Teaching and learning will continue to be delivered remotely through our Virtual Schoolhouse for the duration of the 2019-20 school year according to Governor Murphy’s announcement today. This decision was fully endorsed by the NJ Leadership for Educational Excellence, comprehensively representing every major educational stakeholder organization in the state including the teachers, principals, superintendents, business administrators, school board members, and parents associations. This decision was based in the best interest of the health and wellbeing of staff and students, and for the greater good of the general population. As NJ LEE contends, in many ways, reopening schools presents even greater challenges than closing schools did. Planning a reopening introduces aspects of health and safety precautions related to this pandemic that schools are not readily equipped to handle. We have already purchased and begun to use highly concentrated disinfectant misters as part of the deep cleaning of the schools. Preparation for additional hand sanitizer stations, contactless thermometers, and air purifiers for each room are underway. Although we have been operating within a great deal of ambiguity in the last several months, one thing we know for sure is just because we are given the green light to open our doors again, school will not be back to a typical schedule and regular operations for some time. As we continue to review guidelines from the state and meet with our expert consultants on reentry plans, I will communicate more details of how we will eventually be able to bring our teachers and students back into our classrooms in the safest most productive learning environment.
Please be assured that everyone in the school district will be working diligently throughout the rest of the school year and the summer to make sure that plans are in place to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff is the priority when schools eventually reopen in whatever capacity that may be.
Dr. Stephanie Brown