News

5th Grade Promotion Ceremony

Hello Herma S. Simmons Elementary School Family!

Let me take this opportunity to congratulate our outstanding 5th grade class on their successful promotion to Clayton Middle School.

The 5th Grade Promotion Ceremony will be conducted online this year. This ceremony will be pre-recorded and posted on the Herma S. Simmons Elementary School webpage for viewing on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 6:30pm.

The link will be provided at that time.

Thank you and congratulations to our Clippers!

Scott G. Uribe
Principal

Posted in: Herma Simmons Elementary News

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Student 1:1 iPad Update for current 6-11th Grade Students

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we are announcing that all students should keep their 1:1 iPad device during the summer. Any students that are leaving the district should contact us to set up a time to return their assigned device.

All students and guardians are still required to complete and sign the annual Apple iPad Terms and Agreement paperwork and purchase the yearly 1:1 Device Care Protection Plan. The cost of the 1:1 Device Care Protection Plan for the 2020-2021 school year is $40 per student, per year. This payment will cover the device during the summer and through the end of next school year (two incidents per year). Please review the financial responsibilities and 1:1 Device Care Protection Plan details in the attached packet.

Payment and completed paperwork can be mailed to:

Attn: Clayton Technology Department
Clayton Board of Education
350 East Clinton Street Clayton, NJ 08312

*Please do not mail cash. Checks can be made payable to “Clayton Board of Education.”

 

We understand that the current economic conditions may be impacting you in many ways, which is why we will allow payment and paperwork to be submitted when school resumes. However, if you have the ability, please purchase and submit payment as soon as possible.

Parent and Student Apple iPad Terms and Agreement for the 2020-2021 School Year: https://claytonps.org/wp-content/uploads/Student-Parents-iPad-Initiative-Agreement-20-21-1.pdf

Posted in: District News, High School News, Middle School News

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A message and survey from the NJ Department of Education

Dear Parents,

Thank you for your heroic efforts to support your children’s schools and the learning process during closings due to the coronavirus pandemic. The New Jersey Department of Education (Department) continues preparations for the next stages of school opening, and hearing from parents is a Department priority. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey at the following link:  NJDOE parent survey. We appreciate receiving your responses by Monday, June 8th.

If you have any questions, please contact the Department’s Office of Civic and Social Engagement at civicandsocial@doe.nj.gov.

 

Estimados Padres,

Gracias por sus esfuerzos heroicos para apoyar las escuelas de sus hijos y el proceso de aprendizaje durante los cierres debido a la pandemia de coronavirus. El Departamento de Educación de Nueva Jersey (Departamento) continúa los preparativos para las próximas etapas de la apertura de la escuela, y escuchar a los padres es una prioridad del Departamento. Por favor, tómese unos minutos para completar la encuesta en el siguiente enlace: NJDOE encuesta para padres. Agradecemos recibir sus respuestas antes del Lunes 8 de Junio.

Si tiene alguna pregunta, por favor póngase en contacto con la Oficina de Compromiso Cívico y Social del Departamento en civicandsocial@doe.nj.gov.

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

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Letter to the Community from the Superintendent

Dear Clayton Community:

The past months have been challenging for all of us. The pandemic has forced us to change how we live and learn. However, as I expected, we came together and showed our strength as a community. We remained positive and strong in a time of uncertainty.

Now just as we are trying to re-open and establish a new normal, our country is in turmoil over the senseless killing of George Floyd. Unfortunately, this was not the first time our television screens have broadcast the unjustified murder of a black man at the hands of those who are sworn to protect us. These scenes keep playing out over and over again in our society. It is obvious to many we are still combating the legacy of racism and discrimination.  

I have spent the last several days reflecting and listening to a generation of young people screaming for change. People of all backgrounds have taken to the streets demanding justice. We are a nation born from rebellion that declared we have “unalienable rights” as human beings. Protests and demonstrations are part of our history.  I have hope for the future. I believe that this new generation of Americans will bring the change that is needed. I also believe that real change can be brought about peacefully. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela all fought against injustice and changed the world through peaceful protest and civil disobedience.

These events have also made me grateful to work with the Clayton Police Department and especially our School Resource Officers. Our SRO’s do more than just protect our schools. They have become an important part of our school family. They have volunteered as coaches, delivered food to families during the pandemic, and even gave students “curbside shout outs.” They understand that they must be part of the community they serve.

I am also proud to lead such a diverse district. From the time that I served as the Principal of both the High School and Middle School, I have marveled at the acceptance of all people in our school community. I take pride in walking visitors down to the cafeteria and having them see our diverse student body sitting together talking and laughing. I have learned just as much from the students as we have taught them. I am also not naïve, and I do realize that we are not perfect and change is needed to become even more inclusive.

In my role as Superintendent, I take my leadership responsibilities seriously as I endeavor to serve all our students. I find myself asking what can I do to make a difference?  How can I help our students feel empowered? One of our jobs as educators is to lead our students in positive discourse in order to help break the cycle of racism.

In order to begin the much needed but difficult conversations, I will be establishing the Clayton Equity Committee (CEC).  The committee will have a diverse group of educators and students working together to address systemic inequities. My hope is this committee can be a vehicle for change and give a voice to our students. I will be forming the committee immediately upon our return to school in the fall.

I look forward to moving ahead and continuing to make a bright future for all our students.

Clipper Strong,

Nikolaos C. Koutsogiannis
Superintendent of Schools

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

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2020 Graduation Letter

June 1, 2020

Dear Clayton Students and Families:

Last week the Governor announced that outdoor graduation ceremonies would be permissible provided specific guidelines on social distancing were implemented. The Department of Education has released those guidelines, and I have included the link below for your information:

https://www.nj.gov/education/covid19/boardops/commencement.shtml

The Governor’s guidance reads “In accordance with the above, in-person commencement ceremonies are permitted only on or after July 6, 2020 and must occur outdoors. These ceremonies must meet the relevant capacity limitation on in-person gatherings in place at the time of the ceremony. Depending on the social distancing requirements in place at the time of the ceremony, varying restrictions will apply.” Currently that number is 25 persons with no information on what the number may be after July 6th.

Therefore, we will only hold our outdoor Clayton High School graduation if the number increases to a level where logistically we can graduate all our seniors and allow for parents to be in attendance. As previously communicated, we are maintaining July 29th as a possible date for our outdoor Clayton High School graduation ceremony. We feel that we have created a plan that would allow us to graduate all our students safely.

We are also keeping with our originally planned virtual ceremonies that will be broadcast on our website. We will move forward with our plan to virtually graduate the class of 2020 on June 18th. Because the Governor’s plan does not provide guidance for indoor promotion ceremonies, we are creating virtual promotion ceremonies for our 5th and 8th grade students. The promotion ceremonies will also be broadcast on our website on June 17th.

Finally, I would like to thank you for your patience and understanding as we try to navigate the end of the school year. The time during the lockdown has only reinforced my pride for the families and students of Clayton. On March 18th, just 2 days into Cyber School, I wrote a letter to the Clayton Community expressing my pride for my teachers, staff, and students on how well we handled the transition to Cyber School. Two and a half months later, my Clayton pride has only grown. We may be a small school community, but we have a big heart! Thank you again for your support and please stay safe.

Proud to be a Clipper,

Nikolaos C. Koutsogiannis Superintendent of Schools

Posted in: District News, High School News

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