3-26-20 Message From Education Commissioner Repollet
March 26, 2020
To: Chief School Administrators, Charter School and Renaissance School Leads, Administrators of Nonpublic Schools and Approved Private Schools for Students with Disabilities
From: Lamont O. Repollet, Commissioner of Education
Subject: Continued School Closures
As we face unprecedented challenges due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, school administrators, educators, support staff, and other members of New Jersey’s school communities have shown great leadership and commitment to the continued education of our students. For that, we thank you.
The Department has received numerous inquiries regarding the date on which students will return to school. Understandably, everyone eagerly anticipates the day when we can resume our normal schedules.
But to be clear, as directed in Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 104 and affirmed in Executive Order No. 107, all public, private, and parochial preschool program premises, and elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools, shall remain closed to students as long as the executive orders remain in effect.
We understand that some school districts have been advising families of anticipated dates for reopening. However as noted in the Governor’s daily press briefing today, the decision to reopen schools lies squarely with Governor Murphy. We do not intend to assess the reopening of schools until at least April 17, 2020, at the earliest. As Governor Murphy stated, “the decision to reopen will be based on careful discussion with our public health and safety experts, and with our educators and districts, and will be guided by the facts on the ground.” Therefore, we ask that school administrators refrain from speculating or announcing school reopening dates unless directed to do so by the Governor.
We appreciate your help in ensuring that the Governor’s directives are shared with, and understood by students, families, and educators. Thank you for your continued leadership during this time of uncertainty – and as always, thank you for your commitment to New Jersey students.
c: Members, State Board of Education & Executive County Superintendents