Detailed guidance on 2020-2021 school year in New Jersey

New Jersey Commissioner of Education Dr. Lamont Repollet said, “The guidance announces that absent a change in public health data, public schools will be open for in-person instruction and operations in some capacity at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.”
Gov. Phil Murphy, along with state officials, released detailed guidance on the 2020-2021 school year in New Jersey.
Here are some main bullet points:
• Schools must comply with CDC, state, and local guidelines.
• School staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings, unless doing so would inhibit the individual’s health, or the individual is under 2 years old.
• Students are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings and are required to do so when social distancing cannot be maintained, unless doing so would inhibit the students’ health. Schools and districts must allow for social distancing to the maximum extent possible.
• School districts must also minimize use of shared objects, ensure indoor facilities have adequate ventilation, prepare and maintain hand sanitizing stations, and ensure students wash hands frequently.
• School districts must adopt a policy for screening students and employees for symptoms of COVID-19 and must strive for social distancing within the classroom and on school buses. If schools are unable to maintain the physical distance, additional modifications should be in place, such as physical barriers between desks and turning desks to face the same direction.
• School district reopening plans should establish the process and location for student and staff health screenings, which include providing physical guides such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signs on walls. Each school district must also adopt cleaning and disinfecting procedure.

• Students and staff with symptoms related to COVID-19 must be safely and respectfully isolated from others. If a school district becomes aware that an individual who has spent time in a district facility tests positive for COVID-19, district officials must immediately notify local health officials, staff, and families of a confirmed case while maintaining confidentially.
• If cafeterias or other group dining areas are in use, school districts must stagger eating times to allow for social distancing and disinfecting of the area between groups.
• School districts must complete an inventory of outdoor spaces, and mark off areas to ensure separation between students. Recess must be staggered by groups, and staff must disinfect playground equipment and other shared equipment between uses. School districts should also consider closing locker rooms.

• Extra circular activities must comply with applicable social distancing requirements and hygiene protocol.
For more on today's briefing, click here.
PHOTOS: Your Coronavirus Pandemic Experience