COVID-19 and Schools: West Orange Schools To Keep School All Remote Through November

Plans change. And change and change. District schools, like West Orange have come up with plans, but now that district will delay starting its hybrid plan until November, starting the year all remote for all students.

The announcement to keep school virtual for the start of the school year came Thursday, when the district hosted a virtual “Town Hall” meeting attended by close to 7000 parents and caregivers on Zoom and Facebook. The district presented its updated proposed plan for the reopening of school in September, with a phased approach to opening schools fully for in-person learning to better guarantee the health and safety of students and staff.

In Phase I: Fall Virtual, synchronous remote learning will begin on September 14 for all students with prioritized in person experiences provided in some capacity for specific groups of students to inform instructional programming, provide direct student support to specialized populations, and prepare for effective virtual learning experiences

In Phase 2: Hybrid Instruction, on or about November 9th, the district anticipates the implementation of a hybrid model of instruction where all students will be provided opportunities for in-person instruction in some
capacity. This will be dependent on COVID case counts in our community and any forthcoming directives from the Governor and/or New Jersey Department of Education. The hybrid model of instruction includes, but is not limited to:

▪ Pre-K-5
▪ 2 days per week on site / 4 hours
▪ Live Streaming on remote cohort days
▪ Grades 6-12
▪ 2 consecutive days on alternating weeks / 4 hours
▪ Live Streaming on remote cohort days

A School Reopening Plan letter from the district offers more details as well as instructions for parents who want to opt in to All Remote learning for the entire school year.

Other districts are still incorporating parent feedback into their plans for fall. Bloomfield parents are asked to submit a survey by Thursday, August 13, indicating their personal comfort level for their student in terms of virtual, in-person or hybrid learning models.

On August 5, Cedar Grove announces its hybrid plan with the option for all remote learning. Glen Ridge Schools shared a four-phase hybrid plan that in its last phase would bring back after school indoor activities.

Bayonne Schools are planning for all-virtual learning for the 2020/21 school year, provide their plan is approved. They would reevaluate the plan every month to determine when to start letting kids back in buildings, but it’ll all depend on state approval, according to an NJTV report. Bayonne came to their decision after doing an eye-opening readingness drill and finding it took 16 minutes for 30 adults to enter the building and that social distancing was difficult to maintain.

Montclair Schools Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Ponds is expected to email parents this Friday with additional information regarding the fall reopening plans.

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