Area Schools to Start Year Fully Remote, May Switch to Hybrid Model on October 13

Just two weeks ago, the public school districts in Vineland, Millville, and Bridgeton announced their plans to start the 2020-21 school year by offering hybrid in-person/virtual as well as all virtual learning options, due to the current public health emergency.

However, after Gov. Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 175 on August 13—which allows school districts to offer entirely virtual instruction—Vineland, Millville, and Bridgeton have chosen to change course.

At a COVID-19 media briefing last week, Gov. Phil Murphy reminded the state’s school districts proposing all-remote learning that they must resubmit their plans for the 2020 school year.

All schools proposing all-remote learning must cite specific health and safety reasons, certified by school district leaders. A timeline to get back to in-person instruction must also be a part of the proposal.

“All districts must meet the same health and safety standards we reiterated for districts last week and in all the guidance that has been released over the last few months,” Murphy said. “All plans must be reviewed by executive county superintendents, as well as both the departments of Education and Health.”

Vineland and Millville announced they will reopen on September 3, while Bridgeton will reopen its schools on September 8. All three public school districts will offer full remote instruction upon reopening. intention of all three districts is to switch to an in-person/virtual hybrid learning option on October 13.

“The Board of Education and Central Administration realize that students grow and learn best when they are present at school on a daily basis,” wrote Dr. Mary L. Gruccio, superintendent of Vineland Public Schools, in a letter to Vineland parents and guardians.

“[H]owever, our first duty is to provide a safe and secure learning environment.”

A City of Vineland Board of Education meeting will be conducted remotely on Wednesday, August 26, regarding the “continued operation of the District during the Corona Virus Pandemic.” The agenda will be posted on the City of Vineland Board of Education website at vineland.org/board-of-education, by Monday, August 24.

Members of the public may participate in the public comment portion of the remote meeting by calling 1-646-558-8656 access code 812 8201 2611.

For more details on the latest Vineland School District reopening plan, visit facebook.com/vinelandpublicschools

In a letter to parents and guardians, Millville Public School Superintendent, Tony Trongone named several “key factors” as the impetus behind its decision to offer remote only learning at the beginning of the school year:

• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Having an adequate supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is critical for in-person instruction to mitigate the potential spread of the virus. At this time, our supply of masks is not expected to arrive until September 18.

• Plexiglass barriers – Each school has received a limited number of protective plexiglass barriers. After analyzing each school’s needs, we have determined a need for additional plexiglass barriers where social distancing isn’t practicable. At this time, the expected arrival time of the additional plexiglass barriers is September 17.

• Staffing – Due to a high volume of staff requests for leave time, we are unable to adequately staff our buildings which presents a multitude of safety concerns.

For additional details on the latest Millville School District reopening plan, visit millville.org

Bridgeton Public Schools recently released their new reopening plan which will include class “lessons streamed live and recorded.”

Additionally, lunch and breakfast will be provided to all students Monday through Friday.

“Keeping our students and staff safe will always be our top priority,” wrote Dr. Keith Miles, Jr., superintendent of Bridgeton Public Schools, to the Bridgeton Public School family.

For additional details on the latest Bridgeton School District reopening plan, visit bridgeton.k12.nj.us

After “careful consideration,” Dr. Dina Rossi, superintendent of CCTEC, recommended that the students of the school start the academic year remotely, with the goal of moving to hybrid instruction in October.

Her message can be viewed at youtube.com/watch?v=VfSheWf5ZWo&feature=youtu.be

For additional details on the latest CCTEC reopening plan, visit cctecnj.org

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