BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ An update of the anticipated return of thousands of students to Bernards Township schools by Oct. 1 is due to be presented at Monday's scheduled virtual Board of Education meeting.

The school district's administrative team is due to present the update near the beginning of agenda for the meeting, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14.

Until the end of August, students and their parents had an expectation of being able to choose either a "hybrid" model of being in class and learning remotely for a few days each week, or being able to continue 100 percent remote learning.

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But then _ citing the need for more time to prepare buildings, personnel and the school facilities for safe learning during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic _ the Board of Education announced at its late August meeting that students would continue learning from home for the first month of the 2020-21 school year.

The first day of school for this year, Sept. 3, continued the virtual learning that had been implemented in the district last March when schools and many businesses closed their physical doors in a battle to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.

Along with starting a petition, a group of parents and a few students rallied outside of Ridge High School four days after the board reversed its decision on allowing students to return to physical schools. 

Parents at the protest outside Ridge said that they were focusing on Oct.1 in order to have a detailed plan to open schools by then _ and they want a parent representative to be part of the planning. The group would be looking for school officials to provide confirmation that there will be an Oct. 1 school opening at the scheduled Sept. 14 board meeting, according to a leaflet handed out at the protest.

Monday's BOE meeting will again be virtual

Monday's meeting of the school board will again be virtual. Instructions to participate in the board's virtual meeting will be posted by 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14, at www.bernardsboe.com.

The board is also scheduled to consider a list of appointments, resignations, and retirements that are listed on the agenda.

School board members are also due to discuss the school district's goals for the 2020-21 school years.