‘There are many concerns’ — NJ schools have no idea what they’re doing next year
School facilities will remain closed for the rest of the school year.
End-of-year class trips, proms, spring musicals and athletic competitions of any kind are a no-go.
And while districts are scrambling to figure out what to do about graduation ceremonies, schools are already wondering about what will happen in the fall.
School officials in Middletown say the state needs to provide districts with back-to-school guidance on everything from conducting gym classes, whether everyone in schools should be required to wear masks (and who will supply them) to what happens when a student or someone they live with becomes ill.
"We must be able to open our schools safely," the Middletown Board of Education said Friday in an open letter. "The logistics facing our Board of Education and school administration are daunting. There are many concerns: How do we transport students safely? How do we seat them in classrooms? How do they change classes and access lockers?"
The school board is calling on state leaders "to show clear, strong leadership" and "spare no expense in designing a plan to safely and confidently open and operate schools in New Jersey."
State education officials have not explained what will happen to schools in September. The Murphy administration's attention has been on hashing out details to reopen state businesses that have been closed for seven weeks amidst a historic pandemic.
On Saturday, Gov. Phil Murphy said that the Department of Education would invite school districts to apply for a share of $280 million in federal aid awarded to New Jersey. The aid would be used by districts for pandemic-related expenses, such as purchasing education technology for remote learning and supplies for sanitizing buildings.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.