Just now the Governor tweeted:
According to the new guidance (see here), all schools must offer “Unconditional Eligibility for Fulltime Remote Learning.” In other words, all students, regardless of whether they have a family member or guardian with a compromised immune system or illness, can elect to learn from home all year. Full-time remote learning must be available to every student, including those with disabilities who attend private special education schools at district expense. Each district must clearly define procedures for a family to request full-time remote learning, as well as how families can switch from remote to in-person instruction and visa versa.
How robust must the online instruction be? (Quality ranged wildly during the last third of the 2019-2020 school year.)
From the Guidance:
Scope and Expectations of Fulltime Remote Learning: A student participating in the board’s fulltime remote learning option must be afforded the same quality and scope of instruction and other educational services as any other student otherwise participating in district programs (e.g. students participating in a hybrid model). This includes, for example, access to standards-based instruction of the same quality and rigor as that afforded all other students of the district, the district making its best effort to ensure that every student participating in remote learning has access to the requisite educational technology, and the provision of special education and related services to the greatest extent possible. Like in-person and hybrid programs, fulltime remote learning must adhere to length of school day requirements pursuant N.J.A.C. 6A:32-8.3, local attendance policies, and any other local policies governing delivery of services to, and district expectations of, students participating in remote programs and their families. For families/guardians requesting that a service transition from in-person or hybrid delivery to fulltime remote delivery, the district must clearly define any additional services, procedures, or expectations that will occur during the transition period. Districts should endeavor to provide
supports and resources to assist families/guardians, particularly those of younger students, with meeting the expectations of the district’s remote learning option.
Translation: Students who are learning remotely must follow the same standards as students learning in-person. The district must provide each student learning remotely with a one-on-one device and broadband internet — a HUGE ask, given that up to 230,000 NJ students currently lack one or both. Also, the remote instructional day, typically a few hours in the Spring, must “adhere to the length of the school day,” typically about six hours.
How will districts get this together in one month? How will districts rewrite reopening plans by August 1st? And who at the state level is responsible for ensuring that this is all actually happening?
Beats me. More to come.