NEWTON, NJ—The Newton Board of Education discussed their draft plan for a safe return to in-person instruction during their meeting June 8.
The draft was revealed during a public hearing portion specifically about the topic. No one from the public came forward to speak during the meeting.
The way that the Newton school district is currently maintaining health and safety protocols in the schools was outlined in the draff:
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Universal and correct wearing of masks
Hand washing and respiratory etiquette
Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation
Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine
Diagnostic and screening testing
Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students if eligible
Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to the health and safety policies
There was much discussion about wearing masks within the buildings; a topic of conversation since Governor Murphy announced lifting the mask mandate on May 28.
According to the plan, masks will be worn by all school staff, students and visitors indoors and in outdoor public places when physical distancing is not possible unless the following criteria is met:
Doing so would inhibit the individual’s health
The individual is in extreme heat outdoors
The individual is in water
A student’s documented medical condition, or disability as reflected in an Individualized Education Program (IEP), precludes the use of a face covering
The child is under the age of two
During the period an individual is eating or drinking
Anyone has trouble breathing or is unconscious, or anyone is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance (e.g. face coverings should not be worn by pre-K students during nap time)
The student is engaged in high intensity aerobic or anaerobic activities
During gym and music classes when individuals are in a well-ventilated location and able to maintain a physical distance of six (6) feet apart
When wearing a face covering creates an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task
The final plan will be presented to the Board of Education for approval during their next bi-monthly meeting which will take place on June 22 at 7 p.m.
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