and disinfected. Additionally, high use areas have been identified for extra cleanings. Hand sanitizer has been distributed to each classroom and sanitizer stations have been placed throughout the buildings. Face coverings or masks and adhering to the 6 ft. of social distancing guidelines are mandatory for all students and staff.
SCVTHS has placed additional signage throughout the campus to create further awareness of social distancing requirements. “One Way” signs have been placed on the hallway floors and posters have been posted throughout campus. Parents and guardians have been asked to adhere to the Governor’s advisories and attest daily to student temperature and symptom checks. “Our main goal is to keep our students and staff healthy and safe, it will take cooperation from all of us to successfully implement our hybrid remote and in-person instruction” according to Dr. Chrys Harttraft, Superintendent of Schools.
For additional details relating to the safety precautions taking place at Somerset County Vocational & Technical Schools, please refer to the district’s Restart and Recovery Plan.
Photo: (l-r) SCVTHS Cosmetology student Madison Zarzecki of Branchburg receives her gift bag from Principal Hector Montes.
Photo: (l-r) SCVTHS Supervisor of Career & Technical Education Programs Rob Carrig and Mechatronics, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing student Bernard Babitsky of South Bound Brook gets his temperature checked upon arriving at SCVTHS.
Photo: Walther Mejia of Pritchard Industries, Inc. displays a Protexus Cordless Electrostatic Sprayer used in the cleaning process at SCVTHS.