TRENTON, April 16, 2020—The executive director of the New Jersey School Boards Association today announced that the organization will develop a white paper on issues facing local boards of education when schools reopen. The announcement followed Governor Murphy’s statement this afternoon that the state’s schools will remain closed at least until May 15.
“We understand Governor Murphy’s decision to keep schools closed in the interest of the health of our students, teachers and other staff and the well-being of our communities,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director. “However, it is not too soon to take a serious look at the issues facing districts when schools reopen, whether that happens later this spring or in September.
“School board members, superintendents and educators have cited many challenges they will encounter when students return to the classroom,” he explained.
According to Feinsod, the white paper will address the following issues, among others:
- Measuring the academic progress made by students during a period of virtual instruction;
- Providing necessary remedial programming;
- Adjusting educational programs to accommodate social distancing and other preventive measures;
- Addressing the mental health needs of students and staff;
- Examining the potential impact on school sports and other extracurricular activities;
- Maintaining adequate sanitation of school facilities; and
- Determining the pandemic’s impact on school finances.
“NJSBA will reach out to state and local education officials and to other state and national organizations in developing the white paper,” said Feinsod. “Upon its completion, we will share the report with our members and others in the education community.”
The New Jersey School Boards Association is a federation of the state’s local boards of education and includes the majority of New Jersey’s charter schools as associate members. NJSBA provides training, advocacy and support to advance public education and promote the achievement of all students through effective governance.