Update from Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Ponds:
The Montclair Public School District is pleased that the Montclair Education Association (MEA) has committed to in-person instruction at the elementary schools commencing on April 12. We will work collaboratively with the MEA during walkthroughs scheduled for the week of March 22 and provide them with the remaining items they requested. We are planning to release a full, official statement Wednesday.
Updated with statement from Councilor At Large Peter Yacobellis:
I’m excited to see a settlement reached between the Montclair School District and the Montclair Education Association to open elementary schools for hybrid learning on April 12th.
I won’t feel at ease until the conditions outlined in the settlement are met. But this is a good sign and I’m happy that we are most likely moving beyond what I saw as an unnecessarily divisive battle in court.
There’s a lot more work to do in terms of getting teachers vaccinated, understanding and being able to address learning loss and preparing for what I hope will be a full time return in the fall.
Stay hopeful and positive.
Updated with statement from Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller:
A safe return to in person instruction is an objective shared by all, and now in light of today’s settlement, appears to be just around the corner. Recovering from COVID-19 as a community won’t happen overnight, but getting our kids and staff back in the classroom safely is a key and necessary step forward. As we continue making strides towards normalcy, I want to encourage everyone to remember that especially when facing our most daunting challenges we must never lose sight of our shared values, our shared love for our township, and our mutual respect for one another. We are all in this together and together is how we’re going to get through it. “
Montclair, N.J. – A judge is keeping the docket open in the matter of Montclair BOE v. Montclair Education Association, but a settlement was reached today regarding schools reopening for in person learning.
“While I consider this matter settled I am going to keep the docket open until mid to late April,” said Judge Paganelli.
Elementary school students who opted for hybrid will be able return to classrooms for in person learning on Monday, April 12, pending deliverables required for the opening to take place. The MEA’s attorney also indicated that the return by its members remains contingent on walk throughs to be conducted March 22
A Montclair Education Association statement, released before the two parties met before the judge, seemed to indicate that a settlement would be forthcoming.
“It is only due to the MEA standing firmly on its need to ensure safe buildings that the district finally brought in EI in March to revisit the spaces and provide protocol and process information to the association,” the MEA stated.
Deliverables to be provided to the MEA’s attorney include bus contract with cleaning protocols; building cleaning frequency and products to be used; entry and dismissal plan from principals of each building; and how snacks will be handled in each building.
This is a developing story