February 8, 2022

Dear School Community Member:

Good morning. I hope this note finds everyone looking forward to the warmer temperatures at the end of the week ... bring on Spring!

Yesterday, Governor Murphy announced that he will be lifting the school mask mandate next month. As a result, the Park Ridge School District will change to mask-optional on Monday, March 7th. All students, staff members and visitors to our buildings will decide whether or not they want to continue masking on or after this date. Once the NJDOH updates their guidance for schools, I will inform the school community of any and all new protocols that we will follow as a result of this change.

I am sure this news, like all other COVID-19 related decisions, will be met with varied opinions. We realize many school community members feel strongly about the need for students to wear masks in school. Parents who feel more comfortable sending their children to school with a mask should continue to do so. Please rest assured that all students will feel safe and comfortable, regardless of whether or not they are wearing a mask.

In the meantime, we will continue to follow the current mask mandate. The most recent school guidance from the NJDOH can be found at this link: NJDOH K-12 School Guidance - January 19, 2022.

It is important to note that the number of positive cases in the district has declined dramatically during the last two weeks. This follows the statewide trend and low rate of transmission. We will continue to monitor our case counts at all schools and consult with local health officials when needed.

In closing, the pandemic has created many challenges for all of us during the last two years. I know we are all looking forward to normalcy and this step will go a long way in getting us there. Thank you for your support, patience and assistance since March 2020. This has been a long road with many twists and turns.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions.


Robert M. Gamper, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools