Superintendent’s Message

  • One of the lessons I have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic has been the importance of gratitude. Although we have all faced so many unforeseen challenges during the pandemic, I can only feel grateful for the many people who have made it possible for Paterson Public Schools to be prepared to serve our students and their families during the 2022-2023 school year. Those people include the Board of Education commissioners, members of the Superintendent’s Cabinet, our teachers, principals, vice-principals, supervisors, administrators, paraprofessionals, nurses, secretaries, facilities staff, custodians, and food services workers.

    I also want to thank the parents in our District for working with us through every day of the pandemic and participating in the processes that have led to our preparedness for the upcoming school year. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge our wonderful and resilient students. They have weathered an unusual, difficult time and continued to apply themselves to their schoolwork. Our students make the entire Paterson community proud every day, and that helps everyone continue to be hopeful for a brighter future.

    In September 2021, Paterson Public Schools implemented full-day, full-time, in-person instruction and operations for the entire school District according to the recommendations in The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE)’s guidance document The Road Forward: Health and Safety Guidance for the 2021-2022 School Year issued on June 28, 2021. Due to a surge in positive cases of the COVID-19 virus’ omicron variant, the District switched to remote learning for three weeks after the holiday break. This September, the district will begin the 2022-2023 school year with in-person instruction in accordance with guidance from the NJDOE and New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH). The state’s guidance includes strategies to reduce risks to students and staff from COVID-19 while still allowing for full-time in-person learning. In keeping with this guidance, the District will continue to keep mask-wearing optional for students and staff. Visitors of schools and other district buildings will be encouraged to wear masks. Partitions will not be used. The District will also continue to make COVID-19 testing and vaccines available to eligible staff and students who have health insurance. Those who do not have health insurance can be tested and vaccinated at the Paterson Division of Health.

     While everyone in the District is looking forward to continuing in-person learning in school buildings, we will continue to monitor the data and our decisions will be guided by science to ensure that safe and healthy school communities are maintained. The purpose of this document is to be a user-friendly guide for parents, students, and staff about how to safely return to Paterson Public Schools and effectively resume an optimal fall learning environment. It will be amended with any changes that are made in federal or state public health guidelines.

    Again, thank you to everyone who worked to prepare Paterson Public Schools for the upcoming school year.

1. General Health And Safety Guidelines

  • 1.1 Vaccination

  • 1.2 Communications

  • 1.3 Masks

  • 1.4 Classrooms, Cafeterias, Transportation and Home Instruction

  • 1.5 Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Protocols

  • 1.6 Meals

  • 1.7 1.7 Transportation

2. Cleaning, Disinfection, and Airflow

  • 2.1 Classroom Precautions

  • 2.2 Cleaning and Disinfection

  • 2.3 Improving Airflow

3. Screening, Exclusion & Response to Symptomatic Students and Staff

  • 3.1 Parental Screening

  • 3.2 Response to Symptomatic Students and Staff

  • 3.3.1 Definition Of COVID-19 Compatible Symptoms

  • 3.3.2 When Illness Occurs in The School Setting

  • 3.3.3 Exclusion

4. Contact Tracing

  • Contact Tracing

5. Testing

  • Testing

  • 5.1 Diagnostic Testing

6. Lockers

  • Lockers

7. In Case of Changes in CDC/NJDOE Guidance

  • In Case of Changes in CDC/NJDOE Guidance

  • 7.1 Transition to Remote Instruction

  • 7.2 Classroom Compliance

Appendix 1: School Notification Of A Positive COVID-19 Case In School

  • Sample Letter