WAYNE, NJ – Despite thousands of Wayne residents without power, which would make logging on to a virtual meeting difficult for many, the Wayne Board of Education is going forward with their scheduled public meeting held online tonight at 7:30 p.m. They don’t have a choice.
“We are in a position where we must have a meeting this evening,” said BOE President Cathy Kazan. “We have a statutory deadline where we must vote on the re-opening plan. But this does not mean that we will stop communicating with the community. We have a plan in place to deliver the information to all the parents, as needed.”
The hottest topic in Wayne, even beyond power outages, is the question of school in September. For some parents, in-person school is a necessity so that they can get to work.
In a shaky economy, with jobs at a premium, knowing what will happen in September is extremely important. However, even with the school publishing a plan and the BOE likely voting to adopt the plan tonight does not mean that this plan will eventually come to fruition.
In a letter to parents, Wayne Schools Superintendent, Dr. Mark Toback mentions several times, and in several ways that change to the plan can occur anytime.
Some quotes from Dr. Toback’s letter on the need to be flexible
- As this plan was developed, it became obvious that it was more of a starting point instead of a comprehensive plan because so much about the future remains uncertain.
- We are presenting this plan with the understanding that Wayne is still more than one month away from the start of school and many more changes will be necessary before we open our doors.
- The word pivot appears constantly in COVID-19 related articles and is used so frequently because it describes what has happened in so many facets of life during this pandemic and we can count on the need to pivot as a school district. For this reason, this plan was designed for great flexibility and accounts for the many situations we may face.
- The plan contains detailed information about how we will improve our distance learning model and how we will be able to quickly pivot in the event that we are required to close our doors once again.
- To read Dr. Toback’s letter in full, click here.
- Click here for the school’s reopening family guide.
- Click here for the return to school FAQ from 08/05/2020
Wayne’s teachers may end up having a say in what will happen in September. Recently, the Wayne Education Association published a letter to their members, stating: “The WEA sees only a very narrow path for the opening of schools in September. As such, we assert that the only proper course at this time is to plan for distance learning this fall with an eventual return to the classroom when it is safe and logistically possible to do so."
According to Kazan, teachers may not have a choice. If schools reopen in September for live, in-person classes, they are under contractual obligation to teach. “If the Governor and the Department of Education says schools are open, then schools are open, and teachers have a contractual obligation to teach,” she said.
“We listen to all parties, but we still have to decide what to do within our legal parameters,” Kazan continued. “And currently that’s to open school in September. But who knows? One thing we have come to rely on is change; and not without a lot of notice.”
If you are reading this, then you likely have the ability to log on to the BOE meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. Here are instructions for logging in to the meeting:
To connect by computer, please use the link below to join the webinar:
To connect by phone, please select from the below:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 646 558 8656 or
+1 301 715 8592
+1 312 626 6799
Webinar ID: 829 8162 8484
If you would like to take a one-minute tutorial on Zoom, please use the link below: