Archive for Herma Simmons Elementary News

NJDOH Letter Regarding Vaccinations

August 18, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As the school year begins this fall, students in New Jersey will be fully returning to in-person learning. To ensure that your child and all New Jersey students are protected against COVID-19 once schools open, here are a few steps you and your family can take in the weeks ahead.

Get your child vaccinated: Everyone 12 years-old and up is eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. The FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19 and remain the leading way to protect your child, your family, and your community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all eligible students be vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccinations for 12 through 17-year-olds require 2 doses, so for the best possible protection against COVID-19 and the highly transmissible Delta variant, students should be scheduled for their first dose as early as possible.

Get yourself and other household members vaccinated: Students are best protected when those around them are also protected – especially if they are under the age of 12 and cannot be vaccinated themselves. To protect yourself and your child ahead of the first day of school, please get vaccinated as soon as possible and encourage others in your household and community to get vaccinated as well.
Vaccines are free for all, immigration status will not be asked, and health insurance is not required.

Have those who are not vaccinated get tested for COVID-19: If your child cannot be vaccinated (<12 years old) or is not vaccinated, we encourage you to have them tested for COVID-19 before the start of school. This will reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering schools and disrupting students’ learning and, if done early enough, may allow for any period of isolation to be completed prior to the first day of school (if needed after a positive COVID-19 test result).

Be sure to mask up: When students, teachers, staff, and families correctly and consistently wear masks they protect themselves and others. This is especially important as of late, given the more transmissible Delta variant. All students, staff, and visitors in K–12 schools will be required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, for the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.

Thank you for your help in supporting a safe return to school for our students in the fall!

To find a COVID-19 vaccination clinic near you:

To find a free COVID-19 testing site near you:

For additional information please visit the NJ COVID-19 Information Hub ( or call 211 or 1-800-962-1253 with COVID-19 questions (available 24 hours / 7 days a week).

Posted in: Cyber School News, District News, Herma Simmons Elementary News, High School News, Middle School News

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Inspira is offering COVID-19 Vaccine (12 years old and up) at Clayton High School (August 18, 2021)

Inspira is offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for any adolescents (12-17 years old).

Additionally, Inspira is offering the option Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines for adults over the age of 18 years old. This vaccination event is available to all of our students, staff as well as their families and members of the community who would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Please read this email very carefully, if you are interested in having you or your family/child take advantage of the opportunity to receive the first dose of Pfizer’s COVID19 vaccine (2 Dose Vaccine) or the 1 dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at Clayton High School Performing Arts Center on August, 18.  Those electing to be vaccinated with Pfizer will be scheduled for their second dose 3 weeks after their first dose on August 18th. Second doses will be scheduled when you arrive for your initial dose.  While the vaccination process itself takes minutes to complete, please expect to wait 15 minutes after your vaccination for your safety to monitor for any side effects.  Those who have a history of allergic reactions for which they carry an EpiPen will be monitored for 30 minutes.

Those interested in obtaining the vaccine must register in advance and complete either the electronic consent embedded in the registration link below (for those 18 years of age and older) or the  PDF consent that is available at the bottom of this page, for those under the age of 18 years.  The paper consent must be completed and brought to the vaccination appointment. Additionally, you will find the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Patient Fact Sheet, which must be provided to all parents who are giving consent to vaccinate minors. We will also provide a paper hard copy of the EUA fact sheet on site to all those who are vaccinated.

Those interested in being vaccinated should complete the registration information by clicking the link below.  Please register using the link below:

REGISTER HERE:   Clayton High School Covid Vaccine Registration Link []

For individuals that are 18 or older as of Wednesday, August 18th,  the consent form is embedded in the registration link above, and no additional paperwork will be required.

For adolescents that are 12 to 17 as of Wednesday, August 18th, a paper copy of the consent form is located below and must be completed and brought to location on August 18th.


All individuals are asked to bring a copy of a photo ID or ID with name and DOB and their health insurance card. ***Please note that everyone eligible will be able to receive the vaccine, regardless of health insurance status.

Inspira Health is administering the Pfizer and/or Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Please review the Emergency Use Authorization Patient Fact Sheet below for information specific to the Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

** As of 6PM  Wednesday,  May 12th , the CDC Director has approved the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation endorsing the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and its use in 12 through 15 year old adolescents. This official CDC recommendation is another important step to getting out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and closer to normalcy.**** [] []


Consent Forms and Information:

Posted in: Cyber School News, District News, Herma Simmons Elementary News, High School News, Middle School News

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Important End of Year Letter from the Superintendent (6/15/2021)

June 15, 2021

Dear Clayton School Community:

What a school year this has been! As I reflect back on the 2020-2021 school year, I am amazed at what we have been able to accomplish under the most difficult of circumstances. Over the past year, people often would ask me “how is the school year progressing?” I would tell them that it was like trying to build and fly a plane at the same time. I am happy to report that we not only built the plane and flew it, but we also landed it successfully.

I want to recognize all the stakeholders who were involved in making sure that this past year was a successful one. First, our Board of Education, whose guidance and behind-the-scenes support was invaluable to me. Next, the staff at Clayton Public School District, whose hard work and dedication made this school year feel as “normal” as possible for our students. They became problem solvers who quickly adapted to ever-changing circumstances. Their efforts this past year proved to me that they are the best in New Jersey. Finally, of course, you, the Clayton community. I often tell people that I am blessed to be the Superintendent of Clayton Public School District. This small town has a lot of heart, and I have grown to appreciate its small-town feel. Thank you for your support and for entrusting my staff and me with your most valuable asset – your children.

Now is the time to move forward. During this upcoming school year, you will be seeing some major initiatives. First and foremost, we will be focused on closing the COVID learning gap. We will be attacking this issue in two ways, both academically and emotionally, by supporting our students through various programs. The efforts will begin this summer through our Summer Boost Program. The Summer Boost Program will focus on a targeted set of skills that our staff has identified in order to give students a “boost” into the next school year. We will also be increasing our basic skills and after-school tutoring programs through the next school year. Just as important as your child’s academic success, we will also be here to support them emotionally. The effects of COVID on our students’ emotional wellness will be felt for many years. Our District is committed and prepared to meet this challenge. I have always believed that children must be socially and emotionally equipped to learn when they come to school. Our Child Connection Center (CCC) at Simmons Elementary School has been recognized by the State of New Jersey as a model social and emotional learning program. We will also be expanding much of what we do at the CCC to our realigned Student Connection Center (SCC) in the High School/Middle School. Both of these programs, along with our Guidance Departments and Child Study Team, will give us the resources to support your child both academically and emotionally.

We are also committed to providing our staff and students with the safest and most updated facilities so that we continue to maintain a positive atmosphere to teach and learn. We have several capital projects that we will begin over the summer months and continue throughout the school year. At the High School/Middle School, our track will be resurfaced, and our auxiliary gym will get new flooring. The High School Television studio is being upgraded with the latest equipment. At the Elementary School, we will be installing a new outside basketball court and playground equipment. Our Elementary School Media Center will be remodeled as well. The HVAC and Security Systems in all three schools will also receive some upgrades. I am pleased to say that our upcoming school district budget will be able to support all of our school programs and capital projects without a tax increase.   

As per the Governor’s recent executive order, in the fall Clayton Public Schools will be starting the school year with full-time in-person learning five days per week. Virtual learning will no longer be an option. I believe this will be the first step of returning back to some semblance of “normalcy.” As always, I will keep you updated throughout the summer months as I receive more information regarding our school opening plans.

Finally, I want to wish you and your family a wonderful and relaxing summer. I am looking forward to seeing all of our students back to school next year.


With Clipper Pride,

Nikolaos C. Koutsogiannis
Superintendent of Schools

Posted in: Cyber School News, District News, Herma Simmons Elementary News, High School News, Middle School News

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