BELMAR, NJ — Belmar Elementary School will be closed to students on Monday, March 16 as faculty members prepare for home instruction learning in the event of the school’s closure during the current coronavirus outbreak.
“We are going to close school for students so staff can continue preparing for our home instruction learning, said School Superintendent David Hallman in a letter sent to parents today, March 13. “Our staff will be participating in professional development as we finalize plans for the potential implementation of our home instruction learning plan.”
Hallman’s announcement came shortly after Gov. Phil Murphy said at a press conference that a prolonged statewide closure of all schools would most likely occur as part of an all-encompassing plan to stop the spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey,
“We have been and are now actively working with our public school districts on extended closure plans to prepare for a potential statewide closure,” Murphy said. “For many districts, that time is now. For others, we’re working to ensure that when their time comes, they will be prepared to provide all critical services for their community. We’re working toward the inevitability that every district will be closed for a prolonged period of time.”
Currently, more than 350 of the state’s nearly 700 districts have closed or have made the decision to close, said state Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet.
While Belmar Elementary has created a home instruction plan that follows county and state requirements, “this plan will only be utilized if we are closed,” Hallman stated, adding that Monday is not considered a day of home instruction learning.
“This issue will continue to evolve every day. As educators, we recognize this is a challenging time for all of us. Please be aware that our plan will be flexible and modified on an ongoing basis,” he said.
Under the plan:
- All directions for home instruction learning plans will be posted online, in addition to being included in packets that were sent home today with students in preparation for a potential school closure.
- Students receiving specialized services, such as speech, occupational or physical therapy, will not receive services until school re-opens due to legal requirements, and every effort will be made to provide make-up sessions.
- Students who are provided lunch at no cost or a reduced cost will be contacted on where meals will be available, if needed during the home instruction period.
- Chromebooks for home instruction will be provided to students who do not have access to a computer at home.
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