Some New Jersey Schools Preemptively Close to Limit Coronavirus Spread; Still No Word about SOMSD

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To limit the spread of coronavirus, many New Jersey school districts are considering preemptively closing their doors to focus on distance learning, while others have announced plans to close schools for two weeks or more. Some schools have said they will reopen contingent on the spread of the virus.

Bergen County Executive James Tedesco announced on March 12 that all 75 of the county’s school districts will close and use online learning. Bergen County has had the most coronavirus cases in the state, with 13 people testing positive as of Thursday.

The South Orange Maplewood School District is closed Friday for a half day of professional development to help prepare teachers and staff for distance learning in case the schools close.  According to one Columbia High School teacher, “we are scrambling to get lessons together.” The teacher also said that at least until Friday, no time was provided for teachers to prepare other than one hour of regularly scheduled professional development on Tuesday when teachers were informed of the directive to prepare distance lessons. “We have been working on this during regular preps and now have this half day,” the teacher said.

The Parenting Center has been preparing for how to get food to free and reduced-lunch students in the event of the schools closing.

On March 13 at 12:27 p.m., Superintendent Taylor told Village Green that an announcement on school closings was forthcoming.

To keep you up to date, below is our list of area schools closing and those who have not yet made an announcement. The situation changes by the moment, and this list will change quickly. Check back with Village Green for further updates. Also, is keeping an up-to-date list of closings throughout the state.

Schools with Preemptive Closure:

From Millburn Township Schools:

This letter is to provide guidance on the District’s response to concerns with the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our community.  After consultation with the Essex County Executive Superintendent, the Local Board of Health, and the Millburn Town Council officials we are preemptively closing all District schools.  Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, the Millburn Township Schools will be implementing our Emergency Procedures Plan through instituting our distance learning protocols.  This includes all fields, play grounds and school property. We will be closing for 10 school days, March 16th – 27th, as recommended by the CDC for the period of quarantine.  These measures are being taken as per the NJ Department of Health as a strategy to limit transmission of COVID-19 within our community.

From Livingston Public Schools:

Livingston Public Schools will have an early dismissal on Friday, March 13, 2020. School facilities will be closed and all extracurricular, athletic, and social activities will not be held from Monday, March 16, 2020 – Friday, March 27, 2020. For more information, click HERE to read the Superintendent’s most recent message to the community.

From Summit Public Schools:

Summit Public Schools will be closed starting on Friday, March 13, 2020 and will be closed through Spring Break, April 6-10, 2020. Home instruction begins Monday, March 16.

Please find the FAQ sheet, including information regarding home instruction and food services, here.

Meal distribution for qualified families begins Monday, March 16.

From School District of the Chathams:

Effective Monday, March 16, all schools in the School District of the Chathams will be closed for a period of at least two weeks. All extracurricular and school-related activities and events are suspended during this time. At the end of the two-week period–by Friday, March 27–a decision will be made regarding either the continued closure of school or the resumption of school and after-school activities. We will also continue to monitor all events associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and consider additional alterations to the school calendar if necessary.

From Madison Public Schools:

Madison Public Schools will be closed Monday, March 16, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020. Distance learning will begin on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

From West Orange Public Schools Superintendent:

“I have recommended that we shift our spring break vacation to next week.” Full details here.

South Orange Maplewood School District:

“[E]ffective, Monday, March 16 thru March 27, 2020 we have made the decision to enact our SOMSD emergency closure plan and all District schools will be closed for a period of at least two-weeks.” More information here.

Schools Currently Open

There are some schools in our area that remain open at press time, including Montclair Public Schools, Orange Public Schools East Orange Public Schools, and Newark Public Schools. Almost all of these schools state on their websites the have closed for at least a half day to prepare for distance or online learning.



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