#childsafety | Newark Public Schools Put Brakes On Plan To Reopen In Person

NEWARK, NJ — New Jersey’s largest public school district is putting the brakes on its plan to reopen for in-person learning until late January, administrators announced Monday evening.

The Newark Public School District started the school year with all-remote classes due to the coronavirus pandemic, and had been preparing for a return to in-person learning on Nov. 19. But plans have changed, officials say.

Administrators offered a brief message about the decision on the district website:

“For the 2020-21 school year, remote instruction (full-time) will continue for all students until January 25, 2021. All other guidance remains in full effect.”

Newark Board of Education President Josephine Garcia also offered a message about the decision on social media:

“As we see the changing information from our state and counties, we, the Board of Education, along with Superintendent [Roger León], continued to monitor the situation. Tonight we have decided to move forward with keeping our students with remote instruction (full-time) until Monday, January 25, 2021. All other guidance remains in full effect. We are in a second surge of COVID-19, which is a very serious health issue in our state and across the country. Let’s continue to practice the proper measures so we can stop this virus. We the Board of Education will always prioritize the health and safety of our students, staff and community. We encourage you to stay safe practice safety protocols, social distancing, wear a mask and stay home if you have COVID-19 symptoms. For more information please refer to the district and school websites for updates. We will get through this together.”

See the district’s reopening plan here.

Some teachers had expressed alarm about returning amid a resurgence of coronavirus infections, which Newark’s mayor this week called the pandemic’s “second wave.” Newark Teachers Union President John Abeigon called the uptick “a major concern” and said the district must make sure classrooms can reopen as safely as possible.

The district’s decision comes as state health officials warn of rising COVID-19 cases in nearly a dozen counties, including Essex.

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