Looking Ahead to the Next School Year

Last week, the Bayonne Board of Education sent out a survey to parents with children in the Bayonne public school system.   The Board of Education asked questions to help school administrators figure out how to organize the coming school year during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Since at least some classes may be taught online, the survey asked whether the parents have internet access at home.  There was also a related question about whether the household has enough electronic devices for online learning for all students living there.

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Due to the Coronavirus, the school system may need to reduce class size and the number of students in a school at any one time.  The survey asked parents their views on organizing school schedules.  Option One would involve one week of school, followed by one week off.  Option Two would involve alternating days of school over two weeks, with classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the first week, and classes on Tuesday and Thursday the second week.  Option Three would involve one day in school followed by two days of remote home learning.

The survey asked parents whether they would send their children to school if a variety of Coronavirus protocols were in place.  These protocols could include at-home temperature checks; mandatory mask-wearing for all students and adults; deep cleaning and sanitizing at the schools and on buses; additional hand-washing opportunities; flexible attendance policies; and various school distancing practices.  These practices could include physical barriers between desks; turning desks to face in the same direction; having students sit on only one side of the table, spaced apart; lunch in the classroom; and assigned areas on the playground.

The survey asked parents whether they would be willing to send their children to school if extra-curricular activities and athletics were suspended.

Readers need to understand the difficult decisions that everyone involved will have to make.  School administrators, teachers, other school system employees, parents, students, and others will all have to make adjustments to their schedules during the 2020-2021 school year as a result of the Coronavirus.

The City Administration stands ready to assist the school system in any way that we can.  The goal we all share is to educate our children while maintaining the healthiest atmosphere possible.  I would like to commend the Board of Education for seeking parents’ views before making policies about the coming school year.

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