Multiple school district employees have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Dec. 4, according to Superintendent of Schools John Niesz.
“The Bayonne School District had three employees test positive for COVID-19 this week,” Niesz said in a letter to the community. The employees who tested positive include maintenance workers and custodial staff who work in separate buildings in the district.
He continued: “We followed our protocol of notification, contact tracing and cleaning.”
All public schools in Bayonne have been closed since the start of the school year; the district is operating under virtual instruction until late January.
The Board of Education approved the virtual instruction plan in July, as well as a backup hybrid plan. Under the virtual plan, students learn remotely with no in-person instruction.
This means students are learning remotely from home while teachers are teaching from their classrooms or from home. Instructors have been teaching live sessions through a virtual learning system called Schoology.com.
The district continues to provide lunch and breakfast via the grab-and-go program. Meals can be picked up at all schools on Mondays and Wednesdays, using the same system as last year.
The district continues to evaluate the COVID-19 pandemic and the health and safety of students and faculty. It’s been reevaluating its learning plan each month, assessing COVID-19 data to determine if it’s safe to transition to a hybrid instruction plan.
Returning to the classroom?
“COVID-19 continues to present challenges to our community,” Niesz said. “We are confident that at some point in 2021 we will return to school.”
According to Niesz, it is difficult to determine an exact date when schools will return to in-person instruction.
“We are working as a team to get back to normal operations as soon as possible,” Niesz said. “These are very challenging times. However, we believe the end of the pandemic will come in 2021.”
Niesz said a potential vaccine will help the district in its efforts to return to school. The district will continue to advise the community as things progress.
“It is too early to forecast our return to school, but we remain very optimistic,” Niesz said. “We will update our community in January 2021 on our comprehensive education plan going forward.”
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