BARNEGAT, NJ - The Barnegat Board of Education held an emergency meeting today to formally adopt a Virtual School plan intended to provide local students with online instruction. Additionally, the school district has a new calendar for the balance of the year.  It will be posted on the district's website sometime tomorrow,

A small group of spectators made up of faculty, staff and parents attended the public portion of the meeting that lasted just fifteen minutes. Board members Lauren Sarno and Robert Sawicki were absent from the meeting, presumably called to their jobs in emergency and medical services.  As previously arranged, board member Maria Pereira attended the meeting remotely.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Latwis and Board President Michael Hickey thanked and commended everyone who worked as a team to put the Virtual School in place.  The vote was unanimous and required no discussion. Barnegat's decision to close schools came just days before it was ordered by Governor Phil Murphy,

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One parent who attended the emergency meeting expressed concerns about how virtual learning would work for his son. "My son is in the Brackman School and requires a one-to-one aide," shared Christopher Stamnes, "I want to know how you are going to handle his special needs so that he continues to receive his free public education."

Latwis explained that the direction comes from the state as far as what programs are suspended and not, "As far as the remote virtual learning, there obviously is somewhat of a suspension of the IEP as its laid out. The services will not exact as far as in-home versus being present in school,"

Parents who are concerned about students with IEPs should reach out to the Child Study Team with any issues. The district will do its best to accommodate everyone, which does not necessarily mean providing an aide at home, According to Latwis, that would not fit within the concept of promoting social distancing.

Anyone requiring more information about the Virtual School plan or other issues during the shutdown should consult the school district's website or call for assistance.