Indian Hills Remote Learning Period

Indian Hills Remote Learning Period
Posted on 10/24/2020
Indian Hills Remote Learning Period

Dear Ramapo Indian Hills High School Community:

Last night we sent out communication notifying the community of a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 at Indian Hills High School. This case is atypical in how it has impacted our school community and resulted in a significant number of students and staff having to quarantine. Please note that The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently updated their definition of a close contact to include someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. 

In regards to our laboratory confirmed case, the Bergen County Health Department has recommended that all identified students be treated as close contacts and quarantine out of an abundance of caution. Please know we worked closely with our public health experts to ensure that we identified anyone who had to quarantine as a result of a potential exposure to this confirmed case. 

After consultation with administration, our local health officials, and our District Physician, we have reached the very difficult decision to go fully remote at Indian Hills High School for the next two weeks.  We are taking these precautionary measures out of an abundance of caution in order to break any potential transmission chains and limit the exposure of our community members. We strongly believe that doing so will provide us with the best chance to preserve as much of the in-person school year and related activities as possible.

Although many factors need to be considered when deciding to close school, our decision-making process takes into account the number of students and faculty needing to quarantine and the required staffing needs for a safe and effective operation of the building. Our decision was also informed by the COVID-19 regional risk matrix tool   which recommends that local circumstances be considered when making decisions impacting specific school districts and schools. The New Jersey Department of Health COVID-19 activity level indicator (CALI) report has just recently moved our “Northeast” region from low to moderate case rate, percent with COVID-19 like illness, percent positivity, and overall CALI score. 

We believe that in-person experiences for school and extracurricular activities are the ideal and we are hopeful that taking these actions at this time will allow us to return to an in-person model as soon as possible.

Therefore, Indian Hills High School will shift to full remote instruction beginning this Monday, October 26 and continue through Friday,  November 6th. We plan to return to the hybrid in-person schedule on Monday, November 9th.  The virtual classes will follow our published schedule for hybrid learning which is posted daily on the district website. Doing so will allow for the continuity of learning districtwide. Additionally, all in-person extracurricular activities and athletics will be postponed during this closure and school grounds will be closed to the school and community. Extracurricular activities and athletics can resume on Friday, November 6th.  

As we have emphasized in previous communications, public health is a shared responsibility, and we all play a critical role in protecting our students, staff, and community from exposure to this virus.  The choices we make moving forward will directly impact the functioning of our school.    

We  require your assistance in reminding and encouraging your family members and friends to observe the following guidelines without exception:

  • Stay home when sick 

  • Wash hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds

  • Limit close contact with people who are sick and avoid sharing food, drinks, and utensils

  • Practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart)

  • Wear a face covering while in school and outside of school when applicable

  • Continue to monitor your health for symptoms

You can expect continued communication from the school district as information becomes available.  Please know we support and care about you and your families, and the health and well-being of your children and loved ones are of the highest priority. 

Thank you for your support and understanding.

Sincerely,

Bruce Watson, Interim Superintendent of Schools

Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District