#childsafety | Petition: ‘More’ In-Person Classes At Rumson-Fair Haven Schools

RUMSON, NJ – While some teachers across the state have advocated for stricter safety measures related to in-person instruction, with some school districts even deciding to conduct classes entirely online next month, parents from one New Jersey school are rallying for more in-person opportunities.

“Unfortunately, this year is looking to be a dramatic departure from what our children expect and deserve. We are extremely concerned for our children on the academic, emotional, and social levels,” reads the petition, titled “Petition for In-School Option 2020-2021”.

The Rumson-Fair Haven High School School District, the Borough of Rumson School District and Fair Haven Public Schools already plan on bringing students into school twice per week (with three days of virtual instruction). All three are also offering an entirely remote option. Nevertheless, petition organizer Kerry Marshall calls for more:

“This letter is coming from a place of genuine fear and concern about our children’s wellbeing. Our children absolutely love going to school – and that is because the administration, faculty, and staff has made it a place they want to be. Unfortunately, it has proven depressing for most of our children to be at home with only their families and not being able to interact with their peers and teachers,” the petition continues.

It was not immediately clear if the petition, addressed to Rumson and Fair Haven district administrators, is asking for a complete return to school 5 days per week on a full time schedule or merely a call for an increased time for students to spend in person.

Marshall did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

“Our kids are getting robbed out of life moments that can’t be duplicated. They need socialization not isolation,” one commenter wrote.

“Children need to be in school not just for their education but their mental well-being. Special needs children are regressing at an alarming rate,” wrote another.

“With the resources and talent available in our community, certainly we can also devise a plan for significantly increased in-person learning while still adhering to Governor Murphy’s rigorous guidelines for keeping our children and staff safe,” Marshall wrote.

The petition cites “similar” school districts, such as Hazlet, Long Branch, Monmouth Beach, as having plans for “fair more in-person instruction” alongside other New Jersey schools like (Lakewood, Hoboken, Califon, Summit, Millburn, Cranford, and Newark.

Since the creation of the petition, Long Branch, Millburn and Newark schools have since decided to conduct classes remotely. Several schools in Monmouth County, including those in Freehold Township, Freehold Regional High School District, Freehold Borough and Manalapan-Englishtown have also decided to start the school year off completely online.

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