The Cranbury School District administration is developing a finalized return to school plan, as the new 2020-21 school year fast approaches.
The school district joins others statewide who are currently establishing return to school plans by following state guidelines from the Department of Education. Administrative officials have not released any specific details from their planning process, but have put together a reopening review committee.
“We have assembled a reopening review committee comprised of all stakeholders and are actively engaged in the development of the district reopening plan. Surveys were also sent out to families and staff to use in planning,” said Susan Genco, superintendent of the Cranbury School District. “Due to the dynamic nature of the situation, we will share information with our families as it becomes available.”
The Cranbury School transitioned to remote learning when Gov. Phil Murphy issued an executive order halting in-person instruction for teachers and students on March 16. The remote learning instruction for students from teachers continued until the end of the school’s 2019-20 academic year on June 18.
The school had closed on March 13 to provide teachers with training in preparation for remote class instruction prior to state officials officially stopping in-person instruction at schools across the state.
To aid school districts in developing a framework for how school’s will reopen, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) released a guidance plan for districts to safely open schools for the upcoming year. The guidance plan released in June focused on four areas: conditions for learning, leadership and planning, policy and funding, and continuity of learning.
“Through this established set of statewide standards, we can ensure that our state’s educational health does not come at the expense of our public health. The conduct permitted will be controlled by executive order and thus, is subject to change,” New Jersey Commissioner of Education Lamont Repollet said in a statement included in the guidance. “The intent of this guidance is to provide districts with the information necessary, to the greatest extent possible, to plan for reopening.”
According to the NJDOE guidance, when social distancing is difficult face masks and coverings will be required; social distancing will need to be maintained on buses with face coverings also required if it is difficult for students to socially distance; and also included that school district reopening plans should establish the process and location for student and staff health screenings.