School officials in Edison seek input as they put together hybrid in-person back-to-school plan

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EDISON – School officials are seeking input through surveys ahead of releasing an in-person back-to-school plan in August.

With Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement on July 20 allowing a choice for parents to have their children to continue learning remotely when the 2020-21 school year starts on Sept. 2, it adds another piece district officials will have to consider as they continue to put together their back-to-school plan.

Schools Superintendent Bernard Bragen said at a Board of Education meeting on July 20 as they continue to work on a proposed hybrid plan, it would be helpful to know the exact number of students who decide to learn 100% remotely in order to set up the needed parameters for social distancing.

“There has to be a commitment,” he said, noting the plan does not allow for a change of mind.

Bragen said if they don’t receive a response to the survey the district will assume the student will be in-person.

The district issued an initial survey seeking input on comfort level of parents and guardians sending their children back to school in September, riding the bus and wearing face coverings.

The district recieved 7,165 responses with a large majority of parents and guardians not comfortable sending their children back to school and riding the bus. A majority preferred their child wear a face mask.

The district has also received thousands of questions.

Bragen said the district’s goal is to provide robust enhanced instruction with some synchronized instruction and some asynchronous instruction including videos.

The district’s buildings and grounds department is working on a manual for each building guided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New Jersey Department of Education for cleaning, the implementation of thermal cameras, and contact tracing.

Bragen said they are also considering outdoor learning with the expansion of outdoor spaces with tents.

For more information visit www.edison.k12.nj.us.