06-15-20 - COVID-19

COVID -19 Update 6.15.2020
Posted on 06/15/2020

June 15,  2020

Good Afternoon Fort Lee Families,

When I first arrived in Fort Lee I was amazed at the level of integration and acceptance among the students that I experienced at Fort Lee High School.  That had not always been my experience in other districts. The young lady who interviewed me for the school newspaper referred to her group of friends as a “box of crayons.” Now, more than five years later, I have experienced that her group is the norm here, not the exception.  

That spirit was clearly evident this weekend when some of our alumni and students organized the Black Lives Matter protest march. People from throughout the community, walking together to protest the systemic racism and violence that is present in our society. Now, as we are all attempting to process the tragic killings of individuals due to the color of their skin, we need to remember and embrace that community spirit. I am hopeful when I see the younger generation in our town demanding change

The spirit of Fort Lee is a community of people who care about each other. That was evident in the community’s response to the fire at the Linwood Apartments. Never has that been more evident than recently with the community response to the COVID 19 pandemic. So many different parts of the community working together, to care for those in need. 

The Fort Lee Public Schools will do its best to educate our students to recognize racism and work toward teaching citizenship that includes and understands all the aspects (both good and bad) of our society. As a district, we are committed to advancing equity, inclusion, diversity, and social justice in our schools and our community, and will work to teach our students citizenship.  One of the key elements is that all students will learn in a culture that respects and capitalizes on our diverse community by encouraging and supporting open collaboration and communication. The district will continue to improve in this critical area with our administrators, staff, and students.


I am hopeful that this movement will result in meaningful change. Individual freedom and equality must be guaranteed for all. Now is the time to look within ourselves, as individuals, and work to achieve real and lasting change. 


The link below provides many resources parents can use with their children during this important and challenging time:


I also want to provide an update to you on other district business. The district has received some updated directions from the Governor’s office regarding outdoor meetings. As a result, we are planning to conduct ceremonies to recognize students at the end of the school year. Related information will be sent out from the building Principals. 

We are waiting for specific guidance from the Governor’ office and the NJDOE regarding the re-opening of schools in September. There are three possibilities: a regular school opening with some accommodations; a fully remote learning opening; or a hybrid instructional program, which may combine part time in-person and part time remote learning for students. What the start of school looks like will be dependent on public health directives provided by the Governor’s Office and the Department of Education. The primary factor driving this must be the health and safety of our students and staff. For now, we are preparing for all three options. 


  • If you and your family are in need of any kind of support (food, household supplies, emotional or physical assistance), please contact the Fort Lee COVID-19 call center at 201- 592-3500 extension 1700. The Office of Emergency Management is monitoring these calls. 
  • Sign up for the municipal alerts through the nixle alert notice system at nixle.com or by texting 07024 to 888777.
  • Don’t forget to complete and submit the census information.

REMINDER:  Maintain your social distancing and mask wearing.  These rules are still in place. 


Please find the updated goggle doc link below to the Community Mental Health Resource List:



The Red Cross is in need of blood and platelet donations. Please donate if you can. https://www.redcrossblood.org/

Activity Suggestion: I am running low on ideas. If you have an idea that is worth sharing with the community, please let me know.

Stay home (still a good idea) and stay safe.  

We are getting through this,  TOGETHER.


Kenneth Rota

Superintendent of Schools