Boro Prepares for Possible Coronavirus Interruption

All the states in red have confirmed Coronavirus cases. The threat grows every day.

photo via Wikimedia Commons under creative commons license

All the states in red have confirmed Coronavirus cases. The threat grows every day.

Jardin Jacoby, News Editor

The Coronavirus became public in December of 2019 and since then over 111,000 people have been infected. As the illness has spread to the United States, with currently 500 reported cases, schools have started to prepare for how they would handle the possible Coronavirus outbreak. This situation was seen in Italy, which resulted in their schools shutting down until further notice. Following the trend, multiple universities in the U.S. such as Columbia, Fordham, and Princeton have temporarily switched to online classes for the remainder of their spring semesters. 

Hillsborough High School is no exception, as acting superintendent Dr. Lisa Antunes has been sending out emails updating students, parents, and faculty on the current situation. The New Jersey Department of Health has announced that schools may be asked to close to limit the spread of the Coronavirus in the surrounding community. The Board of Education’s statutory requirements requires students to physically be in school for at least 180 days. An exception to the rule has been made by the New Jersey Department of Education saying that online schooling would be a sufficient replacement in this situation. 

So far it is not clear how online schooling would work, some theories include classes through video chats or assignments through google classroom. When asked about the possibility of taking online classes senior Andrew Hoefele said, “doing class online would be a lot harder because online textbooks are really slow. It would be really complicated to ask our teachers a simple question, and I am sure there would be a lot of technical issues.”

Many places in New Jersey such as Bergen County, Morris County, and Essex County are having unscheduled half-days to prepare teachers for online teaching. In some towns that the disease is present, schools have closed for a longer duration of time to keep the virus from spreading. On March 12. Hillsborough will be having a half-day so that teachers can come up with a “reasonable and flexible learning framework” in the case that online schooling must take place. Although it is not clear if and when the virus will hit Hillsborough Township the school system has been taking every precaution to ensure that they will be well prepared.