NJSBA has recently posted two Education Matters video interviews with New Jersey superintendents discussing the challenges of reopening their schools. Ray Pinney, NJSBA director of member engagement, conducted the interviews.  

Dr. Melissa McCooley is a superintendent of two districts, Pineland Regional and Little Egg Harbor. During her interview she discussed work of a 60-person committee involved in planning the reopening of the school districts she heads, and concerns about school bus transportation, special education, athletics and student assessment, as well as other topics.  

In his conversation with Pinney, Dr. Matthew Murphy, superintendent of the Ramsey school district, noted how difficult the reopening planning process has been. “It is more complicated than I would have imagined,” said Murphy. “There are so many things we need to consider about the health and safety of our students and staff.”  

Murphy talked about the district’s pandemic teams and restart committees, which include more than 60 staff members, parents, and administrators, the importance of masks and “mask-breaks,social emotional learning, and the challenges presented by the various reopening scenarios.