East Mountain School
School Closure Public Notice
Last updated: March 26, 2020
East Mountain School Continuing Education Plan in Event of School Closure
Spring of 2020 – Revised May 22nd
Pursuant to New Jersey Department of Education….. All boards of education should develop a school health-related closure preparedness plan to provide home instruction in the event of such a closure. The planned services should include equitable access to instruction for all students. Each preparedness plan should also address the provision of appropriate special education and related services for students with disabilities and the provision of school nutrition benefits or services for eligible students. The preparedness plans should be submitted to the Executive County Superintendent.
As a school community we place a high priority on safety as well as promoting good health. East Mountain School has been working with our leaders to take precautions against the Coronavirus, COVID 19. Our planning is done in consultation with the local Department of Health and with the Department of Education. As per the Department of Education, any school or district closures will be directed by either the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) or the health officer in our County.
East Mountain School is implementing our Continuation of Education Plan and have this plan be in effect for all community-based and residential treatment center students with the following criteria:
- This plan requiresthe assistance of our families as well as their district child study team members.
- Digital and written communication have been sent to all sending districts, group homes and families.
- We are requiring parents and guardians to supply a secure and often checked email address for communication and to obtain classroom materials home.
- The email address and corresponding student name are logged and accessible for teachers to access in their remote learning.
- We are contacting residences of parents whom do not supply addresses or follow up contact.
- Students in residence on campus and in the Community Day Program have received 15 days of work in three separate time periods, over the past months, carrying them to April 6th,, then May 4th and finally to May 29, in both digital form and by delivered hard copy to the residential unit. Parents of residential students were notified by emails and memo home regarding the supplied work and were requested as well to maintain communication.
- All students received copies of schoolwork by hard copy or digital means, or both.
- Community Day Students without email, had their work mailed to their residence with follow up phone calls to families to ensure receipt. Follow up phone calls will be made by teachers to support academic work.
Communication and Distribution Educational Plans to Districts and Families:
As per the Department of Education Memo on Guidance Regarding Requirements for Public Health Related School Closure, “During school dismissals, childcare programs and schools may stay open for staff (if not ill) while students stay home. This allows teachers to develop and deliver lessons remotely and for other staff to continue to provide services.”
East Mountain School Students and their families will be kept in contact via technology- based platforms including computers and smartphones. Students will also be contacted via conferences calls with phone tutoring and with the sending of educational “packets” with assignments. East Mountain School staff have compiled PDF copies of all subject area assignments, with a breakdown of work activities. Hard copies are to be provided as well and kept on file at the school. As needed, these copies may be accessed and/or mailed to homes for students. Data collection regarding the technology readiness and availability are being conducted and compiled in the school information data system, Rediker, to ensure successful communication. This effort has also been coordinated with our local school district Child Study Team members as each case manager represents the educational plan for the students.
Technology Implications for Staff
Numerous supports were put in place to assist in the continuity of learning for all students.
- All Staff installed Duo to access Hackensack Meridian email outside of Carrier. Call the help desk (x4357) for instructions on setting up Duo. We access email from Office365 on the web or download outlook.
- All staff must change their email password as per technology requirements.
- Staff without access to a computer at home have been provided a laptop as of March 13th and be provided a tutorial on how to connect to home WiFi.
- All digital work will upload to the folder on the R drive called “2019-2020 emergency closing lesson plans” to a cloud drive. An email blast was sent on March 20th to all school staff with the link to those files. This would include any support or enrichment files.
Educator’s Plan of Action to Maintain Educational Continuity…
Teachers and Related Services Staff Requirements:
Contact time with students is essential. Additionally, 100% of our school population are special education students requiring modified work and special accommodations. As a result, our communication and documentation with students and their families become the crucial link to sustained and effective education of students. Therefore, frequent and ongoing communication must take place and be documented in staff logs and student data systems. This communication between districts and other stakeholders is documented in the student logs
- Communication, corresponding to days school would have been in session, with students, both in the Community and remotely for students at East Mountain Youth Lodge.
- Feedback given to parents, guardians and students regarding work completed as well as new lessons and assignments
- Alternative assignment may be offered to accommodate the learning needs of a student.
- Communication to parents and guardians of child’s progress.
- Maintaining ongoing educational journal of student contacts to add to the child portfolio, including anecdotal comments.
- Maintaining an ongoing record of all correspondences.
- Maintaining a phone log of all conversations
- Feedback to student and parents regarding evaluations of assignments, e.g. grading and sharing for improvement where applicable.
- Collaboration between social works, teachers and other support staff to encourage working with the students most effectively.
- Reporting of student progress to administrators.
- Reporting of all student’s progress or failure to complete work. In this event, Communication back to the sending district is made by supervisors and social workers to advise CST’s of student’s lack of progress. This is noted in our student logs as well.
- Updating and logging of all academic progress in grading program, Rediker
- Maintaining progress notes in Rediker system for related services, i.e. school-based counseling (when possible)
Equitable Access to Instruction Plan
Does the District’s plan account for measuring and addressing any ongoing digital divide that exists, whether it be network access or lack of sufficient access to devices.
All students at East Mountain School have equitable access to remote instruction technology for all. East Mountain School is a school attached to Hackensack Meridian Carrier Clinic Hospital. Approximately fifty percent of the students live on the East Mountain Youth Lodge adjacent to East Mountain School. This helps to provide equitable access to technology for those students via Facetime, Apple TV, instructional packets, and viewing instructional videos specific subject related assignments on our own created webpage; Eastmountainschool.weebly.com
The other fifty percent of the student population are commuters also sent by New Jersey Public Schools. All commuter students receive instructional packets via the US Post Office, instructional packets emailed home, receive instructional and/or assessment phone calls from teachers regularly, and receive Facetime instruction. In addition, all students have the ability to view instructional videos and specific teaching assignments that are posted on our own created webpage daily.
Chrome books have also been provided to the students in need of technology tools by their sending districts who are enrolled at East Mountain School. This provides additional support for students at home to complete their required work assignments via computer.
Ongoing communication between teachers, parents and students contributes to the success of the remote learning process.
East Mountain School includes an overall demographic profile of our district that includes student counts for state funded Students with Disabilities, and English Language Learners (ELL). East Mountain School contains grades 7th through 12th grade Students with Disabilities.
Student attendance is taken daily both at the East Mountain Youth Lodge and for our commuter students. This is done through teacher input, social worker input and East Mountain Youth Lodge input.
Student demographic counts are also tallied for students receiving free and reduced lunch. Students receiving free/reduced lunches are driven to student homes. Commuter at-risk students are also provided lunch and driven to the student’s home.
The East Mountain School plan ensures that all students with their varied and age appropriate needs are addressed. Students in need of technology tools, educational support materials and teacher/social worker communication in reference to specific needs are addressed as and when the need arises.
East Mountain School enrolls both residential and commuter students with Individual Education Plans. Our goal is always to provide both groups of students with the same educational and technological opportunities available at all times.
Students have access to different platforms within the remote learning process. Students have access to the following platforms:
- Apple TV
- Apple IPAD FaceTime
- East Mountain School Teacher Created Webpage for posting instructional videos and specific subject related assignments
- Instructional Packets that are emailed to students
- Instructional Packets that are sent via US Post Office
- IPads have been set up for use by students on the residential Unit on the Lodge to access website and other digital tools.
- Selected software applications have been installed on student IPads that include the following apps:
- Numbers Pages imovie
- iTunes U
- Swift Playgrounds
- Kahn Academy
- Scholastic Magazine
- Google Translate
- PHET Science Simulations
- Three graphing and calculator apps
East Mountain Schools’ plan does account for measuring and addressing any ongoing digital divides that may exist whether it be network access or lack of sufficient access to devices.
- Other, technology equipment will be purchased as the need arises.
- Computer desktops have been ordered to upgrade and enhance our technology equipment in the school.
- Fifty additional IPads have been purchased to address future needs.
- Instructional supplies will be purchased to address the needs of our students and staff.
Computer programs for educational use will be purchased as needed to accommodate the subject taught and its alignment to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.
Addressing Special Education Needs (IEPs and Case Management)- Component 2
During remote/virtual instruction, East Mountain School is committed to implementing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) to the greatest extent possible.
Assignments and academic materials are being delivered in a variety of methods, based on each individual students’ abilities and access to remote instruction. Some examples of these methods are emailed assignments, access to various websites, and hard copy assignments mailed home on a bi-weekly basis. Individualized lesson plans are also being provided so students are aware of the assignments that are due.
Modifications and accommodations will be followed when teachers are sending assignments and lesson plans.
Communication between students and teachers is available via email, phone, FaceTime, and Zoom. Teachers will log all correspondence with students in the EMS log form that has been provided by administration. Daily progress is communicated between teachers and each student’s school social worker. Overall weekly progress is reported via weekly grades that are submitted to administration and communicated with families and sending school districts.
Counseling sessions will be offered via phone. Counseling worksheets and assignments will be emailed to students and mailed home as a hard copy. Additional emergency resources will be included in the counseling packets, should a student be in crisis while the school is closed. These support materials are also found on the East Mountain School Teacher created Website for remote access.
School social workers will be in communication with their students via email and phone. All correspondence with students, parents, and other service providers will be logged in the individual student logs as usual.
Speech & Language services are available via phone and Zoom. Speech & Language assignments are also provided electronically, as well as hard copy included in the bi-weekly mailings. These services had to be scheduled after the East Mountain School launched its virtual learning as the restrictions were lifted in April 2020. As of the drafting of this plan, all Speech services are required to be made up as scheduling challenges, due to COVID, prevented our Speech Teacher to return to sessions. As of May 22nd, the teacher is able to commence sessions with all students, through our supportive technology.
IEP Meetings, Eligibility, Re-Evaluation, Manifestation Meetings:
- All meetings scheduled during the time of the emergency closing period will be offered as either video (Google Meet or Zoom) or phone conferences. PLAAFPs, goals/objectives, BIPs, Counseling Goals/PLAAFP will be emailed to the CST case manager to be included in the IEP. East Mountain School will continue to include the appropriate staff for each meeting (IEP Coordinator, Teacher, Related Service Provider). Language line services will be available for parents whose native language is not English.
- All special education evaluations are the responsibility of the sending school districts. East Mountain School will follow the lead of the public schools regarding scheduling evaluations, and consult and assist to coordinate with them, if possible.
- Students have access to the following websites:
- Apple CBees (by BBC)
- Discovery Kids
- weebly.com (Our newly created website)
- How Stuff Works
- PBS Kids
- Smithsonian Institute
- Time for Kids
- Since transitioning to virtual learning, fifty additional IPads have been purchased to address future needs as they arise.
Addressing ELL and Bilingual Needs Plan
Does the plan include ESL and bilingual education to meet the needs of English Language Learners?
East Mountain School uses video, Apple TV, Apple Ipad Facetime, telephone communication and a specific webpage designed for teachers to post assignments that focus on the individual needs of all ELL and bilingual students while teaching remotely and/or traditional learning environment.
Materials can be translated with the help of professional staff members that speak the language and the language line.
Teachers make remote learning more engaging with synchronous instruction using platforms with captioning or translation capabilities.
Teachers may use Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom for Education. For students who aren’t able to keep up with live instruction, teachers have prerecord their lessons and posted them on our webpage.
Videoconferencing platforms provide the opportunity for teachers to check in on ELL students and see how they’re doing, as well as stay connected with their parents and families.
Screen-sharing features on these platforms can be used to walk parents through any digital tools that they may not know how to use. As an option, teachers can post video recorded multilingual how-to videos for technology programs that we presently use.
Student assignments are also sent home via the US Post Office to ensure that all students have what they need to complete their work assignments even though they may not have the use of the internet.
It is important for teachers to engage ELL students during remote learning, even if they don’t have access to the internet. But no matter what method they choose, it’s most important for teachers to be sensitive to their students’ situations and to make sure that they’re setting reasonable goals and expectations for learning.
East Mountain School makes every effort to communicate with ELL families throughout the school year.
Parents/families receive telephone calls from teachers regularly. When necessary, in order to communicate with non-English speaking ELL families, the use translation language line helps to facilitate ongoing communication about their child’s progress and any specific concerns that arise. When and where possible, a staff member may also be used to facilitate translation.
There are many challenges that ELL students face daily even in a traditional learning environment. Now, in a remote learning environment, the key is not to overwhelm them or their families during this process.
Each student at East Mountain School has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which dictates what the students needs are and lists their specific goals and objectives. Each student plan is different. All students learn differently with the understanding that each student has their own set of strengths, weaknesses and learning styles.
Differentiated instruction is used in all levels of the learning process to address the needs itemized in each student’s Individual Education Plan. It is important to plan instruction understanding the differences and similarities among students and use this information to plan instruction effectively. This becomes the individual students’ learning prescription.
Numerous technological tools that are used at East Mountain School are designed to address each learning objective and address the specific challenges that each student may have throughout this process.
The use of video, telephone conferencing, webpage learning assignments posted by teachers, Apple TV, Apple Facetime instruction, Zoom for Education and learning packets that are emailed and sent home via the US Post Office provide opportunities to address the challenges at hand and not overwhelm the student or family.
Free and Reduced Lunch Program Access for East Mountain School Students
As per directives from the NJ Department of Agriculture and the NJ Department of Education East Mountain School established the following:
- All Students of East Mountain School, who reside at East Mountain Youth Lodge, will be supplied their school meals to their residence.
- All Students of East Mountain School, who are eligible community-based day pupils will be provided lunches. On a weekly basis lunches will be delivered directly to a pupil’s place of residence by school team members to the approved free and or reduced lunch participants of the National School Lunch Program. With the coordination of the Hackensack Meridian Health, Carrier Clinic’s Food Services will provide the students with weeklong nutritional meals.
- Families may contact our Main Office, at 908-281-1445 or 908-281011-1415. Communication with families will be ongoing as student needs and circumstances may change throughout the remote learning schedule.
Teaching Methods/Interventions & Refinements to Instruction as a Result of Remote Learning:
The team of educators at East Mountain School have nurtured a learning environment to build a distance learning community by being understanding, flexible and kind. Our goals have been to continually maintain relationships with students and their families by allowing them to express their emotional needs, concerns and engage socially with our team. We have established flexibility in school time, setting up learning sessions with students throughout the day or in the evening (after school hours) or weekends if needed. Generally, our approach has been to work collaboratively with students to develop assignments of interest and learning level; example of incorporating assignments that students have raised an interest in or requested during distance learning.
Communication on School Team with Teachers and Social Workers to assist Families and Students.
Additionally, our team applied a more holistic approach by assessing and then collaborating with teachers/social workers to improve teaching methods and available resources. An example was our collaboration with teachers in same subject matter for support and resources. Through these connections we were able to enhance virtual learning with techniques from different subject matters and devise approaches in working with students based on the success or advise from other teachers and social workers.
Incorporated strategies with alternative, modified teaching techniques, as in the following:
- Small-group instruction 3x weekly (lodge)/ 1:1 instruction by appointment (commuter),
- modify workload/ length of assignments, allow extended time as needed,
- reword directions in simpler language (e.g. daily assignment briefings),
- provide notes/ study guides for new concepts (e.g. grammar rules, literary terms),
- adjust Lexile level of independent reading texts as appropriate, provide audio versions (e.g. YouTube videos) or teacher read-aloud (FaceTime/ Zoom/phone) to supplement longer or more complex texts,
- highlight/ annotate important words or phrases in reading assignments,
- use of graphic organizers to scaffold student writing, provide word bank of choices for answers, reduce number of items in multiple-choice questions,
- provide alternative writing assignments and opportunities for supplemental assignments.
Methods and Supports for Remote Learning :
- Providing physical and digital copies of assignments,
- use of audio/video chat for live instruction (FaceTime, Zoom),
- use of phone/ email for academic support,
- regular teacher check-ins with parent/ guardian to assess student progress, encourage peer tutoring with residential students.
- Students are given a 15-day scheduled timeline of when each assignment is due.
- Students are given instruction via email, FaceTime, and in-person for our lodge students.
- School Paraprofessionals are also available to help students and accommodate their needs.
Teachers provide educational support via telephone and Zoom program; Example: students receive one-on-one instruction via Zoom for 30 minutes two to five times per week; telephone instruction for those without internet access. Similarly, we provide residential students with support in video and through Apple TV (facetime) on a weekly basis. Specific outsourced materials were through Khan Academy lessons. We then conducted discussions via email, telephone or Zoom and monitored on a daily basis. Additionally, all students have been given access to the IXL website
Organizing Students in their Work Production and Tackling Assignments through the following:
- Created digital work folders for students and organized PDF’s and folders for easy distribution
- Routines: Established a scheduled routine time with students for tutorials and check-ins with social workers and teachers.
- Used the inclusion model by providing the student choices during learning sessions and independent learning
- Provided students with alternative assignments to paper and pen tasks in addition to added enrichment advanced students
- Maintained a fluidity of course work by following core content standards with enrichment assignments.
- Engage with students in order to modify assignments to meet their individual educational and emotional needs.
- Provide students with additional visual and literary resources to enhance the subject matter.
To address the challenges the students face, beyond our required related services of counseling as per the IEP, social workers have also implemented the following:
- Weekly teletherapy sessions, which requires multiple tries to reach students
- Weekly phone and or email check-ins with parents to provide supportive services, advocacy and to develop strategies for remote learning success
- Updates to CST’s to ensure they are up to date with regard to student progress
- Remote meetings with CST’s to problem solve issues regarding students
- Remote IEP meetings
- Maintain EMS website by adding therapeutic interventions, Mindfullness, information counseling, crisis intervention and resources
- Contact with teachers via email or zoom to discuss student progress or barriers to work completion
- Liaison between service providers including CMO, outpatient providers, parents and CST’s
- Assess student’s mental status and provide interventions as needed
- Identify areas of need and provide resources for students and parents
- Continued emailing with staff, agencies and CST’s to update student academic progress or situations at home that may be challenging
- Weekly Zoom meetings with EMS school staff to discuss student progress, weaknesses and academics. Problem solve issues
- During teletherapy phone sessions, goal is to motivate and ensure structure and provide support to student and parent
- Contact with guardians and CST consist of identifying areas of need and to inform parents and CST of progress
- Provide students with weekly worksheet log regarding specific issues that student may be experiencing
- Provide parent support and resources as needed
- Problem solving
- Behavior Modification may include rewards for students for completion of classwork
- Crisis Intervention by referring parents to agencies for immediate assistance
- Task Centered Practices approach by setting specific achievable goals
- Utilize the Language Line to assist with phone communications with guardians
Assessment and Grades:
Modifying grades based on IEP, no grading penalties for spelling/ grammatical errors, extending deadlines for assignments. This flexibility accommodates the pace and processing abilities of individual students
Assessing students’ individual cognitive abilities to determine how to provide more support and trouble shoot in the moment solutions. Example, in working with a student over the phone, it became clear that the student needed more visual support and we switched our learning session to the Zoom program.
Follow up with Families & Students in the Event of Student Absence or Non-Participation
In the event of a closure directive from the New Jersey Department of Health, and in compliance with the Department of Education Memo on Guidance Regarding Requirements for Public Health Related School Closure East Mountain School “… may utilize home instruction to provide instructional services to enrolled students. The provision of home instruction services should be guided by N.J.A.C. 6A:16-10.1 and may include direct services, online instruction, services provided through contract with another district board of education, or any other means developed by the district to meet the needs of its students. Any day in which students impacted by a public health-related closure have access to home instruction services provided consistent with the guidance in this memo will count as a day in which the board of education has provided public school facilities toward its compliance with the 180-day requirement in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:7F-9.”
Although students in the Community will not be physically present in the school, they will be contacted daily by members of the teaching and/or therapeutic staff at East Mountain School. They will be supplied instruction remotely, based on their subject area need, as well as related services through their IEP. School staff will be available digitally for teaching, lesson support and questions. A record of these contacts will be logged and used to track student attendance. When a student is not participating in online instruction and/or submitting assignments, teachers will notify the school social worker who will contact the parent/guardian.
Students residing in the East Mountain Youth Lodge will be supplied instruction remotely, based on their subject area need, as well as related services through their IEP. This schedule will operate through an approximately three to four hour school day, with School Staff available digitally for teaching, lesson support and questions. A record of these contacts will be logged and used to track student attendance. When a student is not participating in online instruction and/or submitting assignments, teachers will notify the school social worker who will contact the parent/guardian. East Mountain School will also correspond formally with families and CST members with sending Five-Days Absent letters to students not reporting to instruction. This procedure applies to both Community Day students and residential students.
School social workers are communicating any attendance concerns to the CST case manager at the student’s home school district on a weekly/bi-weekly basis. Theses correspondences are maintained in the social worker’s clinical notes. The sending school district will make all decisions regarding promotion/ retention/graduation in accordance with their district attendance policy.
Component 7 *Does the plan contain an outline of how the building will be maintained throughout the extended period of closure?
- East Mountain School will continue to enforce heightened health and sanitation protocols.
- East Mountain School will continue to evaluate its health and safety measures to fit its resources and capabilities across four major categories: physical infrastructure, scheduling and staffing, transportation and food service, and health and behavioral policies.
- When students return to school, building infrastructure will continue to facilitate both physical distancing and hygiene protocols. For instance, designated entrances and exits for different student cohorts, sectioned off common spaces, and floor markings to direct foot-traffic flows can help students and staff maintains a safe distance.
- Similarly, more portable hand-sanitizing stations at entrances and common areas can promote regular hygiene.
- A building custodian maintains a regular schedule of cleaning jobs and specific areas each day to ensure that the building is properly cleaned, disinfected and properly maintained. This occurs during our COVID19 school closure and during regular school session.
- East Mountain School continues to provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desktops, chairs, floors, and cabinets are disinfected on a regular schedule throughout the school closure and to continue this process when school reopens.
- The custodian regularly keeps classroom and office windows open when and where possible to increase proper ventilation in the building.
- The custodian cleaning crew routinely cleans all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. We will use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
- Examples of frequently touched surfaces and objects that will need routine disinfection in the school are:
- light switches
- faucets and sinks
- touch screens
- Carpets, rugs and seating areas to be cleaned regularly using COVID19 approved disinfectants.
- To reopen schools, we will need to continue the following practices:
- social distancing
- small group sizes; smaller class sizes
- frequently washing hands or use alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
- wearing cloth face coverings
- avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth
- staying home when sick
- cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
Custodians will continue to clean using EPA COVID-19 approved neutral disinfectants with increased focus on high touch areas. When school reopens East Mountain School will follow health protocols to identify for the referral, tracing and isolation of students and staff who are exhibiting COVID-19-related symptoms or with confirmed diagnoses. Screening for symptoms in children and staff, including temperature-taking and an isolation room. This will require efforts to reorganize the school day and school operations to maintain health and safety standards. It is critical to recognize that different schools, different districts and even different rooms will require tailored solutions.
Schools serve diverse populations, from young children, to students with severe behavioral issues, to others with physical limitations may make strict adherence to a six-foot distancing standard difficult. This will require efforts to reorganize the school day and school operations to maintain health and safety standards. It is critical to recognize that different schools, different districts and even different rooms will require tailored solutions.
Fortunately, East Mountain School is part of Hackensack Meridian Carrier Clinic Hospital, our cleaning and disinfecting process has and always will continue to follow all hospital-level cleaning procedures and those outlined to combat COVID 19 guidelines and regulations.
- East Mountain School will closely monitor access to school facilities and limit the number of visitors granted access to school facilities.
- Sending school districts will have to consider modifying transportation to provide staggered arrival times and multiple arrival locations to limit large gatherings of students. Staggered lunch and mealtimes.
- The East Mountain School reopening plan will consider providing At-Risk workers with the option to deliver instruction remotely while students are in the building, with students under the supervision of qualified staff.
- At-risk students should have a similar option to learn remotely while their teachers and peers are in school.
Component 8: Extended School Year Programming
ESY and Credit Recovery
East Mountain School is planning to operate a virtual Extended School Year Program from July 6, 2020 through August 14, 2020…. See flyer.
Our program will operate Monday through Friday. Any student approved by their sending school district is eligible to attend the virtual ESY program. The program will consist of opportunities for academic reinforcement, credit recoupment (if approved by the sending school district), and social/emotional support. They will be supplied instruction remotely, based on their subject area need, as well as related services through their IEP. School staff will be available digitally for teaching, lesson support and questions.
Assessment of credit loss will be determined by each individual student’s sending school district. Credit loss is discussed at IEP meetings, as well as through communication between district personnel and EMS personnel throughout the school year. Students will be offered the opportunity to make up lost credit during East Mountain School’s ESY program, if approved by the sending school district.
Learning loss will be addressed through the virtual instruction individually provided by our academic teaching staff. Lessons are customized to meet individual student goals and are designed to provide students with academic continuity and reinforcement. Social skills and emotional regression will also be addressed through virtual interaction with school social workers, while related services continue to be offered through the ESY program.
East Mountain School’s preferred Summer offering for identified ESY students would have students coming to our school site and provide support instruction with a virtual leaning component.
East Mountain School would be amenable and able to pilot a program of students and staff on site for ESY. As a hospital-linked school, we can provide the appropriate needs in cleaning and protection gear for staff and students. Presently, our staff are screened daily for elevated temperatures and wearing a sticker to denote our passing the temperature screen. All staff wear masks 100% on site. The student population is smaller, having one half to three fourths of our usually student enrollment. We could take the opportunity to learn from our ideas and solutions we try and ready them for the Fall.
Our central goal for students is to work safely and carefully toward returning to on-site schooling. This is essential because of the losses and challenges our at-risk students already experienced before the pandemic.
The students’ regressing in behavior support and socialization growth, is a concern as well. Our children are experiencing numerous challenges in their lives throughout the pandemic. The children’s not attending schools daily is part of that traumatic loss of structure, therapeutic supports, and socialization all on top of the academic losses. Students will invariably manifest their learning disabilities in this virtual platform. We need to move forward slowly and with steps to protect workers and students. We also need to plan with our families and our school districts, about how to get the students to our site, safely. We have respectfully requested to the County to allow East Mountain School to pilot any form of having students return for Summer programming.
The New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science provide students with opportunities to engage in learning about fundamental questions about the world and how scientists have investigated and found answers to those questions. At East Mountain School, students will have opportunity to carry out scientific investigations related to their Science, Technology, Engineering and Math studies. Technology and Math (STEM) theme focuses on improving math skills for all participating students. The main goal is to provide students with access to STEM programs for the purpose of academic improvement, skill building, artistic expression, career exploration, and information empowerment.
In today’s global economy, students need to be lifelong learners who have the knowledge and skills to adapt to an evolving workplace and world. To address these demands, Standard 9, 21st Century Life and Careers, which includes the 12 Career Ready Practices, establishes clear guidelines for what students need to know and be able to do in order to be successful in their future careers and to achieve financial independence. These life and career skills enable students to make informed decisions that prepare them to engage as active citizens in a dynamic global society and to successfully meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century global workplace.
At this time, EMS is weighing all socially distant options for our 2020 Graduation Ceremony. Ideas include an outdoor ceremony, drive by ceremony, or home visit ceremony. Any of the plans would require revisions to the Governor’s Executive Order.
Ceremony considerations include the following:
- Each senior will be given an appointment to come to school on 6/17 or 6/18.
- Cap and gowns will be given to students upon arrive to dress in.
- Student to stand by lawn sign, receive diploma, t-shirt, yearbook and gifts.
- Podium can be set up outside School for brief presentation.
- Parent/guardians will stand at a distance to watch presentation; take pictures.
- Staff will also be outside respecting social distancing rules.
- All participants will be required to wear masks.
- If possible, each graduate to receive a rose or carnation.
CONCLUSION: A LIVING DOCUMENT
This plan is to develop a robust school program and well-maintained building throughout the extended period of closure. The goal is to eventually reopen our school. As a result, this educational plan is a living document, guided by constantly evolving expert advice about how best to keep our children and staff safe from the continued spread of COVID-19 and what resources are needed to put our school back on the road to recovery. It rests on the fundamental belief that without a vaccine, we must take specific steps to map out our new normal, which must include: some elements of physical distancing; infrastructure for testing, tracing and isolation; deploying public health interventions in our schools and workplaces and aligning them with the necessary educational supports; involvement of workers and community in the development of reopening plans; and significant investments in states, localities, schools, healthcare and the Postal Service—the essential systems that have carried us through this crisis and will need continued support. Together, we will work to carry our school community through the recovery that follows.
East Mountain School, Essential Employees and Job Title
Dr. Stacey Paulis – Principal/Director
Michael Haney – Business Administrator
Dr. Stephen Bender – Supervisor of Instructional and Curriculum
Russell Hudson – Supervisor of Secondary Education
Angela DiDolce – Supervisor of Special Education
Kristen Rosati – IEP Intake Coordinator
Julie Cartusciello – Testing Coordinator
Delia DeLorenzo – LCSW (SAC)
Bernadette Eagan – School Nurse
Christopher DeSarno – School Resource Officer
Yvette Kisling – Administrative Assistant, Confidential
Bonnie Williams – Administrative Assistant
East Mountain School Demographics:
- Classified ED with behavior and psychiatric disorders
- 7th-12th grade students
- Population (57 Females- 44 Males)
- 58 Public School Districts (17 State Counties)
- On-going Admissions of Student per Enrollment Policy
with160 students to date
- 101 Active pupils on rolls
- Race (43 Black, 54 White, 4 other)
- Ethnicity (21 active Hispanic pupils)
- 72 NSLP- Free & Reduced
252 County Road 601
Belle Mead, NJ 08502