BELMAR, NJ — Belmar Elementary School will begin the school year at 50 percent capacity under a “hybrid model” that combines both in-person and remote instruction, under the school district’s Restart and Recovery Plan.

From the opening of school on September 2 through September 25, the nearly 470-member student body will be split into two groups — each attending school twice a week for half-day sessions and learning remotely from home the remaining three days. One group of students will come to class on Mondays and Thursdays and the other on Tuesdays and Fridays. All students will spend Wednesdays with online lessons.

“Beginning with 50 percent capacity will give us a chance to evaluate and improve new procedures put into place,” states the just-released reopening plan, whose goal is to have all students in the building for in-person instruction starting on September 28.

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“However, if we feel at any time that it is not safe for all students to be in the building at the same time, we will continue at 50 percent capacity,” it states. “If the health situation changes, we could quickly switch to five days of remote learning from home. Further details will be released as we approach (the September 28) date.”

School officials stressed that the plan would likely transition between virtual, hybrid and full in-person instruction throughout the school year, depending upon the health situation in the area.

In addition, parents have the option of full remote learning for at least the first three months of the school year. The deadline to sign up for this option is Monday, August 10.

Following N.J. Department of Education coronavirus guidelines, the plan was developed through the collaboration of four “restart committees”— operations, pandemic response team, academic/instructional plan group and social emotional learning/special education group. The committees consisted of school administrators, board of education and faculty members, and parents, as well as one student in the operations group.

Highlights of the Fall 2020 Restart and Recovery Plan include:

  • The school day will begin at 8:30 a.m. for some grade levels and end by 1 p.m. for everyone. Arrival and dismissal will be staggered, and multiple entrances will be utilized to minimize student contact at entry.
  • Temperature checks will be conducted upon entry to the building for all students.
  • A health questionnaire screening of all students will be conducted by the parent prior to entry into the building.
  • Face coverings, which will be required at all times, will be provided by the school or can be brought from home.
  • Students will be in small groups and will not change classes.
  • Students in prekindergarten through sixth grade will be in self-contained classes with the same teacher all day.
  • Seventh- and eighth-graders will remain in the same class as the teachers will move for content subjects.
  • Students will have their own classrooms desks, which will be situated six feet apart.
  • Lockers will not be in use.
  • Classes will be held outdoors as much as possible, depending upon the weather
  • Each child’s belongings will be kept separated and in individually labeled storage containers, cubbies or specially designated areas.
  • Grab-and-go breakfast and lunch will be available before students leave each day. On days when students are remote learning from home, lunch will be delivered for students receiving free or reduced lunch.
  • Students will be required to wash their hands frequently throughout the day, with hand sanitizers mounted in every classroom and in designated areas throughout the building.
  • Hallways and stairwells will be one direction. Social distancing visual indicators will be placed in all hallways establishing the flow of traffic.
  • Bathrooms will be cleaned and disinfected hourly and will be signed off with date and time to verify. Classrooms will be disinfected nightly.

Click here for the entire BES Restart and Recovery Plan.

Click here for the full-time remote and in-person instruction learning options.

For more information, email the school district at


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