COVID-19: Department of Education releases guidance for summer school programs
By ERIN ROLL
New Jersey schools may conduct in-person summer classes starting on July 6.
On Friday, the Department of Education released a series of guidelines for school districts that wish to hold summer classes.
The summer program is aimed at students who have been especially vulnerable during the distance learning period, including students who are behind academically, in need of social and emotional support, students with disabilities experiencing regression, and students are homeless.
The program is also meant to give teachers additional time to plan lessons, receive professional development and hold staff meetings more frequently than would be done in a traditional summer school program.
School districts that want to conduct modified in-person summer programs, or a combination of in-person and distance learning programs, must submit an attestation form to the Department of Health at least 24 hours before their anticipated opening date. The form states that the school will follow all applicable health and safety protocols, including screening staff and students’ temperatures, requiring the use of masks and personal protective equipment, and maintaining social distancing.
For usual summer school classes, the goals are to help students recover lost credits, take remedial classes, provide English language learning students with additional support, to prevent students from regressing in their studies, and provide Extend School Year students with needed support.
For Summer Learning 2020, the goals include front-loading the forthcoming year’s classes in order to give students a head start on the new school year: addressing social, emotional and mental health needs; and addressing learning gaps that resulted from the shift to online learning.
The guidance documents are all available through the DOE’s website.
As of Saturday afternoon, June 13, New Jersey health officials reported 441 new cases and 100 new deaths, compared to the 495 new cases and 48 new deaths reported on Friday, bringing the state total to 166,605 cases and 12,589 deaths.
Friday evening, hospitals reported 1,395 patients, down from 1,480 on Thursday, with 409 people in critical care and 279 ventilators in use, compared to 415 critical care patients and 300 ventilators in use on Thursday. Hospitals sent home 104 patients and admitted at least 19 new patients, compared to 117 new admissions and 169 discharges on Thursday.
On Saturday, Essex County officials reported 29 new cases and four new deaths, down from 32 new cases and seven new deaths on Friday, bringing the county total to 18,297 cases and 1,737 deaths.
On Saturday, Montclair health officials reported that the numbers of cases and deaths remained at 430 cases and 50 deaths, the same numbers that had been reported on Wednesday.