Leadership and Planning
This section references guidance, requirements, and considerations for school districts regarding district and school-wide logistical and operational issues with which administrators will contend in planning to reopen schools. Before working to develop plans for fall operations can begin, the appropriate structures for leadership and planning must be in place.
Throughout this section, provisions marked “Anticipated Minimum Standards” describe anticipated leadership and planning impacts so that every district can work from a set of established statewide standards. The intent of this guidance is to provide districts with the information necessary, to the greatest extent possible, to plan for reopening. Other provisions throughout this section, unless otherwise indicated, are “Additional Considerations” that may help districts in considering ways to adhere to the anticipated minimum reopening standards.
Anticipated Minimum Standards
All school districts will be expected to develop reopening plans. Collaboration is critical to the development of a district reopening plan. Therefore, every school district should establish a Restart Committee that includes districts and school-level administrators, members of the local boards of education or charter school boards of trustees, the presidents of the local education associations, or their designees of the local education associations, and a diverse set of content experts, educators, parents, and students. The Restart Committee should work closely with the Pandemic Response Teams, Local Health Department, and others in municipal and county government as necessary to develop district plans. Restart Committees and Pandemic Response Teams should help inform policies and procedures as outlined below.
As we keep equity at the forefront of school reopening efforts, the Restart Committee should reflect the diversity of the school community, including those representing students with disabilities, whose families speak languages other than English at home, and who reflect diverse racial, ethic, and socioeconomic demographics. The Restart Committee may consider developing subcommittees to focus on age or grade-level specific needs, school specific needs, or to address issues of importance such as medically fragile students or staff.
46 | New Jersey Department of Education nj.gov/education
Beyond this guidance, in the coming weeks and months, the NJDOE will focus on providing support for school and district leaders through one-to-one and small group networks convened to examine specific challenges presented by COVID-19. More information on these efforts is forthcoming.