Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller, who is also vice president of the New Jersey Education Association, made a statement Tuesday, regarding Montclair Public Schools and the recent cancelled opening of in-person learning.
Everyone wants a safe return to in-person instruction as soon as possible. That includes the parents, educators, and administrators that I have spoken with.
My role as mayor is not to dictate policy for either the Board of Education or the MEA, however I have encouraged all parties to come together to see if they feel safe conditions have been met at this time. As those charged with making sound educational decisions for our kids, I would be supportive of their collective conclusions, including whether or not vaccines are a prerequisite. They can determine if, like 414 other New Jersey schools, they can safely offer a hybrid of in-person and remote instruction, or if like 270 schools, all-remote is the safe route at this time.
As we all know, these are unprecedented times and the conditions are currently changing (safety protocols put in place, current infection rate, dominant virus variant, and much more). We in Montclair, like all other districts, must remain flexible and make changes based on conditions as they exist. Whatever we do, with 63 of our family members, friends and neighbors lost to this virus, we must have safety as our top priority.