As you may have heard, Governor Murphy has recently added another wrinkle to our plan and our decision on how to reopen school in September, allowing districts to begin in full virtual mode if they provide documentation demonstrating that in-person instruction is not feasible.
We are now in the process of collecting data on students and staff, which I am sure will add to the challenge of providing an in-person and all virtual environment. As the opening of school approaches, we will be sending out additional information and reminders about face coverings to our families, and any other updates to our plan. Just to be clear, everyone including students, teachers and visitors will be required to wear face coverings. However, it should also be noted, that the DOE guidelines state several times that "School staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings unless doing so would inhibit the individual's health or the individual is under two years of age." On that topic, the committee also felt that removing masks should be allowed for those students in the early grades where physical barriers were in place, to provide our early grade youngsters an opportunity to have their much needed snack. This will only occur with teacher permission, and only in the early grades.
I hope to update our plan once again and resend it to the county office in the next few days, addressing several of their recommendations after their preliminary review. As you should be aware, guidelines and requirements seem to change every week, if not sooner. The idea of a total virtual environment was not even an option a couple of weeks ago.
If the district determines that in-person instruction is not possible for the opening of school, we will revise our plan once again and post the updated version on our website. Be assured that everyone's safety remains our top priority. Thank you for your patience and support. Stay safe and remain healthy.
Superintendent of Schools