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Article

Fall 2020 COVID-19 Needs Assessment among New Jersey Secondary School Educational Professionals

1
Rutgers School of Public Health (SPH), NJ Safe Schools Program, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
2
Department of Environmental & Occupational Health & Justice, Rutgers School of Public Health (SPH), Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
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Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Rutgers School of Public Health (SPH), Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
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Center for Public Health Workforce Development, Rutgers SPH, Somerset, NJ 08873, USA
5
Department of Health Behavior, Society & Policy, Rutgers School of Public Health (SPH), Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Claire E. Hastie, Frederick Ho, Michael Fleming and Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4083; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084083
Received: 18 February 2021 / Revised: 24 March 2021 / Accepted: 9 April 2021 / Published: 13 April 2021
Secondary or high school (HS) educational professionals expressed concerns about dealing with environmental and occupational health and safety protocols due to COVID-19. Concerns related to fall 2020 school re-opening and getting back into in-person teaching—whether full-time, part-time or some other approved hybrid model—plus ongoing uncertainty with how the state and federal government will be handling matters about mandates for virtual learning, rapid testing, vaccine distribution, etc. These concerns were related to both their experience as educational professionals and genuine interest in personal and student well-being. This study was a cross-sectional online survey in early fall from mid-September–early October 2020. Of a possible maximum participation of 740 New Jersey (NJ) supervisory-level HS teachers and administrators (e.g., department chairs, district and school principals), 100 confirmed unique respondents (13.5%) consented and completed the survey. Of 100 experienced (mean 18 years teaching) participants, 70% responded to the gender identity question (overall, 61% female, 39% male; by NJ region, gender ratios were similar). There were statistically significant differences (using Fischer’s exact test) between NJ regions regarding provision of online counseling and support services for teachers (p < 0.001); for resources and equipment for teachers to mediate online learning (p = 0.02); for assistive video technology tools (p = 0.03) and accessibility to structured online learning and professional development (p = 0.002); concerning learning aids to engage students in online instruction, online counseling, and support services for students and their families (p = 0.006); appropriate protocol is clean and disinfect areas used by a person with COVID-19 (p = 0.002); and, immediately separate staff and students who screen positive for COVID-19 (p = 0.03). There were few statistical differences by gender. This study reported what participants wanted regarding the development of future policies then implemented as reopening practices. Data can inform recommendations in NJ and elsewhere at federal, state, and local levels. Data provide new insights and valuable information to inform the consideration of acceptability of various policy measures among HS education professionals. View Full-Text
Keywords: biological hazards; COVID-19; personal protective equipment (PPE); safety; schools; SARS-CoV-2; teachers; worker health; workplace safety biological hazards; COVID-19; personal protective equipment (PPE); safety; schools; SARS-CoV-2; teachers; worker health; workplace safety
MDPI and ACS Style

Shendell, D.G.; Aggarwal, J.; Campbell, M.L.F.; Gonzalez, L.N.; Kaplun, E.; Koshy, K.; Mackie, T.I. Fall 2020 COVID-19 Needs Assessment among New Jersey Secondary School Educational Professionals. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 4083. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084083

AMA Style

Shendell DG, Aggarwal J, Campbell MLF, Gonzalez LN, Kaplun E, Koshy K, Mackie TI. Fall 2020 COVID-19 Needs Assessment among New Jersey Secondary School Educational Professionals. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(8):4083. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084083

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shendell, Derek G., Juhi Aggarwal, Maryanne L.F. Campbell, Lauren N. Gonzalez, Elizabeth Kaplun, Koshy Koshy, and Thomas I. Mackie 2021. "Fall 2020 COVID-19 Needs Assessment among New Jersey Secondary School Educational Professionals" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 8: 4083. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084083

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