Mr. Gonnella's Welcome Letter

August 28, 2020

Song of the Day-We Take Care of Our Own

Gonnella Family

Baby Sarah is now 8 months old!

Parents and Guardians,

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year!

We are living in unprecedented times that have us continually redefining the “new normal.”  As we navigate these waters, I am reminded that now, more than ever, we must focus on positive relationships and work together to keep moving forward.  Our school and community is full of heroes.    A hero “is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles”-Christopher Reeve.   I cannot wait to see the student  and teacher heroes in action this school year.  We welcome you back to help lead the school and our community, and redefine the new normal.  Together we can make this school year the best one ever!

The administration has worked tirelessly to put together a plan that serves our students, parents, and teachers academically as well as socially and emotionally.  Additionally, we are taking every precaution to ensure that everyone is safe.  This year we felt it was extremely important to run a full schedule, that includes music, PE, STEAM, Art, and Technology.  Additionally, we want to maximize time in our academic courses to help minimize the summer slide, and the loss of instruction from March to June.  To that point, CORE area academic courses will be 53 minutes in length, compared to our standard 47 minute periods.  This will equate to additional 30 minutes per week of instructional time.  Over the course of the 2020-2021 school year, CMS students will gain an additional 100 hours of Core area instruction, while maintaining the integrity of our other programs!

Things to Know:

  • Each virtual Monday will be designated as Character Monday.  Our school community will engage in a virtual lesson at 8 am every Monday. Our goal is that students will be able to participate in the activities with his/her family.  

  • Academic classes will be a true hybrid model, where virtual students will live stream each of their classes creating ONE learning community.  Students are expected to attend each class in their schedule at the allotted time.

  • Social and emotional learning and community circles will be held each day.  

  • Mask breaks will be held outdoors in the student courtyard, and other designated outdoor locations.  

  • “Gator” masks and/or bandanas are not permitted to be worn in school.  

  • Class sizes will range from 5 to 15 students (15 students per class allows for 6 ft of distance between desks).  

  • Lunch will be served in the cafeteria.  We will host two lunch periods per grade.  There are individual desks, placed 6.5 feet apart.  Students will either bring lunch or order via the Rockaway Township App.   We are anticipating students will be without a mask for fewer than ten minutes.  

  • PE and music classes will be held outdoors.  In the event of inclement weather, the groups will be indoors, and socially distanced in the gymnasium.

  • Hallways will be labeled similar to the US Highway System.  There will be markings that indicate six feet of distance as well as the direction to move in.  No tailgating will be permitted!  

  • We will strategically open bathrooms in a manner that will allow for appropriate safety protocols.  Monitors will be in place.  

  • The Nurses’ Office will now include a quarantine room that is adjacent to the outdoor entrance.  If a child is demonstrating symptoms or is ill they will be escorted to the quarantine room and monitored during their time there.  Parent pick-up will take place via the Nurses’ Office.  If you are asked to pick up a sick child, please go directly to the outside nurses’ office entry.   

  • Upon arrival, students will report directly to their Period 1 class (Period 1 begins promptly at 7:45 am).  Lockers will not be in use, and students are permitted to carry backpacks this school year.   

  • The bottom part of our water fountains will be restricted so that only the contactless refillable section will be accessible. Students should bring a water bottle that they can use and refill as needed.

  • Students will be dismissed  by bus number.  This will allow us to control the flow of students in the hallways.  Once the bus is loaded it will depart from Copeland.  

  • Parent drop off and pick up will take place in the lower lot as usual.  There will be no entry to the front of the building at any point during the day.  *The front of the building will be used for PE and Music classes.  

  • Schedule will be released on September 1st.

Minds on because we want to see you thrive academically

Masks on because we want to keep everyone safe

Cameras on because we want to see you are safe and engaged

At Copeland Middle School we have our masks on, minds on, and cameras on!