NJDOH posts COVID-19 guidance for K-12 schools

The New Jersey Department of Health on Aug. 13 posted the COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Local Health Departments for K-12 Schools, the guidance it developed in collaboration with the Department of Education.

The guidance covers such protocols as social distancing, face coverings and disinfection, as well as a breakdown of the COVID-19 Regional Risk Matrix.…

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DOH unveils plan for statewide approach to monitoring schools

In order to provide a safe school environment this fall for teachers, students and staff, New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said Aug. 12 that the DOH is “implementing a statewide approach, but with a regional and local focus to be responsive to the local characteristics of school participation.”

The state will be divided into six regions — “similar to how we manage the flu surveillance,” Persichilli added — and the regions will be assigned a color code related to their respective coronavirus transmission and community risk.…

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N.J. finishes second in firing education workers, per Zippia study

The education workforce in New Jersey dipped by 11.2% due to dismissals from June 2019 to June 2020, placing the Garden State second to Delaware for the biggest percentage decrease during that time, according to a recent survey by the job-search site Zippia.

“With 716,700 educational workers last year, the 11.2% difference for this year is shocking,” writes Zippia, which used data from BLS to make its determinations.…

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Chiera responds to Gov. Murphy’s executive order

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Aug. 12 said he is signing an executive order “officially clearing both our pre-K through 12 schools and our colleges and universities to reopen for the upcoming academic year.”

As part of that executive order, “any student who chooses to continue remote learning must be accommodated,” he said. School districts “that cannot meet all of the health and safety standards for safe, in-person instruction will begin their school year in an all-remote fashion,” Murphy added.…

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Webinars cover school safety for labor and management

“The Road to Reopening Schools,” a webinar series covering health and safety measures for labor and management, begins Aug. 12 at 3 p.m. EDT. It’s a complementary resource to the AFT’s “Reopening School Buildings Safety” report.

The first webinar will cover cleaning and disinfecting. Scheduled participants include Shari Obrenski, president of the Cleveland Teachers Union, and Lynn Rose, co-author of “Cleaning for Healthier Schools — Infection Control Handbook.” Other webinars in the series will focus on physical distancing (Aug.…

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Big Ten Conference postpones fall sports

Rutgers Scarlet Knights sports fans will just have to be patient.

The Big Ten Conference on Aug. 11 said it has spiked all fall sports, leaving the door open that they will be played during the spring.

“While I know our decision today will be disappointing in many ways for our thousands of student-athletes and their families, I am heartened and inspired by their resilience, their insightful and discerning thoughts, and their participation through our conversations to this point,” Kevin Warren, the Big Ten’s commissioner, said in a statement.…

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Baraka, Abeigon not in favor of children in schools

Count Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Newark Teachers Union President John Abeigon among those who are against the idea of having children in classrooms when the school year begins.

“At this rate, I would advise everybody to keep their children home from school,” Baraka said last week. “At this rate, I wouldn’t send anybody to school.”

“If I’m a Newark parent and I have child care, I’m not sending my kid to school — especially if they have medical issues,” Abeigon said the next day.…

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AFT’s ‘Pause Button’ ads call for stimulus bill

Two new American Federation of Teachers ads are urging Congress to pass a stimulus bill to provide funding for working families as well as schools and other essential services.

The 15-second and 30-second “Pause Button” videos are named for a cavalier comment made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The longer clip shows Education Secretary Betsy DeVos saying, “There’s not a national plan for reopening.”

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Report: Big Ten to cancel 2020 football season

Greg Schiano’s first game in his second stint as the head coach of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights apparently will have to wait.

The Big Ten Conference is on the verge of canceling the 2020 football season, following a 12-2 vote by school presidents to call it off, reports the Detroit Free Press.

This news comes five days after the Big Ten’s Council of Presidents and Chancellors had approved plans for the season.…

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Gov. Murphy: No news on schools

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy did not have much to say related to school reopening plans during his Aug. 10 COVID-19 briefing in Trenton.

“No news to report on schools today,” Murphy said. “This is something that we, again, it’s health — keeping everybody healthy and safe — high-quality education, equity, giving parents in particular flexibility. Nothing new to report today.…

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