Today, Governor Murphy announced new safeguards for the public sector, including our schools, in order to guard against the spread of COVID-19. These include a requirement for school staff to either provide proof of vaccination by October 18, 2021, or participate in regular testing (once or twice a week) for the COVID-19 virus.
The New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association has always been an advocate for public health, and we have watched with dismay the resurgence of COVID cases in New Jersey, particularly as we are about to open our schools in September. Our members have been preparing all summer for the safe and healthy return of our students, and we are committed to the uninterrupted operation of our schools throughout the 2021-22 school year. For this reason, we supported Governor Murphy’s statewide mask mandate announced several weeks ago. Likewise, we support this new safeguard that will help to slow the spread of COVID-19 and further solidify our schools as safe places of learning. We commend Governor Murphy for his continued focus on the health and well-being of our students and staff.
We also respect and understand that the vaccination decision is a personal one. However, the Governor’s new requirement regarding vaccinations or testing is a strong, preventative step that recognizes the concerns of some of our members while still proactively looking ahead to help reduce the virus’ spread in our schools. This will help us achieve our goal of keeping New Jersey’s schools open all year for the type of dynamic learning that happens best in person within our school buildings.
We would like to thank our members, the educational leaders of New Jersey, who are working diligently to provide our students with safe, healthy, welcoming, and academically rigorous learning experiences that will prepare them for their future. We are all looking forward to the beginning of the new school year, to seeing all of our students in person, to guiding them through the next chapter in their academic lives, and to doing our part to keep our students, staff, faculty, and our families safe and healthy.