What school will look like as students return this fall?

An update of what we know so far.


Heidi Scherer-Blake

The outside of Kinnelon High School during the Covid-19 pandemic,

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of society throughout these past months, specifically, schools across the globe have undergone dramatic changes with virtual learning. With the new school year approaching, many parents and students alike are wondering what school will be like this fall.  

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has repeatedly stated that he does want students and staff to return to school. “We still hope to be back to school but we’ve got to do it responsibly. We’ve got to do it right,” said Governor Murphy in an interview with Good Morning America.

According to the New Jersey Governor’s Administration, students and staff will return to school but many safety precautions will be put into place to ensure that everyone feels secure in their environment. On June 26, the administration posted “The Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan for Education” where the Administration explains the precautions of what they plan to implement.

The Administration specifically plans to uphold the current social distancing guidelines: from classrooms and cafeterias to school buses students will be spread out and encouraged to wear facial coverings. Signs will also be established throughout the building indicating where people should stand so they are maintaining a six-foot distance from each other. In addition, all school property will be disinfected and sanitized on a daily basis. Lunch and recess periods will both be spread out within the school day to that social distancing can be maintained. 

For people at a higher risk of contracting this virus, accommodations such as the option of virtual learning will be put into place for them to ensure their safety. A screening will be conducted to detect any COVID-19 symptoms before beginning the school day.

Governor Murphy is also asking New Jersey districts to come up with carefully thought-out plans with regard to the upcoming school year. Once these plans are completed they will undergo an administrative review to make sure they follow social distance guidelines. 

We still hope to be back to school but we’ve got to do it responsibly. We’ve got to do it right”

— Governor Phil Murphy

Kinnelon High School is currently drafting its plan for the upcoming school year. According to principal Gary Suda, the administrative board is “in the process of formulating a plan as both a district and school with all stakeholders” to follow New Jersey’s guidelines.  

For now, Kinnelon’s parents and students, along with others across the state, will have to wait until these plans are released to really figure out what the 2020-2021 school year holds.