HOLMDEL, N.J. (CBSNewYork)New Jersey public and private schools are making sure they’re prepared in case the coronavirus forces them to shut down.

They say it’s an extreme scenario, but one that could happen.

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Students at St. John Vianney in Holmdel use laptops for assignments and to communicate with their teachers on a daily basis. If class instruction was interrupted by the coronavirus, they wouldn’t skip a beat.

“We would go into virtual days, so our students would be learning online with our teachers online presenting our lessons, giving assessments,” assistant principal Margaret Kane said.

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Tom McKenna teaches technology.

“I had a student who was out last week and since she was gonna be sick, I recorded what I did in class so she could watch it at home,” he said.

Teachers are able to record their live classroom and directly upload it to an online platform.

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And with new training, they will be able to record their voice at home over video instruction and PowerPoint presentations. The online platform students are already comfortable with allows them to access their syllabus, assignments, grades and even their textbooks.

“I can use it in school. I can use it at home. It’s very easy to use. There’s an app for it, too,” sophomore Paul Scalzo said.

So they can access it on their smartphones.


Lamont O. Repollet, the state education commissioner, says that all public school districts are required to have emergency plans in place each school year. If a school is shut down, students may split time at another school while it is disinfected or continue education virtually.

“Google docs, Google Drive is one of the most popular platforms they have. A lot of school districts have various platforms that can deliver information or instruction,” Repollet said.

At St. John Vianney, they haven’t had to add days to the end of the school year due to snow days or other closures in the past few years thanks to virtual learning.

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Many schools sent notices reminding parents to keep kids home if they’re sick and to have them practice proper hygiene.