Murphy’s Executive Order For Districts Going Remote-Only

Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Requiring Schools to Open for In-Person Instruction and Permitting Districts to Provide Remote-Only Instruction if They Cannot Meet Health and Safety Protocols Executive Order Also Allows Institutions of Higher Education to Resume Broader In-Person Instruction TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy and Department of Education Interim Commissioner Kevin Dehmer announced that New Jersey’s public and private school districts will be open for in-person instruction for the start of the school year. Public school …

Newark Charters Pledge to Exceed Health and Academic Standards During COVID

Today thirteen public charter schools in Newark signed the “COVID-19 Compact” that represents a commitment to common standards for the new school year. These standards promise Newark’s charter school families that schools will reopen responsibly, ensure high safety standards for students and staff, maintain the high-quality instruction both in buildings and at home, and support children’s social-emotional learning needs.  The Compact was created by all school leaders with support from the New Jersey Children’s Foundation. …

Letter From NJ Public Charter School Association Prez to NJ Dept. of Education re: School Reopenings.

This is a letter from Harry Lee, President of the New Jersey Charter School Association, dated today, to Kevin Dehmer, Interim Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education, in reference to the DOE and Gov. Murphy’s mandate that all public schools open with some degree of in-building instruction. “We respectfully request immediate action,” Lee writes,”that would grant explicit permission for some charter schools to delay in-building instruction and to begin the 2020-2021 school year …

Lakewood Teachers Have 67 Questions For Lakewood Officials Determined to Reopen Schools Full-Time In-Person

The Lakewood Education Association, which represents all Lakewood teachers, paraprofessionals, and other staff, is hitting back against the district’s/attorney Michael Inzelbuch’s insistence on reopening schools full-time in-person. Last weekend Inzelbuch sent this letter to the union leaders. The union’s response? Sixty-seven questions, reproduced below. More generally, Dawn Hiltner, spokesperson for the Lakewood Education Association, told 101.5, Let’s say we get everybody back and then in three weeks we wind up having to shut everything down …

District and Charter Leaders Find Common Ground in Bucking DOE/Murphy Mandate For In-Person Instruction

It only took a pandemic for officers at the New Jersey Education Association to reach consensus with leaders of NJ’s charter school sector: Requiring some element of in-person learning starting on September 8th is unrealistic and dangerous for students and staff members. This common ground (also see here) is in direct opposition to the Department of Education guidance jointly issued by Governor Phil Murphy and then-Commissioner Lamont Repollet called “The Road Back: Restart and Recovery …

Pressure Builds on Murphy To Keep Schools Closed and Go All-Remote

Governor Phil Murphy is trying to juggle the academic needs of schoolchildren, valid health concerns of teachers, and a sudden uptick of Covid-19 cases as we approach the first day of school. You’ve got to admire his gumption but, truth be told, he’s been badly served by his NJ Department of Education (okay, he and NJEA chose Lamont Repollet as Commissioner) in two ways that directly affect how students will learn and parents will maneuver …

Inzelbuch’s Letter to Union Leaders Says Lakewood Isn’t Risking Covid Contagion With Full-Time In-Person Schools

Below is a letter, dated yesterday, from Lakewood attorney Michael Inzelbuch to the leaders of the Lakewood Education Association, Kimberlee Shaw and Tracy Paolantonio. Lakewood Public Schools, Inzelbuch informs the union officers, “is committed to provide full-time in person education for the 2020-2021 school year” and asks for a meeting to discuss a mandatory COVID testing plan for staff members. For context, Lakewood, distinguishing itself from other New Jersey school districts, held in-person Extended School Year programs …

If the Marlins Can’t Control COVID, How Can Schools? Murphy’s “Clarification” Explained

My baseball-fanatic husband just told me that the Yankees-Phillies game tonight was cancelled because 14 members of the Miami Marlins tested positive for coronavirus right after playing the Phillies this past weekend.  I assume that Major League Baseball has endless funds at their disposal to keep players safe. Teams widened dugouts, practiced social distancing in locker rooms, tested players daily, and wore masks when they weren’t in the field.  Yet baseball season may be over. …

As September Approaches, “Do We Have Any Business Returning Anyone To School?”

NJLB has been hearing much from parents, teachers, and administrators regarding the risk/benefit ratio of opening schools for in-person instruction in spite of coronavirus; the potential loss of learning and widening of achievement gaps if schools stay closed, particularly for low-income students; the challenges of navigating this stricken landscape with only the most cursory guidance from the New Jersey Department of Education. (Also see here and here.) Here are the thoughts of Laura Beverage of …

What Are the Risks of Catching the Coronavirus in Schools? Two Experts Weigh In.

Here are the risk-levels of contracting COVID-19 in schools, according to Gerba and Stephanie A. N. Silvera, epidemiologist and professor at Montclair State University. (This first appeared in Advance Media.) Walking in the hallway – Moderate to higher risk Hallways typically don’t have windows so ventilation is poor. Plus they tend to be densely packed with people, which increases risks. “Requiring face coverings to be worn while walking in the hallway would reduce the risk …