Online, remote learning awaits public school students in wake of pandemic


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Public schools in Edison, Metuchen and Woodbridge are taking necessary precautions and steps in wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Edison Schools Superintendent Bernard F. Bragen announced students will stay home on March 16. The district will use one of their inclement weather days as teachers will prepare for online learning, which will commence on March 17 and will be in place until further notice, he said in a notice on the district’s website.

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The Metuchen Public School District announced schools will be closed from March 16-20. All activities are also canceled.

School officials said after consultation with Metuchen Mayor Jonathan Busch and Metuchen Board of Education President Justin Manley, they have decided to do their part to flatten the pandemic curve.

“We don’t take this decision lightly and we know there will be disruptions to normal routines,” the announcement stated.

Schools Superintendent Vincent Caputo said they have activated their pandemic flu instruction plan and administrators and teachers are prepared for remote learning, which will begin on March 16.

Manley in a social media post said closing of the schools was “not an easy decision, but a necessary one.”

“Grateful for our teachers and administration working hand in hand over the last two weeks to prepare us for this change,” he wrote in a post. “We will continue to communicate, but wanted to get the word out sooner than later so families can begin to prepare.”

Woodbridge Township Schools Superintendent Robert Zega said they are fully prepared to continue teaching normally should they need to close their schools. He noted the district’s Pandemic Crisis Management Plan includes a comprehensive distance learning component.

As of March 13, the district held a half day of school. Zega said they were waiting for Gov. Phil Murphy’s afternoon press conference for possible guidance. Murphy said in the conference the closing of New Jersey schools is “inevitable” because of the outbreak.

“As always, the health and safety of our students, families, and staff are our highest priority,” Zega said.

Later in the day, officials announced Woodbridge schools will close from March 16-20 and students will learn remotely.

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