SOUTH BRUNSWICK: Dozens of New Jersey schools have closed or are preparing to shut as the new coronavirus continues to spread across the state. The closures are happening as Gov. Phil Murphy has declared a state of emergency in all 21 counties.
A number of schools have closed because of coronavirus exposure, while others are doing so to prepare for the potential impact of contamination (see list below).
The closures are taking place as 11 people in New Jersey have been diagnosed with the illness.
Berkeley Heights closed on Tuesday after learning that a parent of a student tested positive for the coronavirus.
Roselle is closing on Tuesday and Wednesday after a staff member made contact with someone who was recently diagnosed with coronavirus. The school district is sanitizing its facilities.
Here are the closures/changes:
- Rutgers University was set to cancel classes beginning Thursday, March 12 and through spring break, and was then going to offer online classes through April 3.
- Princeton University will begin virtual instruction after spring break and will also cut back on the number of gatherings on campus because of the growing concerns about the new coronavirus.
- Stockton extended its spring break and moved online from March 25 to April 5.
- Rowan University is extending its spring break so staff can prepare for the possibility of remote learning.
- Monmouth University won’t hold classes until March 23 because a student reported feeling “flu-like symptoms,” the university president announced Monday.
- Wayne schools will close Friday For coronavirus prep. The district said it will close to complete an extensive cleaning of its buildings and “we are bringing in additional staffing focused on this effort,” officials said.
- Stevens canceled classes on Tuesday, March 10 in preparation to bring all courses online through Canvas.
- Secaucus public schools planned a series of half days at all schools beginning on Thursday, March 12 so teachers can prepare to teach remotely.
- Green Brook Township schools planned to close early on Thursday, March 12 to prepare for any potential future impact of the novel coronavirus.
- Red Bank Regional closed on Tuesday, March 10 so the custodial staff could perform additional deep cleaning of the building. This was also supposed to give health officials time to evaluate the situation and provide further direction.
- Bernards Township schools will close early on Wednesday, March 11 to prepare tor the coronavirus. The district is also strongly discouraging any travel outside of the United States and continuing with additional cleaning.
- The Haddonfield Public School District will close on Monday, March 16 as teachers prepare for possible remote teaching due to coronavirus.
- Montclair is taking steps to safeguard the town’s public schools and senior citizens in the wake of the novel coronavirus dubbed COVID-19.
- Chatham schools had a two-hour delayed opening for students on Monday, March 9 and AM pre-K and AM K sessions were cancelled so the district can prepare for the encroachment of the novel coronavirus, according to School District of the Chathams Superintendent Michael LaSusa.
- The Chester School District and the Mendham Township School District will open late Wednesday, March 11 as they prepare for a possible closure.
- Madison schools dismissed early on Tuesday, March 10 for coronavirus preparations. Superintendent of Schools Mark Schwarz said there is no cause for concern.
- Millburn schools will close Thursday, March 12 for coronavirus preparations. The superintendent of schools said they will prepare distance learning lessons and also “intensify our cleaning regimen.”
- Cranford schools will close March 16 so the district can make coronavirus preparations, according to a letter sent to parents late Friday night by Superintendent Scott Rudin. While there hasn’t been a health concern yet in the Cranford schools, the district is closing to make preparations, such as designing lessons students can learn at home, and sanitizing the schools.
- The Mount Olive School District closed schools Monday, March 9, anticipating the need to be creative with schooling with the threat of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, Superintendent Dr. Robert R. Zywicki said. Zywicki said Mount Olive is not only following guidance by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but is also following Department of Education guidelines.
- The Frisch School in Paramus closed Wednesday, March 4 after 28 students were exposed to a New York resident who was diagnosed as a confirmed case of the coronavirus, officials said. The possible exposures may also stem from recent hockey games in Riverdale and students who attended a bat mitzvah at the Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue, according to PIX11. They were advised to stay home from school and to self-quarantine until Monday, the report said.
- South Brunswick schools closed early on Monday, March 9 to prepare for any potential future impact of the coronavirus. If any future closings occur because of the illness, parents and children will learn more specifics from schools and teachers, the district said.
- High Point H.S., Sussex: Early release at 11:55 a.m. on Tuesday, March 11
- Mount Arlington Public E.S., Mount Arlington: Early release at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11
South Brunswick officials say they are also planning to use this time for additional disinfecting of all of its buildings and school buses. The after-school program will operate as it normally does on an early-release day.
South Brunswick officials said they are closely monitoring the situation and taking guidance from the New Jersey Department of Health and the CDC.
The district said there is currently no recommendation to close schools in the area. However, the district has been asked by the Department of Education to act with a precautionary set of protocols and to develop a plan should closures become necessary.
“It is important to be prepared, and doing so does not correlate to increased concern; but not being prepared is simply irresponsible, and we will always err on the side of caution over irresponsibility,” the district said.
“Plus, we hope that having plans like this in place will one day be considered an alternative to snow days.”
“As always, the students and staff of South Brunswick are our No. 1, priority and we want to do what is right for our students and be prepared should a school dismissal become necessary,” the district said.