Reminder: Updated Remote Instruction Emergency Plans Due Tomorrow, 5/22

To Our School Board Community:
We have been trying to anticipate and quickly respond to your questions during this time, given the unprecedented challenges presented to our Boards related to COVID-19 school closures. On Monday, May 4, 2020, Governor Murphy announced that the schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. As such, we wanted to remind you that you should be updating your remote instruction emergency plans. Both the Commissioner and Governor discussed this requirement at the May 4, 2020 press conference, and on May 5, 2020, the Commissioner issued a special broadcast with instructions and a check list for amending your plans. The deadline for submitting your plans is this Friday, May 22, 2020. Pursuant to Assembly Bill 3904, codified at N.J.S.A. 18A:7F-9, these plans must be up to date for your remote instructions day to count towards the 180 day requirement. Additionally, pursuant to A3904, the plans must be Board approved, if your next board meeting is not until after May 22, 2020, you must indicate the date of your board meeting on the form.
The checklist contains the following items:

  • Does the plan include equitable access to instruction for all students?
  • Does the plan include an overall demographic profile for your district, including student counts for state funded preschool, homeless, migrant LSE, Students with Disabilities, and English Language Learners (ELLs)?     
  • Does the plan ensure that all students, with their varied and age appropriate needs, are addressed through the plan?     
  • Does the plan demonstrate a working knowledge (data summary or narrative) of student access to technology for grades identified in your plan as being served by one or more online platforms?
  • Does the district’s plan account for measuring and addressing any ongoing digital divide that exists, whether it be network access or lack of sufficient access to devices?
  • Does the plan address the provision of remote/virtual instruction to implement Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for students with disabilities to the greatest extent possible, including accessible materials and platforms?
  • Does the plan address methods to document IEP implementation including the tracking of services, student progress as well as provision of accommodations and modifications?
  • Does the plan describe how case managers will follow up with families to ensure services are implemented in accordance with IEPs to the greatest extent possible?
  • Does the plan address procedures for virtual IEP meetings, evaluation and other meetings to identify, evaluate and/or reevaluate students with disabilities?
  • Does the plan include ESL and bilingual education to meet the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs)?
  • Does the plan contain how the district communicates with ELL families, including translated materials and directions?
  • Does the district’s plan address alternate methods of instruction, differentiation, access to technology and strategies to troubleshoot ELL access challenges?
  • Does the plan contain how the district will provide continued safe delivery of meals to students?
  • Is the virtual or remote learning plan designed to maximize student growth and learning to the greatest extent possible?
  • Differentiate instructional time, class assignments, independent work, and measures of student learning by grade bands. In each grade band, design virtual and remote learning plans to maximize student growth and learning to the greatest extent possible.
  • Does the plan contain an outline of how the building will be maintained throughout this extended period of closure?
  • Does the plan contain a preliminary outline for the provision of summer services including:
  • Does the plan contain a preliminary outline for the provision of summer services including:
    • Extended School Year (ESY) for students with disabilities including how ESY will be delivered
    • 21st Century programs
    • Assessment of credit loss or shortages for high school seniors and an initial plan to address credit recovery
    • Assessments of learning loss and an initial plan for potentially addressing learning loss
    • STEM or other programs using reallocated grant funds
    • Title 1 extended learning programs
    • Any preliminary plans for Class of 2020 graduation ceremonies
    • Is the plan board approved, if not, when is your next board meeting?
    • Is the plan posted on the district/APSSD/Charter/Renaissance School Project Website?
    • Does the plan contain a list of essential employees by job title? (can be an addendum)
    • Was the plan shared with all sending Districts?

Our e-mails about recent developments are not intended to substitute for our legal advice to our clients based on your specific needs or requests. In addition, our guidance is subject to, and can be superseded by new laws, rules, regulations, or orders. Moreover, some directives from the Federal and State authorities can appear, and can be, contradictory or in conflict, so please contact us for assistance.