Cardona: More COVID tests are coming soon to public schools

U.S. Education Secretary Dr. Miguel A. Cardona appeared Jan. 12 on “CBS Mornings” to talk about millions of additional COVID-19 tests coming soon to public schools nationwide.

“You’re going to see distribution of [COVID] tests as early as next week to make sure that our schools can stay open,” Dr. Cardona said.

Co-host Tony Dokoupil responded, “As of right now, you don’t have them stockpiled, but they’re going to be made in the next seven days?”…

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Murphy: Mask mandate in N.J. schools will continue

The mask mandate for students, teachers and other personnel in New Jersey schools will continue. The mandate, part of last summer’s Executive Order No. 251, was due to expire Jan. 11.

“I want to be clear — by the way, with no joy … that the mask mandates in schools and day care centers will continue at least for the foreseeable future,” Gov.…

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Local 1060 uses AFT grant to refresh classroom libraries at Robert Fulton

As one might expect, The Book Room at Robert Fulton Elementary School in North Bergen is deserving of its name.

On the morning of Nov. 9, though, it was the home to many more printed works than usual.

On the long, brown tables in the middle of the room were several fresh-from-the-box stacks of books, purchased by Local 1060 from First Book through an AFT Back to School grant.…

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PreK-12 leaders troubled by staff shortages, students’ lack of social interaction

AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera hosted a virtual roundtable Sept. 28 with prekindergarten-12 leaders for them to share their school-reopening experiences to date.

Robin Pinckney-St. John, an AFTNJ PreK-12 vice president, talked about how open enrollment in the Newark school district contributes to the challenges in monitoring COVID-19 contact tracing, with students who are in the same family attending multiple schools.…

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Weingarten visits North Bergen, praises local’s efforts

AFT President Randi Weingarten on Sept. 23 visited Robert Fulton Elementary School in North Bergen to meet with district leaders and take a tour of the building. 

“What you did all last year and in this year in creating a normalcy for kids … kids being back in school is going to heal this nation,” Weingarten said to those assembled in the auditorium.…

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Local 1060’s Toomey talks ‘Off the Page’ book forum

Following the positive feedback from the book club she started in her district, North Bergen Federation of Teachers (Local 1060) President Carol Toomey thought the concept would work well as part of the AFTNJ’s social justice committee.

Hence the creation of “Off the Page, Into the World,” which is open to all AFTNJ members and aims to bring social justice into working spaces.…

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AFTNJ Special Report: Teachers, staff reflect on 2020-21 school year

It’s been an academic year defined by wearing masks and performing precautionary tasks, during which the need for sanitizer was eventually upstaged by the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines. It’s also been a period of time when “roomies” became “Zoomies,” as Newark Teachers Union President John M. Abeigon was fond of saying.

With summer break in full view, teachers and staff from the Perth Amboy, Newark, Garfield and North Bergen school districts look back at the challenges they faced during 2020-21.…

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