FLEMINGTON, N.J. – The Hunterdon Central Regional Board of Education was presented different scenarios for reopening in the fall.
During their virtual meeting on Monday, Superintendent Jeff Moore presented three scenarios for reopening. What he described as scenario A would be a “new normal” where the school is able to offer their full program and schedule with specific – but doable – public health and safety considerations.
Scenario C would be the current situation where the school would remain closed and remote learning would be in effect.
Scenario B is a hybrid of the new normal and the current situation, but is guided by capacity triggers.
“There are capacity triggers that would force us to reduce down to something in between [scenario A and scenario C,]” Moore said. “We’d be fortunate to bring students and staff on campus, but we might be under capacity or other restrictions like social distancing that would force us to only allow a percentage of staff and students.”
Currently, there have been no guidelines or a hint from state officials on when they will release guidelines as to how school districts across the state will reopen.
Work is being done to prepare in advance of however the state will move forward.
Moore said he was one of three superintendents from Hunterdon County to take part in a regional planning committee involving Hunterdon, Sussex and Warren counties. The committee, hosted by the state education department, gathered feedback from schools and addressed specific concerns.
Future conversations are to be determined.
The Hunterdon Central school district began surveying staff on the three scenarios for reopening and have been in consultation with several county and municipal agencies.
Parents will be receiving a survey soon on their experience with the high school’s closure and their concerns about reopening in September.
The school district will also be organizing a committee on reopening, comprised of staff members, students, parents and representation from the school board, as well as from health care and some government agencies.
Moore also took time to express frustration at a lack of guidance and announcements from the state on social media with no forewarning.
“We’ve been very frustrated with announcements happening on Twitter without really any heads up to us or really any other agency,” Moore said, “We’ve been frustrated that those announcements pointed us toward guidance that’s been developed for other contexts.”
Moore said they were pointed to summer camp guidance to generate ideas on how to bring the district’s most vulnerable students in for summer work.
“There are concerns in that we’re not getting good public health guidance that’s specific to the needs that we have,” he said, adding he had to look outside of New Jersey to other states and countries for guidelines that can be adapted for the district.