This afternoon, Governor Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey schools have the option to open the new academic year virtually if they choose, but they must provide the state Education Department with their plan to eventually return to the classroom. It’s an option that will give districts time to safely get their classrooms in order to provide students, teachers and administrators the comfort and faith they need to learn and teach.
Well, the Bayonne School District is taking advantage of the Governor’s edict. This afternoon, Superintendent of Schools John Niesz, in a letter to parents and guardians, announced that the district will begin the 2020-2021 school year on September 9th virtually for all of the district’s students. No in-school instruction, at least at the outset of the academic year.
Niesz stated, “You will be receiving specific information from your building principal within the coming weeks about specific hours of each school, services, technology and information specific to your student. Our district’s virtual educational plan will also be located on our website.”
Niesz added that the district will continue to monitor COVID-19, which he termed “everchanging.” The district will continue evaluating the its plan monthly and “we may transition to a hybrid plan or a plan to return all students to school.”
A section of the district’s website will be dedicated to instructional videos and resources on the new, virtual/online learning platform.
The Superintendent also announced that special education students will receive more information about the services the district will have available while it is on virtual instruction. Breakfast and lunch will still be provided via the grab and go program. Meals will be available on Mondays and Wednesdays for pickup at all district school buildings.
An announcement will also be made shortly regarding Pre-K through grade 12, school issued, take home devices. All in-person, co-curricular activities, such as athletics, clubs, organizations and study groups will continue virtually.
Bayonne was one of the first districts statewide to propose having all students learn virtually once school began again in September. Last week, the Jersey City Board of Education approved an all-virtual instruction plan beginning on September 10th, to run through the entire month.