Montclair Schools Plan For January 3 Opening, But Will Offer Temporary Virtual Option

While some area schools are delaying a return to in person learning and opting for a remote start after the holiday break, Montclair Public Schools is planning to open in person on January 3, but will offer a temporary virtual option for families concerned about in person instruction during the Omicron surge.

Here is the letter from Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Ponds:

Dear Families, Caregivers and Staff,

I hope that you have enjoyed the break. When we open on Jan. 3, in conjunction with full-time, in-person instruction, the district will offer a temporary virtual option. Please see below.

Full-time, In-Person Instruction

The district is still opening for full-time, in-person instruction on Jan. 3. We are following the guidance of the New Jersey Department of Health and have increased testing as one of the key mitigating strategies. Please see the no out-of-pocket cost testing schedule:

Friday, Dec. 31 from 12:30 – 4:30 PM at the Wally Choice Center, 45 Maple Avenue in Glenfield Park.
Fridays on Jan. 7, 14 and 21, 4 – 6 PM, All dates at the Annex Atrium, 141 Park St. with parking in the rear on No. Fullerton.

Please remember to bring your insurance card and ID.
With the high number of cases, we will continue to follow the quarantine guidelines we used before the break.

Virtual Option

We have received emails from families expressing concerns about returning their children to in-person learning. We understand your anxiety and the district will offer a virtual option for those who do not feel comfortable with in-person instruction at this time. Please allow our teachers a 48-hour grace period to set up for this virtual learning. Here are more details:

Virtual learning, for those who choose this option, begins Wed., Jan. 5.
Virtual period is temporary for 10 school days.
Absences and missed class work on Monday, Jan. 3, and Tuesday, Jan. 4, will not be counted against the students.
If you would like this virtual option, please contact your children’s principal to get started.
Best wishes for a safe, healthy new year!


Dr. Jonathan Ponds

SuperintendentBaristanet Year In Review 2021

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  1. Montclair schools finally got it right. This was a sensible solution: live instruction, virtual option, time for teachers to prepare. Thoughtful and creative. It will be tough on students and teachers. It may result in a greater spread of the virus but that was going to happen anyway. This is something that we need to learn to live with and keeping the schools open acknowledges this, but the virtual option allows not only for families the option to not take the increased risk of getting COVID but also provides an option for kids who have COVID or have been exposed to still get live virtual instruction. The ten-day window is sensible. We will know by then whether so many teachers, support staff, administrators, and students get the virus that the only solution is virtual schooling or that the effects are mild enough that it will seem like a bad common cold or flu season that we have all lived through before.

    Scott White

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