WESTFIELD, NJ — Parents in the Westfield Public School system will be asked to fill out a survey to help the district determine students’ access to technology should the district need to close as a result of the novel coronavirus, the school district superintendent said Monday.
The announcement from Superintendent Margaret Dolan came on the same day state officials confirmed Union County’s first case of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a 48-year-old resident of Berkeley Heights being treated at Overlook Medical Center in Summit. As of Monday evening, it was one of 11 “presumed positive cases” reported statewide.
Families will receive an email with a link to a “Home Access Technology Survey” on Tuesday morning, Dolan stated.
Citing state regulations, Dolan said the district would only close schools after getting a written directive from the state Department of Health or the Westfield Regional Health Department as a closure made without such a directive would not count toward the state required 180 days of school.
“We are reviewing the district’s use of existing digital learning platforms, including Google Classroom and subject-specific online resources,” Dolan said. “We also meet frequently to brainstorm ways to address potential challenges for at-home learning, including how best to instruct our special needs population and to ensure that our high school students will be able to complete all required credits and assessments.”
The Westfield schools superintendent previously said that custodians continue to provide a higher level of cleaning “as they do during all flu seasons.”
Schools in nearby Cranford announced Monday that they would be closing March 16 during which time all district buildings would get additional disinfecting.
Scotch Plains Public Schools meanwhile told parents the district would use one of its unused snow days to shut schools on Wednesday as it prepares for the possibility of further closures due to coronavirus.
In related news, the Westfield Health Officer is scheduled to brief the town council at its conference meeting Tuesday night.
The municipal government in Westfield is posting information about COVID-19 here.
The Public School District in Westfield is posting information about COVID-19 here.
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