Camden County schools prep for possible closure due to coronavirus

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Camden County school officials are getting ready in the event that the county’s schools will have to close due to a coronavirus outbreak.

Several school districts dismissed students early or closed for a day in order to give teachers time to plan.

“I’d say that the last week this is just about all we’ve been doing,” says Collingswood Schools Superintendent Scott Oswald.

Collingswood schools will dismiss early on Thursday and Friday so that teachers can prepare online lesson plans. School officials say that the biggest change to this plan is how to deal with the district’s youngest students.

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“[Grades] 3-5 have their own devices in the classroom all day. Second grade, we’re going to get them devices that they’ll have access to, so we’re really focused on kindergarten and first grade for the students who won’t have direct access to electronic devices. So, for those students, we’re going to really resort back to paper packets,” Oswald says.

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Collingswood is not the only school district taking precautions. East Camden High School will dismiss early on Thursday and Friday. Woodbury and Voorhees schools are closing early on Friday, Hadden Heights will be closed on Friday. And Haddonfield schools will be closed on Monday.

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“Many of us met [Monday] afternoon, so I think we’re pretty much on the same page. Every district is slightly different. They have different access and devices, but all in all, I think we’re going to come up with similar plans,” Oswald says.

Oswald says that the Collingswood district is also working out how to feed students who get reduced lunch meals and how to serve the special needs students or students who do not have internet access at home.

Oswald says that he predicts that if the schools are forced to close, they will be given short notice. He says that parents should start coming up with plans now for child care.

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