Four months since we started this discussion…
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy told CNBC on Friday he thinks K-12 schools in the state will reopen for in-person classes in the fall.
“We want them to, and I do believe they will,” Murphy said on “Squawk Box,” while acknowledging that hopes for reopening schools could be derailed if coronavirus cases were to get really bad again in the state coming out of the summer.
“Imagine predicting in late April what late June would look like in America. Probably none of us would have gotten it right, good or bad,” the Democrat added. “So with that big caveat, two months out, I believe we will be back in school. It will be a new normal. There will be protocols in place that had not been in place before.”
Murphy’s comments Friday came as schools at all levels across the U.S. are trying to develop plans for how to safely welcome students back for in-person instruction this fall. Many schools across the country shifted to remote learning in March as the Covid-19 outbreak intensified.
State officials released details of New Jersey’s reopening plan Friday afternoon. Staff and visitors must wear face coverings, while students are “strongly encouraged” to have them on, according to the Department of Education’s “The Road Back” plan. Schools also must have social distancing within the classroom “to the maximum extent practicable,” and districts also must develop a protocol to screen students and staff for symptoms of Covid-19, the document states.
School districts must reopen for “modified” in-person classes, according to the plan. But given that the required changes may limit a school’s ability to operate at full capacity, a “hybrid” learning environment — some in-person instruction, some remote — may be necessary, the document acknowledges.