LIVINGSTON, NJ — In accordance with Gov. Phil Murphy’s declaration that all New Jersey school facilities will be closed until further notice, Livingston Public Schools has extended its remote learning plan, but will still take a collective spring break as planned from April 4 through April 12.
“Although our initial hope was that we would be able to return to our schools after two weeks, the decision as to whether or not to reopen our facilities is no longer in our control,” said LPS Superintendent Dr. Matthew Block. “Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Education have left the timeline open-ended for the reopening of school facilities across the state. In his press conference [on Monday], the governor indicated that we should expect to be learning remotely for a significant period of time.”
The district announced on March 12 that it would transition to the virtual model on Monday, March 16 with the hope of being able to resume regular schooling on March 30.
Based on the current circumstances, the district plans to continue remote learning through April 3, leading up to its previously scheduled spring break.
“That week will provide our educators with a chance to reset and to prepare for a more extended period of remote learning,” said Block. “In order to engage our students during that week, we are currently working to create a website that will serve as a clearinghouse for educational and non-educational enrichment and enjoyment activities for our students.”
A website with these resources will be launched on Friday, April 3, according to Block.
Block added that the district currently expects to resume its daily remote learning schedule on April 13 unless advised otherwise.
“We are monitoring the situation each day,” he said. “The health, safety and well-being of our students, staff, and community members remains our first priority. I continue to be impressed by the determination, creativity and resilience of our staff, students, families, and community. If we remain dedicated to following social distancing guidance, our hope is that we will be back together at some point soon. We appreciate everyone’s continued partnership.”
CLICK HERE to see how teachers prepared for the virtual model and how they are faring after the first week of remote learning.
In order to provide social and emotional support for students at this time, the district has set up a webpage with information and resources to help reduce stress and keep mentally healthy during times of crisis.
“We are all processing, in different ways, the changes that have impacted our every-day routines, the effect of receiving daily information about the coronavirus and the transition to adapting to remote learning in response to this emerging situation,” the district wrote in a statement about this new resource. “Despite the stress and worry that may surround us, there is hope in using these supports to connect and support one another's mental health and well-being.”
As the circumstances around the spread of COVID-19 are rapidly changing, the district said it would continue to update the social/emotional page with any new resources it is able to provide.
Any parents or guardians with urgent concerns about the well-being of their children are urged to contact a healthcare professional. For any general concerns, parents/guardians can contact the child’s administrator and/or school counselor, who will help connect families with someone who can provide information and resources to support their specific needs.
CLICK HERE to visit the social/emotional support page.
Block's latest COVID-19 update can be found below.
Click on the headlines below for more on how the community is adjusting to the new remote learning schedule and other local news related to the global health crisis: