RED BANK: IS SCHOOL REOPENING IN SIGHT?

red bank middle school 032220Red Bank’s schools have been closed since March 16. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Are Red Bank’s schools going to reopen April 20?

A district posting Thursday afternoon appeared to suggest they might, just an hour or so after Governor Phil Murphy threw cold water on talk that an end to his indefinite school shutdown order might be in sight.

red bank jared rumageSuperintendent Jared Rumage said he wants the district to be ready for a possible return April 20. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

In an update posted on the district website Thursday, district Superintendent Jared Rumage wrote that, “As of today, we will be closed until Thursday, April 9 which brings us to Spring Break (ending Sunday, April 19, 2020).

“We hope to resume classes on Monday, April 20, 2020, pending approval from state and local officials. In the meantime, continue to take care of yourselves, your families, practice good health habits and social distancing.”

A short while earlier, during his daily briefing on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Murphy had said “the decision about when to reopen schools rests with yours truly,” he said.

“We won’t revisit the decision until April 17, at the earliest,” he said, adding, “we will not do this piecemeal. We will do this together.”

redbankgreen asked Rumage for clarification. Here’s his reply, via email:

“We hope that the situation allows the Governor to make that recommendation on 4/17 and want our community prepared for that possibility no matter how unlikely that may be at this time.”

Rumage’s update also included a change to the district’s grab ‘n go breakfast and lunch program, which starting Monday will distribute meals on Mondays and Thursdays, instead of three days a week.

In addition, the program will continue through spring break, Rumage said.