Newton Board of Education Discusses Draft Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction | #Education

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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  1. Universal and correct wearing of masks
  2. Physical distancing
  3. Hand washing and respiratory etiquette
  4. Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation
  5. Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine
  6. Diagnostic and screening testing
  7. Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students if eligible
  8. 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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