As a service to our members, the New Jersey School Boards Association has developed this resource center to provide guidance and information on responding to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

The resource page includes guidance from the New Jersey Department of Health, New Jersey Department of Education, National School Boards Association and other organizations, as well as model and sample policies developed by the NJSBA School Policy Service on subjects relevant to the current situation.

Latest News

‘Educators on the COVID-19 Front Line’–NJSBA Podcast Learn about a district’s successful efforts to meet the challenges of “going virtual” on short notice and how its staff members are helping the community fight COVID-19. Broadcast date: April 2, 2020, 2 p.m.

NJSBA Opposes Bill to Delay Quarterly Tax Payments In a position statement sent to the state Senate, NJSBA expressed strong opposition to A-3902 and explained the bill’s negative impact to the school districts and the students and families they serve. Issued March 26.

School Reopening Won’t Be Considered until Mid-April—Governor — Schools are closed until Governor Murphy lifts his Executive Order. That won’t even be considered until mid-April, the governor said at yesterday’s press briefing. Posted March 27

NJSBA Online Programs

NJSBA’s Virtual Program Update A comprehensive list of webinars, podcasts, videos and Facebook Live events focusing on the challenges facing local school boards and school districts during the current public health emergency. Posted March 26.

Conversations on New Jersey Education, NJSBA’s podcast program broadcast over BlogTalkRadio.com, will feature a series of interviews focused on school leadership during the COVID-19 health crisis.

Virtual Resources Webinar Series The webinar series will convey important information related to navigating through the COVID-19 health crisis and will highlight solutions available to help NJSBA members manage the virus’s impact on New Jersey’s educators and students.

Facebook Live NJSBA is hosting a series of Facebook Live events to address questions from boards, school administrators, and educators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

State and National Resources

N.J. Department of Children and Families Offers COVID-19 Flyers — “Coronavirus Prevention Instruction for Kids,” “De-escalating Tense Situations,” and “Social Distancing Shouldn’t Mean Social Isolation.” Posted March 27.

Tools for Behavioral Health Professionals During a Public Health Crisis Information from the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network. Posted March 27.

State of New Jersey COVID-19 Website Information on health services, state policies and the impact of the pandemic on New Jerseyans. Posted March 25.

ALERT: Bill Would Allow Delay of Quarterly Tax Payments to School Districts This afternoon, the state Assembly is scheduled to act on legislation that could have a serious financial impact on school districts. March 25, 2020

Addressing Hunger During the Coronavirus Crisis Hunger Free New Jersey provides an update on the state and federal efforts to help schools feed students during the closure. Posted March 25.

State Assessments Are Canceled Following an announcement from the governor, Commissioner Repollet issued a memo to chief school administrators, stating that the New Jersey Student Assessments will not be administered this year. March 24.

N.J. plans to cancel standardized tests because of the coronavirus According to the Star-Ledger/NJ.com, New Jersey will apply for a waiver from standardized testing required by the federal Every Child Succeeds Act. March 24.

Have a Question? Connect with NJSBA Experts via Facebook Live Starting this week, NJSBA will host Facebook Live events to address questions involving on school district governance, school law, labor relations, legislation, and other areas. Series begins March 25

New Webinar Series to Help School Districts Navigate COVID-19 Crisis via Virtual Resources NJSBA is offering members a series of free webinars to help them manage the pandemic’s impact on public education programs and school district governance. Series begins March 24.

NEW Guidance on Virtual Meetings from Division of Local Government Services “In light of the Governor’s issuance of Executive Order 107, we have been strongly encouraged to conduct all public meetings subject to the Open Public Meetings Act exclusively using communications equipment (e.g., telephonic conference call-in connections, internet streaming, etc.) for the foreseeable future without providing a physical meeting placeIssued March 23, 2020.

Updates and Frequently Asked Questions Related to COVID-19 School Closures The N.J. Department of Education’s information and guidance document, updated March 23.

Coping with Stress and Depression Mental Health America will present a free one-hour webinar for family caregivers and adults concerned about themselves or others during the current public health crisis on Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m.

An Important Message from NJSBA’s Leadership With school districts facing an unprecedented health emergency, NJSBA leaders affirm the Association’s continued support to local boards of education and the state’s 1.4 million public school students. March 23, 2020

Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities A fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Education. Issued March 21.

Governor expands emergency/preventive measures With Executive Order 107, Governor Murphy expands restrictions on commerce and maintains mandatory closing of all public and private schools. March 21, 2020.

Tips for managing virtual instruction during the COVID-19 crisis In an article written for the NJEA, Dr. Maurice Elias of Rutgers University, the nation’s leading expert on social-emotional learning, advises educators on how to work with their students during this health emergency. Posted March 21, 2020.

Governor Signs Bills Addressing Government Operations and Public Meetings during Health Emergency  March 20, 2020.

Virtual Board Meetings and COVID-19 NJSBA’s Policy Service offers a new sample policy addressing electronic participation by members and the public during the current health crisis. March 20, 2020.

Podcast: The Impact of COVID-19 on School Board Meetings – Legal Factors – NJSBA attorneys address government directives to combat the pandemic and how they affect a school board’s ability to conduct public business. Broadcast live, March 20, archived

Mental Health and COVID-19: Information and Resources Mental Health America, a non-profit founded in 1909, provides a wide range of information and guidance for individuals and communities during the public health crisis. March 20, 2020.

April School Elections Postponed to May 12; Vote-by-Mail Only Governor Murphy signs Executive Order 105, changing election dates for several localities including the 14 districts that conduct school board elections in the spring. March 19, 2020.

New Jersey Department of Human Services Outlines Assistance Available A wide range of actions are being taken which help children and families, senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, and mental health and substance abuse disorder services. In addition, information on housing assistance can be found here. Updated March 25

Broadband Options for Students Information on free access for students while schools remain closed, March 18, 2020.

Updates and Frequently Asked Questions Related to COVID-19 School Closures A 15-page New Jersey Department of Education document addresses issues related to testing, nutrition programs, graduation requirements, and staffing while schools are shut down, March 17, 2020. 

Executive Order 104 Governor Murphy’s order closing all schools and establishing other emergency procedures, March 16, 2020.

Governor Murphy Orders Aggressive Social Distancing MeasuresMarch 16, 2020.

Emergency Procurement at the Local Level Local Finance Notice issued by the Division of Local Government Services, Department of Community Affairs, March 16, 2020

Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 while Protecting the Civil Rights of Students Fact Sheet issued by the U.S. Department of Education, March 16, 2020

Requirements to Implement a Public Health-Related School Closure Supplemental guidance issued by the New Jersey Department of Education, March 13, 2020.

Open Public Meetings Act and Technology The latest information from the NJSBA Legal & Labor Relations Department and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, March 12 and 13.

COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions Related to School Emergency Preparedness Plans, New Jersey Department of Education, March 13, 2020.

How school professionals can create a safe environment for children during times of stress and disruption Advice from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, March 13, 2020

Impact of COVID-19 on Assessments and Accountability under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Information from the U.S. Department of Education, March 12, 2020

NJDOE Novel Coronavirus Resource Page A regularly updated list of resources from the New Jersey Department of Education.

Responding to the Coronavirus A resource page from the National School Boards Association.

Guidance for School Settings Before and During Outbreak Information from the New Jersey Department of Health, March 12, 2020.

Guidance Regarding Requirements for Public Health-Related School Closure The New Jersey Department of Education addresses the 180-day instructional requirement in light of health-related school closings. Issued March 5, 2020.

New Jersey Department of Health COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care and K-12 Schools The latest guidance from the New Jersey Department of Health, UPDATED March 4, 2020.

Updated 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Child Care and K-12 Schools Memo from the New Jersey Department of Education, issued on March 3, 2020.

Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Developed by the CDC, this online reference includes a section on “Guidance for schools which do not have COVID-19 identified in their community.”

COVID-19: Preparing for Widespread Illness in Your School Community Developed by the National School Boards Association, in collaboration with the National Association of School Nurses, the document addresses “Planning for COVID-19 Challenges in Your School District,” offers links to resources from the health agencies, and includes a “COVID-19 Planning Checklist.”

COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel Information from the U.S. Department of Education

NJSBA Policies

The following NJSBA sample policies may be of assistance:

  • 9322 Public and Executive Sessions – Virtual Board Meetings and COVID-19
  • 5141.2 Illness – Covers control of contagious diseases or conditions.
  • 4112.4 Health — Exposure control plan and bloodborne pathogens.
  • 5141 Health – Covers preparation for the potential disruption of a pandemic flu outbreak, and includes a link to federal resources on pandemic influenza.
  • 6173 – Home instruction during the prolonged absence.

The NJSBA will continue to monitor the situation and provide more resources and information as they become available.

Technology Resources

Broadband Options: COVID-19

Free BoardDocs Online Governance Tools