New Jersey’s June 26 guidance on reopening schools, The Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan for Education, makes several references to district policy in implementing health and safety protocols, instructional programming, scheduling and other functions.
As a service to its members, NJSBA has analyzed the state report to identify areas in which board policy—as opposed to administrative regulations or practice—is appropriate. In addition, the NJSBA Policy Service has developed a set of sample documents to help boards update their policies related to health, safety, illness and maintenance to address state guidance on screening, contact tracing and cleaning/disinfecting requirements.
“Much of the NJDOE guidance concerns procedures to minimize exposure to COVID 19, prevent the spread of the disease, and help keep staff and students safe and healthy,” said NJSBA Executive Director Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod. “These functions spread across several policy areas, encompassing school security, health, facilities, transportation and other subjects. They can vary widely from district to district and even from school to school.”
Newly released NJSBA sample policies include the following:
- Visitors (1250), amended to prohibit most visitors during the pandemic recovery. Visitors may be admitted only upon the approval of the principal and must observe social distancing rules and wear face masks while in school.
- Operation and Maintenance of Plant (3510), amended to include cleaning and disinfecting measures outlined in the guidance for facilities and school buses.
- Transportation Safety (3541.33), amended to include an overview of cleaning, disinfecting and social distancing measures outlined in the guidance for school buses.
- Illness (5141.2), amended to cover contact tracing.
- Health Examinations and Immunizations (5141.3), amended to cover screening, personal protective equipment and social distancing.
The NJSBA Policy Service will continue reviewing state requirements and guidance on school reopening and will develop sample policies and further updates as needed.
For additional information and guidance on policy development in response to the pandemic and school reopening, contact Steve McGettigan, NJSBA policy manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jean Harkness, policy consultant, at email@example.com.
The NJSBA Policy Service is also planning to develop a clearinghouse of local school board policies related to the reopening school. Members are encouraged to send their districts’ policies to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in the clearinghouse.