BLOOMFIELD, NJ--  Virtual learning. Remote learning. Kitchen table school. Whatever name you call it, it's become the reality for over one million New Jersey students this week after Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 104, requiring all public, private and parochial schools shall be closed to students beginning March 18, 2020, although many districts began their closures on Monday, March 16, and remain closed as long as the order is in effect.  Because of the unpredictability of COVID-19, nobody knows when the order will end.

According to Superintendent of Schools Salvatore Goncalves, Bloomfield's "Virtual Learning Plan", as it's called by the district, began on Tuesday, March 17. Students have received guidance from the Virtual Learning Plan from their teachers last week. The lessons and activities can also be accessed online via the individual Teacher Websites and Google Classrooms. Teacher Websites can be accessed through the District Directory and Google Classrooms on an individual teacher basis and assignments must be completed in order for your child’s attendance for that Virtual Learning day to count.

Teachers and administrators will be available to help your child at particular hours (a total of 4 hours per day as designated by your child’s teacher and/or administrator) during each of the Virtual Learning Days.

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We reached out to Assistant Superintendent Joseph Fleres for some insight on the move to a virtual  classroom. “Bloomfield Schools successfully transitioned to our Virtual Learning Plan today (3/17). I am extremely proud of our staff for putting together such a comprehensive, all-inclusive plan PK-12.  This plan is reflective and a true extension of our innovative and rich curriculum. During this unprecedented time, we would like to proactively thank all Bloomfield parents/guardians for truly taking the team approach to our remote learning platform.”

TAPinto Bloomfield also checked in with some Bloomfield students and their parents to see how the Virtual Learning Plan was going. 

“I woke him up at 8:30 to make sure he’s ready to log in at 9:30. The teacher takes online attendance and I made sure I reviewed all the work so everything was in order. It’s hard to help during the day because I’m at work. When I got home I make sure to review everything again. A big thank you to his teacher and her patience in working to stick with the curriculum. I can’t imagine that it’s easy!”- said Lady Solano, whose son Gabriel is a 6th grader at Demarest School.

“I have a greater sense of appreciation for teachers. We are making the best of it" said Alexander Nieves, father of Aydan Nieves, a Franklin 3rd grader.

Finally, we spoke with Oak View mom Dana Bartley who set up her 4th grade daughter Gabriella and 1st grade son Jason. "Teachers have done an excellent job preparing for the first time of remote learning. It’s extremely organized and the kids are busy with all the school work."

One day down and nobody knows how many more to go.  This new learning style is surely going to have some kinks and will likely need to be tweaked as the days pass but right now it's the safest learning environment for the students of Bloomfield.  There's been no word yet on whether anyone has given their teacher a virtual apple.