WESTFIELD, NJ — Closures due to the novel coronavirus continued to roll in Friday with public schools’ shut indefinitely beginning Monday as staff and students prepare for distance learning.
Superintendent Margaret Dolan had not anticipated closing schools until next Wednesday, but following the governor’s directive Thursday that all gatherings of over 250 people be canceled and with the closures of other school districts statewide, Dolan said the schools would shut earlier in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“We cannot predict how long the district may be closed,” said Superintendent Margaret Dolan in a message to parents. “As government and public health officials work on how to respond to this unprecedented situation, we will follow their guidance and will continue to keep you informed.”
School staff will still report to schools Monday as they prepare remote learning plans for students, Dolan said. Friday’s update from the superintendent did not say when the distance learning would begin but encouraged parents, who had not already done so, to fill out an online survey on access to technology, including internet services.
Meanwhile, children at Holy Trinity School in Westfield cleared out their lockers in preparation for online learning slated to begin at the private Catholic school Monday, a school spokeswoman said.
“The students and teachers at Holy Trinity School are experienced with remote learning since using this method during our gymnasium remodel back in January 2019,” said the spokeswoman, Roseanne Dattilo-Schack. “The teachers and administration had been preparing for the past couple of weeks and making lessons plans that would be appropriate for online learning.”
The Archdiocese of Newark, which encompasses the Holy Trinity School, had ordered all parishes in its jurisdiction shut schools.
The school closures were among many reported Friday, including numerous municipal services that either shut down or transferred to digital operations to help mitigate the spread of the virus.
Click here for a list of canceled recreation department and town sponsored activities.
Here’s what else in and around Westfield that has been impacted by COVID-19:
The Westfield Memorial Library will be closed beginning Sunday, March 15, the library announced. The library will remain open on Saturday, March 14, for borrowing materials only. No fines or DVD fees will accrue while we are closed, so please borrow freely. Public computers, tables and study carrels will not be available on Saturday. Check the library’s Facebook page for updates.
Youth and adult classes at the Westfield Area YMCA will be suspended Sunday, March 15, through at least Saturday, March 28, the YMCA announced. As of Friday, the Main Y Facility will remain open for member use, but the YMCA will not be honoring non-member guest passes or the Nationwide YMCA Reciprocity program, the YMCA said. Click here for the full YMCA update.
The JCC of Central New Jersey, located in Scotch Plains, will close for at least 14 days beginning Saturday, March 14. Check the JCC’s website for updates.
The New Jersey Festival Orchestra’s Saturday opera is off.
The Furniture Assist used linen drive is suspended until further notice, it’s organizers announced.
The Westfield High School play, “Chicago: High School Edition,” which was originally set for Thursday through Saturday, nights has been postponed.
The Roosevelt Intermediate School play, “Matilda,” set for March 9 – 21 is postponed, organizers said.