Manchester Township schools shutting down over coronavirus concerns
The Manchester Township School District and Superintendent David Trethaway have announced that their schools will be closing for the next couple of weeks amid concerns over the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Manchester joins Red Bank Regional, Hazlet, Brick, Stafford, Southern Regional, Toms River Regional, Central Regional, Berkeley Township, Jackson, Barnegat and Pinelands Regional Schools who are among the Jersey Shore and New Jersey school districts closing down to do a deep clean of their facilities as well as keep everyone safe and prevent the virus from spreading.
Here is Superintendent Trethaway's letter to the school community:
Dear Parents,Staff, Students and Community Members:
On Thursday March, 12, Governor Murphy called for the cancellation of all events of 250 or more people to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
This unfortunately resulted in the postponement of our school musical but was an important step taken to ensure the safety of our students and community.
On Friday, as additional cases of the virus have been found, the Governor stated that long term statewide closures of school was inevitable.
The only delay was that he wanted some assurances that all students would receive meaningful instruction and students who are eligible for free and reduced would be able to receive meals.
The Manchester Township School District staff and administration prepared a plan to address these areas and this plan was submitted and approved by the Executive County Superintendent.
Additionally, the district has consulted with the Ocean County Board of Health and they support the school board's decision to close schools in the Manchester Township School District by promoting social distancing and therefore limiting the spread of the virus.
Through the outstanding work of our administrators and staff, our district has prepared for the inevitable closure.
Therefore, the Manchester Township School District will be closed beginning Monday March 16 until further notice.
This decision was not reached lightly as we are fully aware of the challenges that this brings to all of our families, however the safety and health of all of our students, staff, parents and community must be paramount.
In regard to student instruction, our staff has been preparing remote lesson plans that provide meaningful and important activities for students in their classrooms.
Each teacher is prepared to implement these plans based on their particular classroom students taking into consideration the students varied levels of access to technology and their specific learning needs.
The majority of our students will be able to access and complete these assignments online , however our staff has also prepared specific lessons and activities for students unable to receive this on-line instruction due to lack of internet access or devices or other specific needs.
Many of our staff have already sent home individual packets with students that are comparable to online instruction.
For those students who have not already received these packets, teachers will be in school and communicating with students and parents to make arrangements to allow for the distribution of these packets as soon as possible.
If you have internet access and are in need of a device, further communication will be made to possibly provide you to borrow a device.
On Monday, teachers will be communicating with students and/or parents through their respective communication platforms that they currently use in their regular instruction.
For those students with limited ability with on-line access, teachers will communicate through other means including email or phone calls.
Students who participate in our free and reduced lunch programs: In regards to students who participate in the free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs, specific directions will be provided through a phone call.
Throughout this period, our teaching staff will continue to be available to our students via email and will be communicating through their on-line platforms.
Additional Information and communication will be available on Monday and throughout the length of the closure. Please refer to our district webpage for continuous updates on school related issues as well as messages from the health department.
Again, I understand the difficulties this causes to families however it is necessary to insure the safety of our students and staff.
I want to personally thank our staff for their preparations to provide meaningful learning and skill development activities for our students and I also appreciate the cooperation that we are and will receive from our parents and community.
Thank you and please take the necessary precautions to stay safe.
Superintendent of Schools
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