BLOOMFIELD, NJ – Bloomfield Schools Superintendent Sal Goncalves and Assistant Superintendent Joseph Fleres presented a detailed information update to board members and the public at last night’s Board of Education meeting concerning how the district is addressing the Coronavirus (COVID-19) threat.
The meeting, taking place in the Bloomfield High School Library Media Center, saw the administrators present a slide show outlining how the district is protecting those within the school community.
“The well-being and health of our students, staff and community are always a top priority for the Bloomfield School District,” said Goncalves. “The administration continues to monitor this evolving situation.”
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The district is working collaboratively with State and Municipal counterparts, and recently conveyed a joint task force meeting with local health officials and the Bloomfield Police Department.
The joint efforts have resulted in a three-part preliminary response to the health concern; protective/proactive environmental cleaning precautions, an assessment of district technology in the event of implementing remote teaching, and reviewing existing board policies for the purpose of educating parents and staff in order to ensure that identified populations self-quarantine based upon known risk factors.
“As we continue to receive more information about COVID-19, we are going above and beyond to protect everyone within our Bloomfield Community to the best of our abilities,” Goncalves said.
The school district is providing all information with the accompanying guidance which has been adopted in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Education, the New Jersey Department of Health, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
“In addition to extensive daily cleaning and sanitizing procedures, we are taking extra care to ensure high traffic surfaces, including doorknobs, desktops, and learning materials are cleaned and disinfected frequently,” Goncalves explained. “On nights and weekends, we were cleaning and disinfecting our schools with approved cleaning materials and solutions to minimize the risk of spreading illnesses.”
Goncalves urged parents not to send children to school if they are sick. Any children who are sick at school will be sent home in accordance with Board Policy.
“Due diligence for all staff and students is necessary in following hand washing policies and procedures throughout the day,” Goncalves added.
In response to questions from board members regarding possible district-wide school closings, Joseph Fleres stated that “Bloomfield Schools would only shut down if mandated by the New Jersey Department of Health.”
The board asked for patience as guidance from the NJ Department of Health changes regularly and as new information becomes available. Any new information will be communicated by the board to the school community in a timely manner.
“We are not in a bubble here, this is not only a Bloomfield issue, but it’s also affecting the county,” said Board President Jill Fischman. “But in Bloomfield, we are OK, we are cleaning our buildings and we are putting all our ducks in a row and we are prepared.”