As Lakewood posts a 27% positivity rate on COVID-19 tests, Advance Media’s Kelly Heyboer sent an email to Lakewood school board attorney Michael Inzelbuch asking this:
“I’m working on a story about Gov. Murphy saying yesterday at his press conference that it is possible to state could ask Lakewood Public Schools to switch to remote or hybrid if the current infection rate in Lakewood continues. Do you want to comment on that – or say if the district is considering going remote?”
Here is Inzelbuch’s (unedited) reply:
As to your query …
First and foremost as I have stated thru this Pandemic during podcasts, interviews ,collaborative and meaningful discussions with State , local , and County officials , stakeholders, parents , staff, that there are 2 “G’s” who govern these matters – G-d and the Governor .
We, to the best of my knowledge , have followed all of the Governor’s directives .
In our conversations with County and State officials as late as yesterday evening , and , most importantly , based on data – Lakewood public schools is doing exactly what our Governor requested.
The concerning numbers in Lakewood do NOT reflect the students of Lakewood schools as the Governor and staff clearly stated yesterday .
Hard data was again sent to the local , County , and State officials that again demonstrates that Lakewood schools , thank G-d , are open and working with minimal negative results . Most importantly, education is occurring , something that our population needs and deserves, and , has limited means to obtain if not in school .
Moreover, the County and State Departments of Health , County Superintendent , and Lakewood Police have had nothing but praise for the proactive and concerted efforts of Lakewood schools since March whether it be the delivery of technology, provision of PPE , serving of more than 1.6 million meals to our students ( public , charter, and nonpublic ) self-imposed limits on busing , trainings, construction of additional classroom space utilizing modulars , purchase and installation of plexiglass, etc.
In addition , lest one forget the students and families of Lakewood public schools desire ( based, in part, on surveys ) and require in person instruction every day based on a host of factors including , educational need , 100 % free and reduced , 94 % minority , lack of sufficient technology despite great efforts to obtain same, etc.
Lastly, as to hybrid , the data the Superintendent, professionals , Board , and I have reviewed , unfortunately , demonstrates a higher level of infection where remote is occurring . For example , it was just reported to the district , that Toms River High East ( remote) – Jackson Liberty (hybrid) football game scheduled for October 2nd is postponed due to COVID positive testing .
I copy on this email the Governor’s office , the County Department of Health , the Mayor of Lakewood, the Chief of Police of Lakewood , the Superintendent and Board President, the County Superintendent , and other stakeholders and media , all of whom have been working tirelessly to insure a “ Thorough and Efficient Education “ for our kids and families while mitigating to the greatest extent possible the adverse effects of COVID .