‘It’s meant to be done in person’: Lakeland Regional School District preps for reopening

The Lakeland Regional School District in Wanaque is discussing its reopening plan as Gov. Phil Murphy gets ready to unveil guidance for the 2020-2021 school year post-pandemic.

News 12 Staff

Jun 26, 2020, 2:18 AM

Updated 1,480 days ago

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The Lakeland Regional School District in Wanaque is discussing its reopening plan as Gov. Phil Murphy gets ready to unveil guidance for the 2020-2021 school year post-pandemic.
The district serves students from Haskell, Ringwood and Wanaque. Assistant Superintendent Mike Novak says that he wants to see a full return back to school come September.
“In order for students to really grasp education, I think it is meant to be done in person,” he says.
Novak says that he sees three scenarios playing out when the governor unveils his plan on Friday.
“No. 1, a full return with social distancing and guideline from the Department of Education. No. 2, a hybrid response – part virtual learning and part in-class learning,” says Novak.
A third option could be a continuation of homeschooling.
Hoping for a full return, the district will form a reentry team to move forward with plans to answer questions such as, how bussing will be handled and if students will have to wear masks on the bus.
The district will also have to figure out how classrooms and lockers will be handled since social distancing will be difficult. They will also have to figure out how to handle the cafeteria, library and gym classes.
“There’s a lot of logistical minutiae we have to consider,” says Novak.
And while the state has a lot of questions to answer, parents will want to know what the threshold will be. If one student in the school gets sick, will classes continue, or will it mean another shutdown?
Novak says that he did his best to connect with students during the quarantine. He sent out daily video announcements and by the end of the year made special deliveries – including an in-person announcement to the student who was named valedictorian.
Novak says that he is excited to return to work. Planning for the reentry team will continue through the summer.


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