It’s back to the books for more than 10,000 students in the Vineland Public School District as classes resumed on Thursday for the start of the 2021-22 school year.
Despite the steady rain, there were plenty of happy faces as students hopped off buses and said goodbye to parents before venturing to their new classrooms. There were the typical first-day bus delays as parents adjusted to the new routine and drivers became familiar with their routes.
A workforce of nearly 2,000 was ready to greet the students from preschool to grade 12. While there were minor issues that occur with so many students in so many buildings, Superintendent Alfonso Llano was confident that staff and administration made every effort to resolve the issues quickly. Members of central administration visited many of the district’s 15 schools and will continue to do so the rest of the week.
Teachers wasted no time getting their classes acclimated to their new schedules, with many jumping right into lessons after going over classroom rules and expectations.
“The students are so excited to be back,” Llano said. “I want to commend our entire staff for their hard work preparing for the opening of school. We hope everyone has a safe, healthy, and productive year.”
Parents, students, and staff expressed their eagerness to finally begin full-time, in-person instruction for the first time in a year and a half following the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. All schools will operate five full days on their regular bell schedules and will offer the traditional array of afterschool sports and extracurricular activities. Free lunches will be provided daily for all students in the district. All students will continue to have access to a Chromebook and all teachers will use Google Classroom to communicate with students and parents. As a reminder, all students and individuals entering any school building must wear a mask, and masks are required on all school buses.
The district’s facilities department is continuing to provide safe and sanitary buildings for our staff and students. All cleaning protocols implemented during the 2020-21 school year will remain in effect. Classrooms have been set up to accommodate students with reasonable social distancing in effect and buildings will continue to employ focused disinfecting practices on common areas such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, and keyboards.
As a reminder, Vineland Public Schools and the City of Vineland Health Department maintain close communication and continue to monitor daily COVID-19 cases in the district. Please keep in mind that the public health situation is constantly evolving and we will continue to inform our parents and guardians when there are any changes in district activity.
Parents and students can find all pertinent information on our district website, www.vineland.org and at the following links:
2021-22 school calendar: https://bit.ly/3BUTpgH
Parent Portal: http://bit.ly/2lUQ13B
Covid-19 information: http://www.vineland.org/covid-information
Please click the following link to a gallery of photos from the first day: https://bit.ly/3l6GgdO
A short news piece can be found on our YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/TbL6ebTXv9o