TRENTON, NJ - Summit's Public Schools -- along with all New Jersey Schools -- will remain closed for in-person instruction for what is left of the 2019-20 academic year, Governor Phil Murphy announced at his daily COVID-19 press briefing. Private schools with longer academic years will remain closed until at least June 30.
All students will continue with remote learning.
The action extends the Governor's Executive Order No. 104 which closed the campuses on March 18.
Murphy noted the decision resulted from "an inclusive and rigorous process" and was made "with a single goal in mind: the safety and well-being of our children, educators, administrators and staff.," adding the decision was reached after "much consideration with the New Jersey Department of Education, District Officials across the state and multiple stakeholders, including both educators and parents based on the guidance from our public health experts."
"We wanted to let you know when we did, and to provide certainty."
The Governor said, "I had hoped we could get back to a sense of normal by allowing our children to return to the schools they love and to be with their friends and classmates, but the reality is that we cannot safely reopen our schools to provide students and families or faculty and staff the confidence needed for to allow for a return to in-person instruction."
Saying "public health creates educational health -- if the standards to open our workplaces are high, they are even higher when it comes to schools filled with our most precious assets -- our children. We could not guarantee an environment that would not only be safe but fully capable of meeting the educational needs of students in a setting built for social distancing."
Further, "leaning on the guidance of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA)", Murphy announced that spring sports will not resume, based on the NJSIAA Medical Board concluding "that due to a lack of testing, viable treatments and a vaccine, that spring sports were not a viable option."
Murphy also addressed the "graduating seniors were looking forward to the proms and walking across the stage to receive their diplomas in front of their families and friends. I still want to see them have those opportunities, and we will also work with districts on safe and creative ways to give the class of 2020 a proper send-off to their bright futures."
In a letter to "Members of the Summit School Community," Summit Board of Education President Vanessa Primack stated, "Governor Murphy has announced that we will not return to school this year. This news is heartbreaking at best. However, the Board is unequivocal that while school as we know and love may be closed, Summit’s pillars of Academics, Athletics, Arts and Community are open and thriving across the virtual platform. As an educational community we remain committed to our mission, visions, focus areas and shared values as we work together on this uncharted voyage of remote learning."