the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, The following is an excerpt from a letter dated Monday, August 17 from Ridgewood District Superintendent Fishbein to district parents (Superintendent Fishbein appears to be hinting that he will change plans and ask the state to authorize the Ridgewood District to resume instruction this fall via so-called “Remote Learning” only, delaying an actual physical return of students to their schools until later in the school year):
“From the district’s perspective, we have labored over the development of the Ridgewood Public Schools Reopening Plan that will hopefully lead us to full-time, in-person education when it is deemed safe by our public
health officials. We recognize that this will be a long journey. Developing a safe and educationally sound plan for a district of our size has not been an easy undertaking. What works in one district may not work in another. At the end of the 2019-2020 school year, we were told we would have a state plan to reopen school, but the Restart and Recovery Plan: The Road Back received on June 26 only provided a framework leaving specific plans up to each district. Then, on July 24, days before districts were required to submit reopening plans, the governor announced that families would be allowed the option to choose all-remote instruction, as outlined in the memo titled
Clarifying Expectations Regarding Fulltime Remote Learning Options for Families in 2020-2021.
“After districts had submitted their reopening plans to the Bergen County Executive Superintendent of Schools that detailed how we would meet a list of health and safety standards, the governor signed Executive Order 175 on August 13, granting permission for districts to reopen via remote-only instruction if they cannot adequately meet critical health and safety protocols outlined in the school reopening guidance. Districts reopening via remote-only instruction would need a plan that details the steps they will take to meet the standards and when they will return to in-person learning, which is still the Governor’s mandate for all schools. We are awaiting the criteria needed to determine if we should not return to in-person instruction and go fully-remote.
“I have been asked why the Ridgewood Public Schools did not have all-remote instruction listed as an option for parents when we sent our district survey. Simply, all remote was not an option at that time. I have been asked if all remote instruction is an option for the district at this time. The answer is that I really don’t know because all districts are waiting on a new health and safety checklist. When it is received, I will work with our administrators, the Board of Education, and our legal counsel to review it. We will continue to provide information as it becomes available. These constant changes in guidance and mandates from the State of New Jersey, in addition to the news reports of unsuccessful school openings in other areas of the country, have caused increased anxiety concerning opening schools in our own state. Our primary goal for our students and employees is the safe reopening of our schools as detailed in our reopening plan. We want our students and staff back in our classrooms teaching and learning.”