The Road Forward: Health and Safety Guidance for the 2021-2022 School Year
Local Education Agencies (LEA) must plan to provide full-day, full-time, in-person instruction and operations for the 2021-2022 school year. The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) and New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) worked collaboratively to develop the following guidance to operationalize that goal. This guidance includes a range of strategies that LEAs should consider implementing to reduce risks to students and staff from COVID-19 while still allowing for fulltime in-person learning. The absence of one or more of the strategies outlined in this document does not preclude the reopening of a school facility for full-day in-person operation with all enrolled students and staff present. While the State is committed to a resumption of normalcy for next school year, we will continue to monitor the data and our decisions will be guided by science to ensure that we maintain safe and healthy school communities.
This document also contains expectations for the fall learning environment.
This guidance document is intended to supplant health and safety protocols outlined in Executive Order No. 175 and the Road Back. The document contains recommendations for public schools rather than mandatory standards, with the exception of the mandatory masking requirement for all individuals in public, private, and parochial preschool programs and elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools, per Executive Order 251. Non-Public schools may also utilize this document as they plan for full school reopening in the fall.
Schools should anticipate potential updates to this guidance prior to the start of the new school year, as additional federal recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) become available.