Mother’s Day 2020 celebrations are different because of COVID. To show Mom how much she means to all of us on Mother’s Day Council President Michele Yamakaitis, my wife Danie and I invited our residents to participate in this year’s City of Linden Virtual Mother’s Day Celebration. Participants submitted a Mother’s Day Greeting to us for the City’s Virtual Mother’s Day Segment. On Mother’s Day, submitted videos will run on Linden TV, posted to social media and available to watch here. Happy Mother’s Day! – Mayor Derek Armstead
Linden Mayor honors 9 year old Gabriela for stepping up to help her town during the COVID-19 pandemic
Gabriela is a 9 year old student at School #2 who loves arts and crafts and helping others. One morning said to her mother, “Mommy, I want to help people that are not working and don’t have food. I want to find a way to help families in need that are going through hard times.” Little Gabriela came up with a plan to make bracelets to sell for $5 each. With the support of her mother, Gabriela used the money to buy food to help families affected by COVID-19 in her hometown of Linden, NJ. Gabriela will be helping the town with their COVID-19 Emergency Food Relief Program. Gabriela was so excited when Mayor Derek Armstead paid her a special visit.
TRENTON – Citing the need to protect the health of New Jersey’s 1.6 million public and private school students as well as thousands of educators and support staff, Governor Phil Murphy today announced that statewide school closures will be extended through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. Private schools with longer academic years will remain closed until at least June 30.
While the prohibition of in-person instruction will be maintained through the end of the school year, public schools will continue to provide remote learning for students to allow districts to meet the state-required minimum of 180 instruction days.
“This is a difficult decision and I know that many students, parents, and staff would like to be able to return to school,” said Governor Murphy. “However, I have been unwavering on the message that we need to make decisions based on science, not emotion. And while New Jersey is making great strides in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, science tells us that at this point, we can’t safely re-open our schools.”
“I commend Governor Murphy’s thoughtful, deliberative approach that takes into account the concerns of school administrators, teachers, and other stakeholders in the education community,” said Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet. “However, the most compelling factor guiding today’s decision is the health of New Jersey’s students and educators, and their families.”
The Administration will create a steering committee consisting of a diverse group of stakeholders in the education community to explore summer learning opportunities for all students, including school-sponsored summer programming and Extended School Year for students with disabilities. The committee will provide recommendations to the Administration as to which services need to continue to be provided remotely should the public health emergency extend past the conclusion of the 2019-2020 school year.
The committee will also explore approaches for the safest and most efficient re-opening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year.
In addition, the Department of Education will work with school officials to share ideas on safe and innovative ways to recognize 2020 high school graduates and other end-of-year milestones for students.
Federal Stimulus Funding
The Administration plans to tap federal funds that will help schools improve continuity of learning, assist with sanitizing and deep cleaning of school buildings, and address the emotional needs of students.
New Jersey recently applied for $310 million in federal funding through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, which is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Districts will have substantial local discretion in use of these funds; the CARES Act lists a number of allowable uses, including:
- Purchase of educational technology, including hardware, software and connectivity
- Purchase of sanitization and cleaning supplies
- Mental health supports
- Plan and implement activities related to summer learning and supplemental after-school programs, including providing online learning during the summer months to address the needs of student subgroups
- Planning and coordinating the distribution of meals to eligible students
- Provide principals and other school leaders with the resources necessary to address the needs of their individual schools
- Activities to address the unique needs of student subgroups
Federal officials have signaled that states can anticipate a rapid approval of applications for this stimulus funding.
Updated Preparedness Plans
In the weeks leading up to Governor Murphy’s order to close schools statewide starting March 18, the Department of Education required school districts to develop Emergency Preparedness Plans that addressed critical issues, such as delivery of remote instruction, special education services, and food security. The Murphy Administration will call on school districts to revise their schoolwide Emergency Preparedness Plans to address the extension of school closures through June 30.
Visit parks, museums have all sorts of virtual adventures and do fun and interesting activities right from home.
- Explore the hidden wonder and beauty of our National Parks.
- Go Outside While Staying Inside with Ranger Rick, by taking part in a variety of online resources provides by the National Wildlife Federation.
- Filled with sea life of all kinds, explore this beautiful aquarium.
- Visit the arctic animals and play with the penguins via this live camera from Mystic Aquarium.
- Dive into the Deep Blue Live with the Georgia Aquarium, watch the many live cameras from the Georgia Aquarium.
- See what happens at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
- Watch a video of an Octopus Handle a Camera at The Shedd Aquarium.
Virtual Reality & 360 Degree Fun
- Float around the International Space Station and take in the view from above.
- Enjoy a 360 degree video of a thrill inducing roller coaster ride!
- Strap yourself in for a Virtual Reality tour of some incredible planes.
- Founded in 1937, discover the art that makes the Guggenheim so incredible.
- View the Metropolitan Museum of Art right from your bedroom; what’s better than that?
- See how the Panda lives in its Atlanta Zoo enclosure.
- See what life is like for animals at the San Diego Zoo.
- Enjoy an @Home Safari with the Cincinnati Zoo, watch the animals live and enjoy other great resources they offer.
- Live with the Animals of the Houston Zoo, watch from home as you see how the animals live at the Houston Zoo.
Projects, Great Reading, Activities, Other Live Cams & More
- Make Hand-Made Face Masks for Health Care Professionals
- Join a free online, live marine biology camp by the Oceans Initiative.
- Explore multiple live cameras of animals across farms and sanctuaries.
- Explore the mystery of why these worms glow so bright in 360 degrees!
- From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, read them all for free online.
- 52 Creative Ideas for 52 Weeks of Fun
- Online Cooking Activities for Kids
- Gaze at the Stars with the RVCC Planetarium.
- Go eBird Exploring through this incredible site filled with everything you’d need for bird watching!
Governor Murphy issued an Executive Order moving the Primary Election, which has caused other important dates to move as well.
- May 13 – Deadline for Change of Party Affiliation Declaration Forms for Primary Election to be Filed with County Commissioners of Registration.
- May 30 – Commencement of Mailing Regular Mail-In Ballots for Primary Election.
- June 16 – Voter Registration Deadline for Primary Election.
- June 30 – Deadline to apply for a Mail-In Ballot by Mail for Primary Election.
- July 7 – Primary Election Day and Deadline for In Person Handing in of Mail-In Ballot.
- July 9 – Deadline for Receipt of Timely Mailed Postmarked Mail-In Ballots to County Boards of Election.
To apply to Vote By Mail, you can either:
- Fill out a prepaid Voter Registration Application and check Box 1 for “Vote By Mail” and Box 14 “I wish to receive a Mail-in Ballot for all future elections until I request otherwise in writing to the County Clerk’s office.”
- Fill out an Application for Vote By Mail. Find your county form here.
NJ Transit remains committed to the safety of our customers and employees and is working to ensure a safe environment by following the health standards set by the CDC through the sanitation of our facilities and vehicles and the cleanliness practices of our employees. Additionally, NJ Transit remains committed to providing reliable and dependable service.
Per Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 125 requiring all personnel and customers on New Jersey Transit vehicles to wear face coverings, among other requirements, strengthening NJ TRANSIT’s efforts to protect the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, please be advised that:
- NJ Transit now requires all riders to wear a face covering.
- NJ Transit workers are authorized to limit passenger occupancy to 50% of the vehicle’s maximum capacity on all trains, buses and light rails.
- Customers should be using NJ Transit services for essential travel only.
Did you know that over 650 companies are hiring for over 50,000 jobs during this health crisis? If you are looking for work, click here to review job listings.