Virtual Graduation Plans To Take Shape, Now That Gov. Murphy Announces NJ Schools Remain Closed (POLL)

All New Jersey schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday, in what may have been the most anti-climactic announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic. That means all schools, including private schools, will remain closed at least through June 30th, according to Murphy. No decision has been made about summer school; Murphy said discussions with stakeholders and New Jersey Dept. of Education will inform that decision. He also said these discussions will also focus the opening of buildings for the 2020-2021 school year in September.

“As the father of a high-schooler who has been attending classes remotely for nearly two months, I understand the concerns of both parents and school leaders,” Murphy said. “But, for us to ensure that we can undertake a responsible restart and recovery, this step was necessary.”

Remote learning, which began on March 18, will continue.

Now that any question that schools might reopen has been removed from the equation, local discussions about virtual graduations and possible plans for future, in-person ceremonies when restrictions are lifted, can move forward.

Montclair Schools send out this very brief announcement Monday to families and caregivers:

Governor Murphy announced today that schools will be closed through the end of the school year.

Stay safe and be well,

Montclair Public Schools

West Orange Schools Superintendent Dr. J. Scott Cascone shared this letter Monday evening after the announcement was made by Murphy.

With regards to graduation, Cascone writes: We are in the process of organizing virtual ceremonies for the various commencements and moving up exercises if social distancing guidelines and large group assembly restrictions remain in place through the month of June. That being said, we have certainly not closed the door on the possibility of conducting some form of an in-person celebration later on in the summer if allowed under state and local guidelines. We remain committed to providing all of our graduating students the highest quality experience possible.

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