PROSPECT PARK, NJ – Mayor Mohamed Khairullah and Superintendent of Schools Allison Angermeyer released a video Friday evening announcing the closing of the school district for next week, effective Monday, March 16.  “This was in collaboration and part of a discussion between the school and the municipality,” Khairullah said.  “We are doing this out of an abundance of caution.”

Khairullah said that the presumptive positive case of a Prospect Park resident came back negative.  “We are not aware of any positive cases in Prospect Park.  However, this virus spreads through person to person contact particularly from people in close proximity.  So, I think it is the best interests of the community that this decision was made.  Instructions were sent with the students, a letter was sent by the superintendent.”

“We decided it was in the best interests of everyone for safety to ensure students are home with their families while we go through this situation,” Angermeyer said.  “Unfortunately, it’s a world of unknowns so we aren’t exactly sure how much further everyone will be impacted.  We are going to take it week by week: the students will receive their comprehensive packets to work on at home.  Any students who want to have their breakfast and lunch can come to the school each morning between 8:00 and 10:00 to pick up breakfast and lunch to take home.  That will be available.  I just hope that everyone is safe at home and that this situation passes quickly.  By the end of next week we should have some further information as to whether we need to close further.”

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Khairullah added that the decision was made to be “be extra cautious to protect the youngsters and their families” since schools are one of the largest gatherings of people in the town, and the virus is best mitigated by reducing gatherings.

The mayor further emphasized, as he has in several messages, that residents should wash their hands thoroughly and maintain a distance of about 6 feet from people.  He also reminded residents who think they are experiencing symptoms to call their medical professional before showing up, to prevent the possibility of spread.

Khairullah said in a separate statement that, "Part-time employees whose employment will be affected by the school closing (crossing guards and other part timers in the school) will continue to be paid while the school is closed."

Manchester Regional High School also said it would close Monday, March 16, according to the mayor, and that "a reopening date has not been set yet."

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