NEW JERSEY — New Jersey’s Department of Education is expected to release guidelines regarding the reopening of schools for the 2020-21 academic year on Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy announced.
“This guidance has been in the works for weeks,” Murphy said during his daily coronavirus briefing Thursday.
The plan will take into account differences which exist among schools and education communities, including geographic, demographic and economic factors. Murphy acknowledged that “there is no one-size fits all guidance” when it comes to schools.
Individual district superintendents and boards of education will work with school communities and have the flexibility to ensure the implementation of a strategy that best works for their district’s needs.
Schools in New Jersey have been closed since March 18 in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said schools are expected to resume on Sept. 10 and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza laid out a tentative framework for the fall, which includes blended learning.
Framework includes enhanced health measures to make sure students, teachers and staff are safe. It includes adequate PPE and social distancing protocols.
It also includes a trauma-informed transition back to school to help kids with their social-emotional needs; blended learning, which would be a combination of remote and in-person instruction; rolling/phased starts, which means groups of students will start at different times; split schedules, which would limit the amount of students in the building at a time and school support services, where bus and food operations would be adjusted.
New Jersey has reported over 170,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic broke out in the state in March.