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COVID-19 Updates

To see examples of Virtual Learning lessons at Cambridge School, click here.

To watch a brief video of parent testimonials about Virtual Learning at Cambridge School, click here.


March 1, 2021

Dear Parents,

I hope this email finds everyone well.   After careful consideration we have decided that, with some added precautions for travelers, we will return to the building on Monday March 22nd after Spring Break.  With the decreasing numbers of COVID in the tri-state region, the increasing number of people getting vaccinated, and the fact that our whole community has been carefully following the protocols all year, we feel that we will be able to safely return to school as scheduled.
 
To all families who plan to travel, especially over the second week of break, please carefully follow the recommended CDC guidelines for quarantine after travel. These guidelines state:
  1. Get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel.
  2. Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
  3. If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 10 days after travel.
If your child will need to quarantine beyond March 22nd, please let us know so that we can arrange for him/her to participate remotely until their quarantine period has ended.  Thank you for your very careful attention to this matter.
 
On the academic side, we wanted to share a recent article on reading instruction, which is attached below.   It states that the most effective method of reading instruction is one that offers explicit and systematic phonics instruction.  All of the Cambridge teachers know firsthand the benefit of explicit phonics instruction in the classroom, but it is affirming to see this supported clearly in the research.  
 
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions.
 
All the best,
Ellen
 

January 6, 2021 Message

January 6, 2021

Dear Cambridge Families,

On behalf of the Cambridge staff,  I would like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year. Though I am sure your holidays were celebrated differently this year, I hope you had time to relax and recharge with family.  
 
The remote week of school has been going very well so far.  It has allowed our students the opportunity to maintain continuous learning while also affording us a safe post-holiday quarantine period.  We look forward to welcoming the students back to campus on Monday January 11th, but please know that we are carefully watching the  NJ COVID Activity Levels  as well as those in Pennsylvania.  
 
It is important that we work closely together during this period of high COVID activity levels to keep the entire Cambridge community as safe as possible.  We ask that:  
  1. All families are especially vigilant regarding wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and limiting social contacts.   
  2. If you traveled over the break, please follow the 14-day post travel quarantine period.
  3. Please let us know if your student or anyone in your household  had potential exposure or is exhibiting COVID symptoms. 
If any of these precautions apply to your family, please let us know, we will arrange for your student to participate in school remotely for a safe period of time.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
 
While every New Year seems to bring a feeling of optimism, I think the beginning of 2021 holds a special promise of hope.  Though we are still navigating very difficult times with the pandemic, we have confidence in all that we have learned since March, and hope for the promise of the vaccine later this year.
 
With best wishes for a safe and happy 2021,
 
Ellen

November 18, 2020 Message

November 18, 2020

Dear Cambridge Families,

The holiday season is quickly approaching and I am sure you are all keenly aware of the heightened COVID-19 numbers in all of the regions of NJ.  In addition, there are now 46 states on the NJ Travel Advisory list.  

Unfortunately, these complicating factors will compromise everyone’s ability to hold their traditional celebrations with friends and family. In light of this, we have modified the school calendar to include a transition to full remote learning for the week of 11/30-12/04.  Hopefully, this remote week will help to mitigate the possibility of COVID-19 spread to families in our school community.  If your family visits one of the states on the NJ Travel Advisory List we ask that your child participate in school remotely for the additional days that would be necessary to fulfill the 14-day quarantine period. 

Please consult the CDC guide to holiday celebrations and gatherings as you plan your Thanksgiving celebration.  If you feel you may have come into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 during this time, please consult these NJ guidelines.  

We continue to be very grateful for the opportunity to be together in school this year. We are thankful for your continued careful attention to the precautions and know that these persistent health concerns have certainly taken their toll on everyone in our Cambridge community.  It is our sincere hope that all of our Cambridge families are able to find a safe way to relax and celebrate Thanksgiving together.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions.  

With best wishes for your continued good health and a very Happy Thanksgiving,

Ellen

August 13, 2020 Message

Cambridge School looks forward to welcoming the Cambridge community back to school on Wednesday September 9, 2020 for full time in-person education.  We are prepared to offer in-person and remote learning options and have incorporated the CDC, NJ and local safety and health guidelines. 

Feel free to contact me with any questions.  Enjoy these last few weeks of summer and stay well!

All the best,

Ellen

July 13, 2020 Message

July 13, 2020

Dear Cambridge Families,

I hope this letter finds you enjoying a well deserved summer break with your family. The Cambridge administration team has been working towards a safe return to the school building at the start of the 2020-2021 school year.  As you can imagine, the logistics required to accomplish the return to the building are complex and impact how the school functions on many levels.

Attached you will find our reopening plan for the Cambridge community, as of July 13th.   Please remember that the situation is fluid and plans could change between now and the first day of school, September 9th.  We will update you with any changes as they are made and I invite you to call or email me with any personal questions you may have about your student’s return.

Keeping the Cambridge community safe is of critical importance to us. This plan and the outlined strategies are designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, but we are acutely aware that it is impossible to completely eliminate the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.

Our focus is to be in full compliance with the guidance from the CDC, the New Jersey Department of Education, and the local health officials.  Further, I have worked to achieve certification in COVID-19 Safety Management to ensure that we are in compliance with the national, state, and local guidelines.

One action item for Cambridge families:  A critical element of the return to school plan is the elimination of shared devices and equipment.  As a result, each student from LSI-US will be required to have a personal device.  If your child does not have a chromebook for school use, please be sure to respond to the 1:1 Chromebook letter that was sent to you on June 30th.  Here are links to the LSI-MSI letter,  the MS II-III letter, and the MS IV letter. As you can imagine the high demand for Chromebooks is causing significant wait times, so your immediate response would be appreciated.

Please review the  Cambridge School Reopening Plan.  I invite you to contact me with any personal questions you may have.  It has never been more important that we work together to accomplish the safest possible return to school.

With best wishes for a safe and healthy summer,

Ellen

May 5, 2020 Message

May 5, 2020

Dear Parents and Families,

As you may already know, Governor Murphy spoke yesterday afternoon regarding the status of school closures in response to COVID-19. He has instructed, “all NJ school buildings to remain closed for in-person instruction for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year and that  all students and educators will continue with remote learning.”  While this was not entirely unexpected, the fact that it involves the end of the year is disappointing for us as a community.

Our first thought is one of disappointment for our graduates; including our graduating seniors and Middle School IV students. We are extremely aware that the absence of a traditional graduation is a loss of an expected rite of passage.  The fact that we can’t be together in the building, however, will not hold us back from honoring our graduates.  Virtual Graduation Ceremonies for Seniors and Middle School IV students will still take place on Thursday, June 4th.  Please look for more details about the ceremonies to follow shortly.

Secondly, we remain committed to offering our Cambridge Summer Study Program.  In anticipation of extended school closures, we delayed the start, and the program will now run from July 13th through August 7th.  Our theme for Summer Study is, “Reconnecting” and we can’t wait to have the opportunity to do so.  Whether we are back in the school building or educating remotely we look forward to reconnecting with your students this summer.

Finally, the third marking period Parent Conferences are a meaningful end of year connection between parents and teachers.  Since you may have witnessed quite a bit of your student’s classes in person, the conferences this year are optional.  Lower School and Middle School conferences will take place on Monday May 18th and Upper School Conferences are scheduled for Friday May 29th.  Please look for emails from your child’s homeroom teacher or advisor with sign up times and more details.

While we are disappointed by the disruption to our cherished end of year traditions, we also know that keeping everyone safe and in good health is the highest priority.

With best wishes for your good health,

Ellen

March 23, 2020 Message

Dear Cambridge Families,

I hope this email finds everyone in good health and adapting well to the recent changes in our daily lives.  The Cambridge team has been preparing to start this new phase of virtual education.  Speaking on their behalf, our preference would always be the personal engagement we have with your child in the classroom, but after many days of preparation and planning we are excited to start this new phase of learning.

Tomorrow is the first of two trial run days. The first class (math) starts tomorrow at 9:00:

  • LS – MSI students should check the instructions on their Daily Agenda, which will be emailed each morning from the homeroom teacher
  • MS II- US students should check their Google Calendar and Classroom for Zoom invitations for each class.

Classes tomorrow and Friday will be opportunities for the teachers to connect with students, discuss what virtual classes will look like, and outline academic expectations. It also allows us time to identify any problems with technology.

The recommendations regarding online instruction advise against 60 minutes of continuous screen instruction.  So, while your student might have reading class scheduled for 9:00 to 10:00, that hour will most likely be chunked into separate segments.  One segment will be a scheduled Zoom meeting, another will be independent work, and the third will be when the teacher requests that the student step away from the screen and take a brain break.

We look forward to welcoming all the students back to school tomorrow morning.

Take good care,

Ellen

Technology Tools for Parents and Students

Please find below resources about some of the tools Cambridge School uses for instruction. You can also access the document here.

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