Although learning has been forced to take place at a distance during the health crisis resulting from the spread of the novel coronavirus, Cherry Hill Public Schools is prepared to keep young minds active and engaged.
Per CHPS spokesperson Barbara Wilson, Superintendent Joseph Meloche sent out a series of emails to all parents on Monday, March 16 outlining various ways the school district plans to continue serving its students.
Regarding daily learning across all district schools until the closures are lifted, the district set up a Continuity of Learning Plan, which can be found at https://tinyurl.com/rw6bzam.
Students have been instructed to visit Google Classroom for instructional materials. Information on additional printed materials for PreK through grade one students will be forthcoming. A Google Classroom tutorial for students and parents is available online by visiting: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfgqtCi7hdo&feature=youtu.be.
Teachers are expected to post something every day. Lessons and information are expected to be posted by 7:30 a.m. for high school students, 8 a.m. for middle school students and 9 a.m. for elementary students. The district is expected to continue to send information regarding Continuity of Learning on a regular basis.
Distribution of meals to all district families which qualify for a free or reduced meal plan were to begin on Tuesday, March 17 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. at Cherry Hill High School East and Cherry Hill High School West. Each qualifying student was in line to receive two breakfasts and two lunches on March 17, during that two-hour window, and then two breakfasts and two lunches on March 19 in that same time period.
The plan is for the distribution to be a drive-up process at the front of the main entrance at West and at the student entrance (large parking lot) at East. The person picking up meals must have the student ID number for each child who is receiving these meals. Two additional meal distribution locations, Paine Elementary School and Johnson Elementary School, have been added in addition to high schools East and West. All are drive-up or walk-up sites.
More communication will be posted regarding distribution for future weeks.
In addition, CHPS initiated a chromebook distribution service in order to support the Continuity of Learning plan. Distribution took place on Monday, March 16 between 1 and 5 p.m. at three different locations: the student parking lot at East, Malberg Administration Building and the main entrance of Carusi Middle School. An additional Chromebook distribution day has been added for Thursday, March 19. PARENTS MUST REQUEST A LOANER CHROMEBOOK IN ADVANCE at http://parents.chclc.org. Pickup times and locations will be communicated soon.
Furthermore, for parents who were scheduled to register a child for kindergarten from March 17 through March 26, the in-person registration process is on hold, and parents are strongly advised not to come to the appropriate district buildings to register their child(ren).
The district suggests parents pre-register their child(ren) online at https://genesis.chclc.org/genesis/openReg?screen=welcomeScreen&action=form.
Once pre-registration is complete, he or she will be in the registration queue. When the child is in the queue, a place in an in-district kindergarten class will be held for that child. Specific instructions for completing kindergarten registration will be communicated at a later date.
Meloche had first stated through a video presentation on Friday, March 13 that schools would remain open. However, later that day, he released a second video, along with texts, phone calls, emails and a web announcement, stating that the district would cease holding classes effective the following Monday through March 30. In addition, Meloche also stated that all school-related events, meetings, practices and clubs within that time frame would be cancelled.
However, in a press conference on March 16, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy ordered the closure of every single preschool through 12th grade school (public, private or parochial) in Cherry Hill and throughout the state, effective the next day and lasting until further notice. Meloche has instructed that parents direct all questions to their child’s respective teacher or principal. The latest information on a variety of topics related to the shutdown can be found on the district’s website chclc.org.