Murphy, Bayonne school officials, have meeting of the minds on return to in-person learning

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Gov. Phil Murphy (D) had a meeting of the minds with Bayonne school officials yesterday about their plans to return to in-person learning on May 3rd.

Gov. Phil Murphy (D). Photo via Flickr.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“I would like to share with all of you that today New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy called us to speak about our great school district. Governor Murphy cordially thanked us for all we have been doing and acknowledged that we have a great team in the City of Bayonne,” Superintendent of Schools John Niesz wrote in a community letter yesterday.

“He was excited to hear about our efforts to return to an in-person hybrid instruction model on May 3rd, 2021 and he supports us in our efforts.”

The governor closed all of the state’s public schools on March 16th via Executive Order 104 of last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They were allowed to reopen the year remotely in September as long as they had a plan in place to return to in-person learning, as outlined in Executive Order 175.

Murphy said last week that “now is the time” for schools to reopen, with his press secretary Alyana Alfaro Post telling HCV today that “the governor understands that there is no substitute for in-person learning” and will keep encouraging district’s to pursue this safely.

“Districts that cannot meet health and safety guidelines are required to detail the obstacles their district is facing regarding reopening, anticipated date of remediation, and anticipated return to in-person learning,” she stated in an email.

“The state has provided over $100 million in federal relief funds to assist districts in reopening, covering costs of acquiring PPE, plexiglass, cleaning materials, HVAC filters, and other supports. Pre-K through 12 educators are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, something that Governor Murphy believes will help even more districts pursue the goal of in-person learning.”

Like Bayonne, the Union City Board of Education is also targeting a May 3rd reopening date, with the school districts in North Bergen and West New York aiming for April 19th.

The Jersey City Board of Education is aiming for just slightly later with a target date of April 22nd, while Secaucus reopened their schools back on March 8th.