• March 31, 2020

Area students begin online classes - Ocean City Sentinel: News

Area students begin online classes

Students won’t return to school until at least March 30

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Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 5:03 pm

OCEAN CITY – Until Monday, March 30, school is different for Ocean City School District students. 

Like students throughout the state, Ocean City’s students will receive online instruction for a few weeks, to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

On Monday, March 16, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order to close all public and private schools, including preschools and institutions of higher education, according to a press release from the Office of the Governor.

Casinos, racetracks, gyms, movie theaters and performing arts centers are also closed under the executive order.

Additionally, all non-essential retail, recreational, and entertainment businesses cannot operate from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., and restaurants will offer delivery or take-out services only. 

It also limits gatherings in the state to 50 people or less. 

Cape May County school districts are closing from Tuesday, March 17, until Monday, March 30, according to information from the Cape May County Department of Health, which was posted to the Ocean City School District website. 

“We will continue to monitor the information available and any details that may require a longer closure than currently planned,” the letter stated. 

“Again, the purpose of closing schools is to decrease contact among children, to minimize their risk of getting sick and to limit the spread of infection.  Although a difficult decision, it is the best decision for our children, staff, and communities.  The Health Department will keep school officials updated as the situation changes,” it stated. 

All school activities are also suspended when schools are closed. 

Ocean City School District students will receive online instruction during the closure.  Online instruction will count towards school days and will not extend the school year.    

According to information on the Ocean City School District website, teachers will provide instruction to students via PowerSchool’s Unified Classroom. 

During the closure, students must log on to PowerSchool daily.  However, students do not have to log on by a specific time. 

Anyone who needs assistance with PowerSchool can contact the district’s technology help desk at help@ocsdnjathome.on.spiceworks.com or by calling (609) 399-1290 ext. 1234. 

“Students are expected to follow the guidance of their teachers and to submit work in accordance with the schedule determined by each teacher,” information from the Ocean City School District stated. 

To prepare for the closure, the Ocean City School District did a survey of internet and computer accessibility to identify which students needed a computer or internet access. 

According to information from the district, Xfinity is offering Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the country for anyone who needs it, and is offering two months of free service to qualifying new customers. 

Those in need can reserve a Chromebook by completing a form at https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=9pmyvWMp1kGghBtdwSyjCpqpa5ZyvJlOt1-sN7g1eKZUQVVDMEhTVTEzNkY0OUVDNVE5TlU1UTlMRy4u. 

Paper copies of assignments are also available for those who need it. 

Teachers are available via email, school voicemail, or through PowerSchool. 

Students on the district’s meal program will be able to receive breakfast and lunch at Ocean City High School, after the school district obtains federal waivers to provide the meals. 

The district is currently waiting for the waivers. 

Students who need mental health assistance can check in with the district’s mental health professionals.  They can access the professionals through the school email, or through Remind.com or through the Remind app from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday. 

Those who need immediate help for a mental health crisis can contact Perform Care & Mobile Response at 1-877-652-7624. 

More information, including how to access PowerSchool, and resources for talking to students about COVID-19 are available on the school district website, https://oceancityschools.org.

New Jersey has a public hotline residents can call with questions regarding COVID-19, 1-800-222-1222. 

COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is a new coronavirus.  It started in Wuhan, China, and results in a respiratory illness.  Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. 

It is believed that the virus is spread largely through person to person contact. 

People with underlying medical conditions and older adults appear to be at a higher risk of having serious complications from COVID-19, according to the CDC. 

To avoid contracting COVID-19, the CDC recommended washing hands often or using hand sanitizer, avoiding contact with other people, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, wearing a facemask if you are sick, and disinfecting surfaces that are frequently touched. 

 

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