MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The restart and recovery plan for Middletown schools March 4, 2021 continues along as the administration works towards fully implementing what they call 'Phase 6'.

The hope is to return to a more normal schedule with a longer school day, five days a week in school and the ability to eat lunch during the school day. The current schedule is shortened and all lunch is at home. 

"Our administrative team is currently working to fully implement phase 6 of our MTPS Restart and Recovery Plan. This is our priority at this time. However, we are also beginning the planning process for our last step in reopening, which is extending the in-person instructional day, including lunchtime for students. In order to extend the day and provide the opportunity for students to eat lunch in school, we are working to find creative solutions to capacity constraints while maximizing social distancing during lunchtime." Middletown Superintendent of Schools Mary Ellen Walker recently wrote to the community.

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"We will also continue to follow NJDOH guidance when creating our plan for student lunches. Once developed, we will inform the community of our plan for eating lunch in school as well as the anticipated implementation date. Currently, we are in the early stages of creating the plan, and we do not have an anticipated implementation date." Walker wrote.

For local residents who may wish to be directly involved in the reopening of the schools, a new job awaits. The schools are actively soliciting for applications from the community to apply to be a lunch aid.

"We encourage our community members to assist us, if possible, by applying for a position to help supervise student lunchtime. We will post the position for non-instructional lunch aids soon. Applications will only be accepted through our district website under the Employment link once the position is posted." Walker wrote.

It has been nearly a year since schools were ordered closed by Governor Murphy. The reopening of schools is one of the most controversial issues of the day.