After operating on a virtual instruction plan for learning remotely the past seven weeks, the North Bergen School District will begin transitioning to a hybrid instruction plan, according to Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Solter.
While the district planned a possible return to the classrooms on Oct. 1, Solter announced on Sept. 28 that it would remain virtual until the end of the first marking period. North Bergen was initially planning to start the year with a hybrid instruction plan, but adopted a virtual instruction plan following Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement allowing districts to begin the school year remotely.
Solter said the district is in the process of planning for hybrid instruction, consisting of both virtual and in-person instruction, but all concerned will have to abide by certain protocols.
For parents still hesitant to send their children back to the classroom, Solter said they have the option to keep their children home and continue to learn remotely.
To do this, parents must log on to the Realtime parent portal and answer the question concerning remote learning. Residents who don’t know how to log onto the parent portal or who forgot their passwords can contact their schools for assistance.
When logging on to the Realtime Parent Portal, parents are asked to update all contact information.
A slow transition
According to Solter, the district will slowly bring students back. There will not be a date where the entire population comes back at once.
There will be specific days when each grade returns in each school. The Reopening Committee will determine the schedule.
Under the hybrid plan, students will be divided into two groups: Group A will have in-person classes on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Group B on Thursdays and Fridays.
On Wednesdays all classes we be held virtually, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., consisting of small group sessions and posted assignments, Solter said. Students will learn virtually when their group is not attending in-person classes.
The district will monitor the climate regarding COVID-19, to make sure the process is not moving too fast. Solter said this includes the number of positive cases in North Bergen, Hudson County, and the entire Northeast region of New Jersey.
“We will make adjustments to the schedule if necessary,” Solter said.
Cases have jumped by nearly 200 over the past two weeks, climbing from 2,836 on Oct. 14 to 2,920, and 234 deaths on Oct. 21. As of Oct. 28, there were 3,061 cases.
Upon return to in-person instruction, students must wear masks and social distance. Solter encouraged parents to have a conversation with their children about these practices before returning to school.
Solter announced that an open house will not be happening this year. Instead, a virtual open will be held.
Teacher have made a short videos introducing themselves, explaining class rules, student expectations, ways to contact them, and an overview of the curriculum. The videos can be found at northbergen.k12.nj.us.
The district would like students keep the camera on while in virtual classes.
“It’s important for the teacher to look for visual clues of [students] understanding the material,” Solter said.
Parents can contact their school principal or the office of the superintendent with questions.
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