A communication from Dr. Mast: returning to schools in the upcoming weeks


Jamie Frank, Photo/Graphics Editor

On March 1, 2021, Superintendent Joan Mast announced that all students would be welcomed back to in-person classes for five half days a week. Elementary students were already offered the option to return for five half-days or opt for all remote instruction, and now middle and high schoolers will be given the same option beginning on March 15. 


Students who are currently in Cohort C, and are all remote, will remain all virtual until the next opt in date on March 22. However, students in cohorts A and B, who are already attending school in person on Monday/Tuesday (A) or Thursday/Friday (B) will be combined and will start their full weeks of in-person learning on March 15. 


Students who wish to continue to remain all virtual for now will be given the option to switch to in-person learning on April 19, a week following spring break.


“Anticipating that people may gather and may travel for spring holidays, the district will go to fully virtual instruction the week after Spring break,” Mast said, “returning to five half-days of in-person instruction on April 12th.”


There is, as always, a consistent effort to ensure that all students and staff at the schools are safe. That is why there is a week where all students will be required to go all virtual, following spring break. 


The NJ positivity rate of transmission for COVID-19 was 7.3 percent on Feb. 26, which indicated to Mast that the outbreak is slowing. She is hopeful that students will be able to return to schools for the full week of half days to take the next steps in returning schools back to normal. 


Mast also noted in her communication that with an increase in returning to schools, there may be instances where students cannot remain six feet apart. Schools are providing desk shields to students for these situations, and data shows that three foot distancing with these shields protects students. 


“I am excited and nervous to be back for five day in-person learning,” sophomore Maya Viscadi said. “It has been almost a year since I have had to go in for a full week, but I am excited to see my friends in my classes.


In the coming weeks, parents and students can look for more information to be sent out regarding the school schedules by school principals.