NEW JERSEY — As parents and guardians in New Jersey have the option to enroll their children for remote learning in the upcoming academic year, the Department of Education released guidelines Friday that further clarified expectations for parents.
“Our top priority is keeping students, their families and educators safe,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.
Allowing parents with the option to choose all-remote learning for their kids will not only help decrease student density within schools, it will allow classroom spaces to stretch further to ensure proper social distancing for other children, according to Murphy.
School districts are expected to submit plans and explain how remote and in-person classes will be conducted.
All students are eligible for full-time remote learning, according to officials. This includes students with disabilities who attend in-district or receiving schools.
Despite not being in school buildings, children enrolled in remote learning must follow regular attendance rules, including the length of a normal school day, Interim Commissioner of Education Kevin Dehmer.
Students should receive the same quality of instruction while remote learning, he said.
School districts and school officials must clearly define procedures that a family must follow to submit requirements for all-remote learning. They must also provide procedures for when students return to in-person class.
Districts must also be in constant communication with students and families enrolled in full-time remote learning.
In addition, school districts are also required to report to the Dept. of Education regarding participation of remote learning. The data collected should include the number of students participating in full-time remote learning.
The scheduled start of the 2020-21 academic year is about six weeks away, according to the governor. Officials will continue to follow the public health data and assess the realities of the virus as the weeks progress.
Schools in New Jersey have been closed since March 18 in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus.