Newark Board of Education organizes task force to focus on reopening schools safely

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Malcolm X Shabazz High School (Google Maps)

Urban News Staff Reports

Mayor Ras. J. Baraka recently announced the Newark Reopening and Recovery Strikeforce. In alignment with those efforts, Superintendent Roger León created the NBOE Task Force for the Reopening of Schools. 

The task force includes principals, teachers, other instructional and non-instructional school-based staff, central office employees, board members, parents, students, community members, and union leaders. The Superintendent has charged this group with the responsibility of providing recommendations and guidance for consideration regarding the reopening of schools, whether it is for Summer 2020 or next school year.

The co-chairpersons of this task force are Deputy Superintendent Nicole T. Johnson and School Business Administrator Valerie Wilson. The task force met this week for the first of a series of meetings. The task force will take an in-depth look at several areas such as school operations including the distribution of meals, adherence to social distancing guidelines and the implementation of precautionary measures; student and staff supports which includes counseling, training on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and screening for trauma; and instructional considerations such as scheduling and extended learning time.

“While we know that all decisions will be guided by science and executive orders, we are preparing for the reopening of schools and simultaneously perfecting remote learning,” said León. “So, threaded throughout this body of work, is our responsibility to build confidence in students, families, and staff with the idea of returning to school."

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