Some private Lakewood schools reopen as religious centers while parents return to work

Some private religious schools in Lakewood have reopened this week as religious centers while parents head back to work.

News 12 Staff

Jun 17, 2020, 8:51 PM

Updated 1,404 days ago

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Some private religious schools in Lakewood have reopened this week as religious centers while parents head back to work.
The director of one of the schools tells News 12 New Jersey that despite having more than 100 children inside, they are doing things in accordance with state guidelines.
“I don’t believe we are in violation of any executive orders. We are law-abiding citizens. Always are, always will be,” says Yeshiva Shagas Aryeh director Avi Verschleiser.
Verschleiser says that there are about 130 students at the all-boys school. News 12 witnessed many of them wearing masks.
“It’s a long summer after many months of at home, climbing the walls. Just keeping them grounded and getting them emotionally strong and keeping their religion strong and healthy through summer and back into September, hopefully,” Verschleiser says.
The director says that 130 students are roughly 25% capacity and complies with guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“They have nursing checking daily. They have parents signing off a questionnaire daily, facial coverings,” Verschleiser says.
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Verschleiser also says that because the focus is on religious students, they are not in violation of Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive orders, which ordered all schools to close in March. The school has applied for permits to transition into a day care and day camp moving into the summer. Verschleiser says that he would like to see individual communities allowed to draw reopening guidelines that best suit their needs.
“The state is so diverse. Each community has its own situation where the virus hit, how it hit. If Trenton would allow some restriction given over to the locals, that would be tremendous,” he says.
Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles says his town went from the center of the COVID-19 outbreak in Ocean County to just a couple of positive cases reported last week. He says that permits for day camps should be approved once they are allowed to get up and running.


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