Hoboken shifts public school reopening

The Hoboken Public School District updated its reopening plan this week so that in-person on-site learning won’t begin until Sept. 21 for those families that selected that option. Instead, all students will begin remotely on Sept. 14.

Last month, the district announced that families could choose whether their kids would return to school onsite or continue with remote learning, with school officially starting on Sept. 8.

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According to Superintendent of the Hoboken Public School District  Dr. Christine Johnson, 52 percent of students have chosen remote learning, while 48 percent have chosen on-site learning.

To meet the demand, the district added more staff and reworked schedules to keep all class sizes at or just under 10 students, from kindergarten to 12th Grade, with a few outliers the district is currently addressing.

According to Johnson, Hoboken High School will make some adjustments to its schedule to meet this standard “in virtually all classes.” Brandt Elementary School is at about 10 to 13 students per class.

“We are working through some strategies to lower those numbers a bit as well,” said Johnson. Brandt families willing to switch to remote learning instead of onsite should contact the district so it can adjust lists.

“While our plans for onsite learning are solid, we now see that it is critical to provide more time for teachers and staff to be fully trained and have opportunities to walk through both new requirements in the classroom and throughout the school,” Johnson said. “We also believe that our students and parents need time to walk through school and classroom procedures in small groups and meet their teachers and principals.”

She said for school to begin on its original start date, the district would have had to have all its staff back.

Under the new calendar, teachers and staff will spend four days, from Tuesday, Sept. 8 through Friday, Sept. 11 preparing for the new school year.

Principals will lead training sessions and walk staff through critical functions and schedules.

Remote control

All students, whether on full-day traditional onsite learning or remote learning, will begin school on Monday, Sept. 14 remotely and will remain on remote learning until Friday, Sept. 18.

Parents and students will receive a schedule to join Google Meet sessions to to get to know one another and their teachers.

There will be ice breakers and an introduction to subjects and what will be learned throughout the year. Materials and the use of technology will also be reviewed.

Older students will review course outlines and expectations.Younger ones will have “mini-lessons.”

All students will be given activities to address social and emotional learning.

Students will meet their principals, vice-principals, guidance counselors, and other support staff.

According to the district, small groups of parents and students will visit classrooms, see the desk shields, and review hand washing, bathroom schedules, face-covering guidelines, and arrival and dismissal procedures.

This will be done for all families regardless of whether or not they chose onsite learning.

“We want to be sure that remote learners will be ready for onsite learning when the time comes, and that onsite learners will be able to transition to remote learning if needed,” states the district’s announcement.

On Sept. 21 all students will begin full-day onsite traditional learning or full-day remote learning.

“There will not be a plan that everyone feels comfortable with and that meets the needs of every family,” Johnson said. “But we have tried our best to accommodate everyone and put forth the most comprehensive plans possible.” She asked families to “give us the valuable time needed to unveil all components of our plans to our students.”

For more information, go to http://www.hoboken.k12.nj.us/september_reopening_plan

For updates on this and other stories check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at Marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.


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