WESTFIELD, NJ — The school board is set to vote on an update to the district’s calendar and a package of coronavirus policies at a virtual meeting set for noon Monday.

The agenda released Friday includes proposed revisions to the 2020-21 academic year calendar that set students’ first day of classes for Sept. 10 — three days after Labor Day — and also has students attending school on Columbus Day, where previously they would have been off for the day.

The school board will also consider 27 pages of coronavirus-related policies, including one to support a “Restart and Recovery Plan” and another policy enacting an expansion of the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act, commonly called FMLA, to provide for paid sick leave for employees with COVID-19. School officials had previously said the district would provide a combination of remote and in-person learning.

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“We are preparing for a hybrid model of learning in the fall that would combine both in-person and online instruction,” said Superintendent Margaret Dolan in a letter to parents last month. “We will provide an all-remote option to families as well.” Dolan previously said the district would share the learning plan with the public at least one month before to the start of school.

The “Restart and Recovery Plan” policy set for consideration by the board includes the following provisions:

  • Subscription busing will not be available for the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Parents will be required to take their children’s temperature within one hour of the start of school then enter the reading into a daily intake forum with additional COVID-19 symptom questions.
  • Staff must provide spot temperature checks of students.
  • Any student with a temperature equal or greater than 100 degrees will be placed in an isolation area and an emergency contact notified within 30 minutes.
  • Both students and staff will be required to wear face coverings unless doing so “would inhibit the individuals’ health as verified by the school physician.”
  • Visitors will not be permitted.
  • Custodians will provide increased cleaning and disinfecting.

In keeping with the Gov. Phil Murphy’s directive to provide options for remote learning, a policy up for approval Monday would make all students eligible for remote learning. The policy stipulates that parents who wish to use fully remote learning options at the start of the academic year must submit a request for their child two weeks in advance of the school year’s start.

Parents who wish to transfer their child or children to fully remote learning from hybrid, in-person learning while school is in session must submit a request through an online form at least two days before the requested start date of fulltime remote learning, the policy states.

Parents wishing to switch from fully remote learning to the in-person, hybrid model must submit a request two weeks in advance, the policy states.

Due to COVID-19, Monday’s meeting will be held remotely. The public may view and participate in the meeting by visiting this link at noon.

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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