Murphy to parents: Expect unusual school year

During his July 31 COVID-19 briefing, N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy was asked what he would say to a fellow parent sending a child back to school this fall.

“What I would say as a parent or to a parent — and I am a parent — is a couple of things I’ve already said … don’t expect a normal school year. I think if you’ve got that expectation, you’re going to be disappointed. This is going to be unusual.”

He added, “Secondly, we will try to get as much flexibility as humanly possible into the system, including reserving the right based on the data we’ve just discussed to make decisions iteratively as we go forward.

“Thirdly, remember that we have three big principles. No. 1, health. No. 2, best education possible. No. 3, equity.”

Earlier in the briefing, Murphy said that among the “rightful” asks of educators has been classroom capacity: “One of the ways that we wanted to give relief, not just to parents to give them flexibility and kids and districts, but also explicitly to educators. And that ask was to give that remote-learning flexibility an option, particularly when we found the resources to close the digital divide.”