New Semester of New Jersey School Faces New Challenges
Posted: Sep 10, 2020
At least 139 school districts require all remote classes for the new semester. Last week, when Governor Murphy announced that school districts could be allowed to conduct distance learning if they could provide reasons for not being able to teach face-to-face during lockdown in New Jersey USA and make plans to address the issue on a given date.
After Murphy's order, many school districts scrambled to reconsider and revise the open plan, and some schools that were already preparing for face-to-face classes changed their mind. Many school districts that initially asked students and teachers to return to campus held emergency meetings to revise their plans.
As of Tuesday (August 18), at least 139 school districts had asked the department to conduct all online classes in the new semester, which begins this fall, the state Department of Education said. But the state Department of Education has not yet approved any plans.
Kim Walker, a spokesman for the state Department of Education, said the number is expected to rise after the department issues formal rules for distance learning in school districts. She indicated that the Department of Education was currently developing a licence based on the requirements for distance learning published on its website. Not sure when you're ready, but it should be available soon. New Jersey has 584 school districts, more than 90 charter schools, and more than 140 approved private schools that accept students with public school disabilities. The state Department of Education will review plans to reopen all of these schools.
The Newark School District, New Jersey's largest school district, announced Monday (August 17) that it had changed its plans and decided to take all remote classes when the new school year begins in the fall. Three other big school districts, Jersey City, Patterson and Elizabeth, also announced that they would all conduct distance learning. But the state Department of Education requires all school districts that conduct distance learning to work to address existing problems, propose improvements and give timetables for future transitions to face-to-face instruction.
Some school districts, such as Lakewood and East Brunswick, have submitted their plans for face-to-face classes. Their Health Care NJ plans are still pending. For schools preparing for face-to-face classes, state guidelines state that if one or two students or teachers in the same classroom are diagnosed with the virus, everyone they come into contact with may be asked to stay at home for 14 days. However, if two or more people get sick in different classrooms, the entire school may be closed.
Governor Murphy updated the information on high-risk states on August 18, adding two states, Alaska and Delaware, bringing the total to more than 35 states and territories. The criteria for high-risk states are 10 or more confirmed cases per 100,000 people, or states with a rolling average of more than 10 percent over the past seven days. The travel quarantine program was developed in June by three states: New Jersey, Connect and New York. New Jersey residents travelling from high-risk states and returning from those states, including by train, bus, car, plane, or any other means of travel, are required to be isolated for 14 days at their accommodation, hotel or other temporary accommodation. During isolation, individuals can only leave the home if they see a doctor or need to buy food, and other necessities.
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