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North Bergen public schools remain virtual

Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Solter gave a video update on Sept. 28.
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Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Solter gave a video update on Sept. 28.

North Bergen public schools will remain virtual, Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Solter announced on Sept. 28.

After three weeks of virtual instruction, Solter updated the community. While the district planned a possible return to the classrooms on Oct. 1, Solter said the district decided to work in the virtual environment until the end of the first marking period.

Shifting plans 

The district’s original plan was to open under a hybrid instruction plan with students learning in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays, while a second group learns in-person on Thursdays and Fridays. All students would learn virtually on Wednesdays. 

In August, Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order allowing schools to start with virtual instruction, but school districts must have processes in place to slowly move toward in-person education.

The district is currently in the process of reevaluating the plan for students to return to in-person instruction, according to Solter.

The Restart Committee is assessing all possible issues. When the plan is finalized, Solter will announce the plan in a video message. When returning to in-person education, parents can still keep their children in the virtual learning program.

“I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy by practicing social distancing and using PPE when needed,” Solter said.

Emulating in-person instruction

In September, the school district began virtual learning with Google Meet for instruction, and Google Classroom for assignments and presentations. Teachers used other forms of communication to get messages to the students, according to Solter.

His vision was to cleave as much as possible to in-person instruction. Solter said it’s important for students to form relationships with teachers and classmates.

The school district’s goal is to have a classroom teaching period look just as if it were in-person. According to Solter, teachers will introduce material, work through examples, assign independent work, and return for discussion.

“It is not about our teachers speaking and lecturing for the entire period, Solter said. “We want a balanced approach that makes the best sense for learning.”

There will be days when there is no direct instruction by teachers; they will post information for exploration, and related assignment for all schools on Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 2 p.m.

Virtual open house

The school district will hold a virtual open house, according to Solter.

Each staff member will create a video describing tudent expectations, classroom procedures, requirements for the completion of assignments, creation of projects, evaluation of student progress, and how the parent can communicate with teachers.

Details about the virtual open house can be found at northbergen.k12.nj.us.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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