FLEMINGTON, NJ - Parents may have to prepare for the potential closure of Flemington-Raritan schools as administrators keep an eye on COVID-19 advisories from the New Jersey Department of Health.
Though Hunterdon County remains in orange status, weekly updates from the Health Department show the area inching closer to red, which would shutter schools for in-person learning, Dr. Kari McGann, superintendent of schools, reported to the board of education Monday.
“I am aware there are districts in Hunterdon County and throughout the state that are making the decision to close,” McGann said. “We all want to keep our doors open to students. As soon as we go into the red, then we are required to (convert to) full remote learning.”
“Number one, parents should prepare contingencies now,” said board president Tim Bart in summary of McGann’s report.
Secondly, he said, parents should be open and honest about symptoms and work with the school nurse.
McGann reminded parents to keep students home if they exhibit potential symptoms of coronavirus, such as fever, runny nose, trouble breathing, upset stomach or diarrhea.
Additionally, board member Melanie Rosengarden said students should stay home if anyone in their household is exhibiting symptoms.
“We have our eyes set on keeping schools open as long as possible,” McGann said.
In a recent survey, some parents expressed a desire for more in-person learning.
“Parents want our students in school,” McGann said. “They’re worried about anxiety. They’re worried about stress, and the superintendent shares those concerns.”
The survey showed that the majority of parents – 78.36 of English survey takers and 80.95 of Spanish survey takers – believe the hybrid schedule is meeting their children’s needs. Likewise, the majority of parents of online learners – 88.92 percent of English survey takers and 75 percent of Spanish survey takers – believe the all-remote learning is meeting their needs.
Teachers rated the hybrid schedule a 3.4 out of 5.
“They recognize that it’s not perfect, but they do think that it’s the best situation,” said Daniel Bland, assistant superintendent.