- Gerald G. Huesken Middle School
Update Regarding Middle School Opening Plans
Aug. 26, 2022
CV Middle School Community –
To say that this new middle school project has been an adventure is an understatement!
We have been diligently working with the construction contractors to get the building opened safely and without further undo delay. We worked regularly (and even more often now that we are at the opening of school) with the third-party inspection officer who recommends occupancy approval to the township, as well as a third-party safety officer.
We know that the entire building will not be ready for occupancy right away. As Dr. Metzinger has shared in her detailed communication, our focus has been to get the students and staff safetly into the learning areas, have the kitchen ready to serve meals, and the grounds ready to accommodate busses and cars. We have made plans and preparations to work around the cafeteria proper and gymnasium as they will not be coming online right away. (HUGE shout-out to Dr. Metzinger for her leadership, and to her faculty and staff for maintaining a positive, can-do attitude!)
I mention all this to update you on the most recent and accurate information that we have, as well as the plan for our students to receive in-person, face-to-face instruction as soon as possible. The contractors have made tremendous progress over the past month, and we are so very close to our first goal of temporary occupancy (SAFE occupancy in the majority of the building while work is continuing in blocked off sections). We met with the occupancy inspector and construction manager on Wednesday, August 24, and they were able to discuss with us the items still outstanding. We are looking at the occupancy inspector to come back on Wednesday, August 31 to give us a “last minute look” prior to the formal inspection on Friday, September 2. What that means is that we will not be able to get into the building prior to September 6.
This has made a sizeable impact on our current plan.
We will now not be able to have grade specific orientation next week. So, next week, instead of three days of virtual instruction with one in-person day, we will have virtual instruction for all four days (Monday, August 29 through Thursday, September 1). Friday, September 2 and Monday, September 5 are “no school days” for the Labor Day holiday.
We know that virtual learning is not ideal, so we have developed a plan to have in-person, face-to-face instruction beginning Tuesday, September 6. We know it is not practical to start classes in the new middle school right after getting the occupancy permit (teachers need to set up rooms, we need a final cleaning, etc.), so we are going to implement the following plan to shift from online instruction to direct, in-person instruction beginning TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6.
- ALL MS students will get on their normally assigned busses at the normal time.
- All MS students will be dropped off at the old middle school.
- 6th and 7th Graders will attend classes in the old middle school.
- 8th Grade students will be bussed to the Intermediate Unit #13 (in the Burle building on New Holland Avenue) and back to the old middle school at the end of the day.
- All students (Grade 6 – 8) will receive in-person, face-to-face instruction during normal school day hours.
- Students will be able to purchase breakfasts and lunches, or as always, can bring a packed lunch.
We will follow this alternative plan for two weeks (Tuesday, September 6 through Friday, September 16; keeping in mind that Monday, September 19 is a “no school” day). This will give teachers time to set up their rooms and administration to finalize last-minute details. We will then transition students back to the new building in a staggered manner.
- Tuesday, September 20 – 8th Grade students and teachers will start at the new MS.
- Thursday, September 22 – 7th Grade students and teachers will join the 8th grade group at the new MS.
- Friday, September 23 – 6th Grade students and teachers will join the 7th and 8th grade groups at the new MS.
Your patience, grace, understanding and flexibility have been GREATLY APPRECIATED!! It’s amazing when you consider that just over a year and half ago there was only an empty field up on the back forty, and now we have an exciting educational space for our children to learn in for the next forty-plus years! I am looking forward to the day when we can look back and say, “remember when . . .”
Dr. Metzinger will continue to provide updated information to the middle school community through her newsletter, and we will continue to provide updates to the community through our school board meetings.
With the utmost sincerity, I thank each and every one of you for your support as we work through this adventure.
Dave Zuilkoski, EdD