Earlier this summer, Governor Murphy announced that schools must offer some in-person learning in the fall and recently he announced that schools must also allow remote learning for students who opt to stay home. Now, school districts that can’t meet safety standards can decide not to open for in-person learning in September while they work on safety measures to be able to reopen later.
After announcing that he was signing an executive order today to allow schools and colleges to reopen, Murphy acknowledged the issues with reopening buildings. “Not only will this not be a normal school year,” said Murphy. “There is no one-size-fits-all plan to this very difficult situation.”
Districts like Elizabeth submitted reopening plans that were strictly remote, citing that not enough teachers are willing to return to classrooms, and the teacher’s union has also called for an all-remote option.
“For the past six weeks, we have relied upon the work of local educational communities to determine the best way for their schools to reopen,” Murphy said during his press conference. “We have provided significant flexibility, including providing parents and guardians with the option to choose all-remote learning for their students. While also at the same time adjusting expectations based on the latest science and data, such as last week’s announcement of mandatory face coverings for all students while in school.”
“We recognize that for some districts, there are legitimate and documented reasons why some of these core health and safety standards can not be met on day one,” he adds. “For these districts today, we are reaffirming our commitment to provide the flexibility for districts to do what is best for their school community.”
“Districts that cannot meet all the health and safety standards will begin in an all-remote fashion,” he said. “Public school districts will need to spell out their plans for satisfying these unmet standards and a date by which they anticipate the ability to resume in-person instruction.”
Murphy also said that the districts that fall into this category must offer a strong remote learning option that would satisfy NJ’s high standards of education to ensure kids get the best education possible.
As of today, there were 484 new COVID-19 positive test results reported, with 592 patients currently hospitalized with virus symptoms. Another nine people passed away due to the virus, with a total of 14,046 New Jersey residents lost due to complications of COVID-19.