On Aug. 17, the New Jersey Department of Education  released a guidance checklist document titled “Local Educational Agency Guidance for Chapter 27 Emergency Virtual or Remote Instruction Programs for the 2022-2023 School Year.”

Plans must be approved by each LEA’s board of education, approved by the respective county office of education, and posted on the LEA’s website. Chief school administrators must submit their board-approved plan, along with the checklist document, to their county office of education by Sept. 30.

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:7F-9, as amended by P.L. 2020, c.27 (“Chapter 27”), and the NJDOE’s implementing regulations (N.J.A.C. 6A:32-13.1 and 13.2), LEAs must annually submit a proposed program for emergency virtual or remote instruction to the NJDOE. These plans would be implemented during an LEA closure lasting more than three consecutive school days due to a declared state of emergency, declared public health emergency, or directive by the appropriate health agency or officer to institute a public health-related closure. If the LEA is directed by a public health agency or officer to provide virtual or remote instruction before the LEA receives county office of education approval of its plan, the approval date will be retroactive.

Compared to the 2021-2022 plan, the 2022-2023 plan includes additional required components that reflect the regulations adopted by the NJDOE in July 2022. These additional components include, for example, sections regarding equitable access and opportunity to instruction; addressing special education needs; addressing English language learner needs; attendance; and facilities. Questions should be directed to the LEA’s county office of education.