Resources » JCPS Safe Return Plan 2023-2024

JCPS Safe Return Plan 2023-2024








Updated December, 2023


Dr. Norma Fernandez,

Superintendent of Schools

Safe Return Plan Document 2023-24

Introduction and Background

As announced in the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) 's April 28, 2021 broadcast, in March 2021, President Biden signed the Federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, Public Law 117-2, into law. The ARP Act provides an additional $122 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) to States and school districts to help safely reopen, sustain the safe operation of schools, and address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation's students. As with the previous ESSER funds available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), the purpose of the additional funding is to support local educational agencies (LEAs) in preparing for and responding to the impacts of COVID-19 on educators, students, and families. 

Section 2001(i)(1) of the ARP Act requires each District that receives ARP ESSER funds to develop and make publicly available on the website, no later than 30 days after receiving ARP ESSER funds, a plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services for all schools. The ARP Act requires a Safe Return Plan for all fund recipients, including those who have returned to in-person instruction. Section 2001(i)(2) of the ARP Act requires that the LEA seek public comment on the Safe Return Plan and take those comments into account in the finalization of the Safe Return Plan. Under the interim final requirements published in Volume 86, No. 76 of the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), an LEA must periodically, but no less frequently than every six months through September 30, 2023, review and, as appropriate, revise its Safe Return Plan.  This plan was updated on December 30, 2021. 


Please allow the information below, while continually evolving, to provide guidance and support regarding how our schools are prepared to operate as the school year progresses. The information in this document is based on Governor Murphy’s Executive Order #251 (reinstituting the mask mandate), Executive Order #253, recommendations from the New Jersey Department of Education, and the most current information from the NJ Department of Health.


Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your child’s building principal. The JCPS District returned to a full day of in-person instruction for 2021-2022 as mandated by Governor Murphy on June 28, 2021, updating Executive Order 175.


Please review the Road Forward document guidelines posted on the NJDOE website. In accordance, the Jersey City Public School District has developed the Jersey City Public Schools Safe Return Plan that fully complies with the Governor’s mandates and guidelines. All students will follow a full-day schedule based on each student’s grade level.


The 2022-2023 school year has enjoyed a return to pre-COVID procedures and schedules.  All classes and activities have resumed. However, the district continues to yearly develop a remote institutional plan that is approved by the Jersey City Board of Education and is posted to the District website if we need to pivot to remote learning.  

The Jersey City Public Schools District is prepared to provide continuity of instruction if schools are closed for an extended period.  Additionally, the District will ensure that students receive nutritious meals that can easily be picked up during the school closure, as explained in the Jersey City Public Schools Remote Learning Plan for School Closures during the 2022-2023 school year. 


Additional information:

  • Students will wear the school uniform;
  • Students and staff will follow the rules for hand washing and respiratory etiquette;
  • Preschool students will eat in the classroom;
  • K-12 students will have a grab-and-go breakfast, 
  • Lunch will be served in the cafeteria with a staggered schedule;
  • Morning Stars and CASPER will be available for before and after-school care;
  • All extended day and extracurricular activities will be in place.
  • School principals will continue to provide information as the school year continues.
  • Preschool parents will be permitted to accompany children to their classrooms on the first day of school to drop off, see the room and meet the staff in person.
  • Remote instruction would only be available to students during a health emergency as the local Health Department specified.


JCPS Safe Return Plan Updated September 2022


JCPS Safe Return Plan Updated December 2021


JCPS COVID Dashboard


JCPS COVID Screening App Procedures for Staff and Students Flow Chart




JERSEY CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS Safe Return Plan 2021-2022 School Year Document -JUNE 15,



JERSEY CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS Safe Return Plan 2021-2022 School Year Document -JUNE 15,



JERSEY CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS Safe Return Plan 2021-2022 School Year Document -JUNE 15,



ARP ESSER Safe Return Plan June 21, 2021 Presentation