Gov. Phil Murphy today revealed a breakdown of the reopening plans that the state’s schools have submitted to the New Jersey Department of Education for review prior to the start of the school year.
A total of 745 plans from public, private and religious schools have been submitted. There are 251 plans that have been deemed completed, 389 that have been returned to the district for revision, and 105 yet to be reviewed.
In terms of plan specifics, 180 school districts plan to open with remote only instruction, while 436 districts plan to utilize a hybrid model of both remote and in-person learning.
There are 59 schools that submitted plans that will offer full time in-person learning, and 11 districts with plans containing some combination of in-person, remote and hybrid learning.
The state has used a “comprehensive set of metrics” which has allowed the Department of Health to divide the state into six regions in accordance with COVID-19 risk level. According to Murphy, this will make it easier to monitor spikes in cases once the school year starts and will hopefully make it easier to contain any outbreaks if they occur.
“Our determination is that each region in the state is safe for school reopening with the right precautions in place at the individual school level,” Murphy said.
He added that the numbers of school reopening plans will be updated and reported on a regular basis as the school year draws closer.
Restart and Recovery Commission Update
Speaking at today’s event were the co-chairs of the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission. Originally assembled on April 28, the commission is tasked with helping to understand the challenges brought by the pandemic while strategizing how to best reopen the state.
“As all of us in state government have been deeply engaged in fighting COVID-19, we have been keenly aware of the need to take a step back and survey the entire field,” Murphy said of the work of the commission.
“This is an administration driven by data and science,” Commission Co-Chair and Professor of Molecular Biology & Public Policy, President Emerita of Princeton University, Shirley M. Tilghman said at today’s COVID-19 press briefing. “[The administration] understands that you will not have an economic recovery if you do not have a health recovery. That has been critical to everything the commission has done.”
Tilghman said that the commission has broken its work into three subcommittees including one focused on health issues, another focused on public and social policy, and a third on economic issues both in restarting and in long-term recovery.
“As we move forward, the commission will continue on its current course, advising the governor and advocating for an equitable and safe recovery,” Commission Co-Chair and CEO of Merck Kenneth C. Frazier said. “Our plan is to focus our efforts on economic and health panning, to prepare us for the fall and winter, including contingency plans, should New Jersey face another large scale increase in [COVID-19] infections.”
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