FIRST REPORT: Lakewood School District to open Extended School Year for Special Education; Will be first district in the State to open [UPDATED]

The Lakewood School District is planning on opening Extended School Year learning for Special Education, making it the first school district to open for such services since the Covid-19 outbreak, TLS has learned.

The Extended School Year program will be providing in-person instruction for special education students.

Extended School Year (ESY) in years past has serviced more than 300 public school students with special needs.

Documentation obtained by TLS reveals great efforts and strides the District has taken to provide for these needy children while complying with Covid requirements.

The documentation demonstrates that the District has collaborated with the Lakewood Police Department, Ocean County Board of Health, Dr Robert Shanik of Pediatric Affiliates, the Ocean County Board of Health, and the New Jersey Department of Education.

TLS has also learned that this will include the Special Children’s Center.

“This is long overdue,” said District Attorney Michael Inzelbuch. Asked if this is being coordinated with the State, Inzelbuch said, “of course we are coordinating our efforts with Governor’s office, and unlike Asbury Park, we will only act in accordance with the law.”

UPDATE: Department of Education Announces Guidelines for In-Person Summer Learning and Extended School Year

Recognizing the educational and social-emotional value to students of resuming in-person instruction, the New Jersey Department of Education today released guidance for school districts to conduct summer educational programming in-person, including Extended School Year (ESY).

“This is a crucial step that allows schools to plan summer learning programs and special education services that will provide assistance to those students who need it the most,” said Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet. “We’ve heard from countless parents and educators about the importance of summer learning and ESY, especially now that so many students and families have faced unexpected obstacles with remote learning over the past three months. We believe schools can provide the necessary summer instruction while ensuring the safety of students and teachers, and their families.”

In-person programs are permitted to begin on or after July 6 and must follow all applicable health and safety protocols. Districts that have planned for remote learning may still proceed with virtual instruction for both ESY and other summer learning opportunities for students. Summer learning may include strategies such as traditional summer school; ESY programming with individualized instruction for students with special needs; credit-recovery programs that allow students to retake coursework or obtain credits needed for graduation; migrant education; programs for English language learners; 21st Century Community Learning Centers that offer enrichment during non-school hours; and any additional summer learning opportunities that school districts may need to address learning loss and prepare students for the coming school year.

The move to resume summer-learning programs is part of New Jersey’s multi-stage approach to a responsible and strategic restart from COVID-19. Governor Murphy announced that on June 15, New Jersey will enter Stage Two of The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health, in which the state will ease restrictions on certain businesses and activities, as long as they adhere to strict health and safety guidelines.

On May 30, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 149, approving Stage Two activities that include the operation of summer camps that “provide daily multi-hour programming for youths” to begin on or after July 6. Summer educational programs run by school districts, charter schools and renaissance schools fall under this definition of “summer camps.”

School districts that want to operate modified in-person summer programs, or a combination of remote and in-person programs, must submit an attestation form to the NJDOH at least 24 hours prior to the anticipated opening date that the school will follow applicable health and safety protocols.


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  1. I am adhering to all protocols for positing according to your “rules” – so please post this.

    As a parent of an extremely disabled beautiful young special needs girl, I can only hope this comes to pass. But, how can the Lakewood public school district open when there has not been any word from the governor or the NJ Dept of Ed as of this morning? I have been following the governor’s daily updates and, as of yesterday, no mention of any schools reopening for July 1. How can Lakewood say it is going to start July 1 with busing and everything else for only the special needs children?

    I want this to happen. But what about the other Lakewood schools, both public and private?. There are 4 NJ DOE approved private schools for students with disabilities here in Lakewood – The Lehmann School, SCHI, The New Road School and The Center for Education (which is not the Special Children’s Center – there is a difference between the two organizations)

    Will they be allowed to open on July 1? The Bancroft School, another approved private school in NJ that services seriously disabled children, reopened back in April without the governor’s OK and it was told to close down by the dept of ed.

    I need my daughter to get back to her teachers and friends in school asap. We want all our Lakewood schools and all NJ schools to reopen for in person instruction and the ESY programs. But only the governor can give that OK — and we hope that he gives it today.

  2. Once again Lake Scoop, I am adhering to all your posting rules, so please post this as I am sure many other concerned Lakewood parents have questions as to exactly what is happening, who is in charge and when all schools – in Lakewood and all over NJ – can open…there are so many questions and I fear my child and other special needs children will continue to suffer irreparable harm with this back and forthing.

    I have just listened to Mr. Inzelbuch’s Lakewood Schools update and I am concerned and confused by remarks such as: “we are going to open July 1″ and :”as long as we are allowed to open per governor’s orders” (not exact but gist is the same).

    So., does that mean the schools may not open if the governor does not provide the guidance or does it mean that Lakewood Schools will open no matter what? If Lakewood schools do open without the OK from the governor, can it be shut down like the Bancroft School was shut down by the dept of ed?

    Then Mr. Inzlebuch mentions that “out of district placements” can come to Lakewood Public schools ESY program if an out of district school does not open on July 1.

    Does he mean schools such as SCHI, The Center for Education (again, not the Special Children’s Center), The Lehmann School, New Road School — all Lakewood approved private schools for students with disabilities).

    I know for a personal fact my child’s school has been wanting to open since March 19, the day after schools were forced to close physically. I have been told that the only way legally for my child’s school to open would be if the governor says OK. But Lakewood Schools makes it seem that no other school wants to provide services — that is so not true. So, please someone tell us the bottom line — I want my child to return to her own school with her own teachers and therapists where she has been for the past 5 years and where she knows everyone and gets the best care, love, therapy and education.

    Please answer this one question — why can Lakewood schools say they are opening — with busing and larger classrooms and more more than 8 children to a class (or more if allowed) and no other school can say that?

    And I just heard the governor just now (1:40 PM today) state that he will not answer the question a reporter asked about districts opening their schools for special needs students.

    So, if there is no direction from the governor as of right njow, how can any district go ahead and say it will be opening on July 1?

    I do hope Mr. Inzelbuch is correct and that Lakewood will reeopne, but if Lakewood respones, then all schools should be allowed to open, including my daughter’s school.

  3. Thank you for that last update drom the dept of ed! Better helpful information! I know I am now much less concerned for my daughter. I just reached out to her school and was told that now that there has been clarification and direction from the drpt of ed, everyone is working on getting back to school on July 6!.

    One last point please for the sake of clarity and understanding for many who seem to be mixing the special children’s Center with the Center for Education. The latter is private school for students with disabilities licensed through the nj dept of education special children’s center is a totally different type of program under the direction of the NJ dept of health and family services

    There are programs that special children’s services have been able to provide during these past 3 months that a nj doe licensed school such as the center fir education, SCHI, Lehmann and New Road schools were not able to provide.

    Thank you for posting and clarifying. Everyone needs the correct information.

Comments are closed.