Governor announces the end of virtual learning

Murphy discusses lifting mandates in schools and throughout NJ


Photo courtesy of (AP)

Murphy at a press conference in April 2020

Mrs. Scapellato, Director of Special Services

After over a year of balancing between remote and hybrid instruction, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced on May 17 that the end of full-time remote instruction is imminent. “We know that there is no substitute for in-person education and know that a full opening of our schools is critical to the well-being of our students,” Murphy said in his announcement.

Over the last 15 months, teachers and students have learned how to adjust their teaching and learning style to the 13 inch screens of MacBook Pros. Teachers have mastered the art of Google Classroom and students have seen their email inboxes explode. Now as the 2020-21 school year comes to a close, students and teachers can look to the 2021-22 school year with the knowledge that all students and staff will be in-person.

“I am thrilled that we will be returning to full time in-person instruction,” says Dr. Monica Fischl, School Psychologist at RV. “I cannot wait for the halls of RV to be filled.”

I cannot wait for the halls of RV to be filled.

— Dr. Fischl

Throughout this year, the school population has slowly transitioned back to some level of normalcy, seen through the increase in student traffic through the halls and offices and the return of school activities, such as the junior and senior proms. However, the obvious differences hardly go unnoticed.

Ms. Lynn Hoyer, Special Education and History teacher has been providing remote instruction for the 2020-2021 school year: “I’m excited about returning in September if everyone is following safety protocol.” She acknowledged concerns regarding what the requirements and protocols will be in the fall. “Will everyone be required to be vaccinated? Will people be required to wear masks?” Ms. Hoyer’s questions have echoed throughout the state and nation as preparations begin for the return. 

Governor Murphy made additional announcements on May 24, lifting the requirements for social distancing and indoor gatherings by Memorial Day weekend. Face coverings will no longer be required indoors for vaccinated individuals, with a notable exception. Schools, and other facilities catering to children, will still require face coverings for the foreseeable future: a reminder that while summer will feel more typical, the upcoming school year will be far from it.

Due to the remote and hybrid instruction, next year will be the first time nearly half of the student population will be entering the hallways of RV. The staff is preparing for a year that will likely require more academic and social-emotional support for everyone in the building than ever before.

Mr. Raj Mackara, Dean of Students, is prepared for the transition. “New students won’t know what is going on and what our school rules are,” he said. To support new students, the district will be conducting welcome sessions with both freshmen and sophomore classes in the fall.

“Coming to RV [in-person] is completely different from 8th grade. We really want students to meet us and get to know us,” said Mackara.

In September, the RV community will do just that. As Ms. Hoyer said, “RV has such a special spirit best experienced in-person. September, here we come!”