On March 15th, the first date allowable per state guidelines, Jersey City will dedicate the full allotment of vaccines to the 4,700 teachers and staff within the Jersey City Public School System in order to safely return the nearly 30,000 students to in-person learning.
The school district is preparing to have students return to in-person learning in the fourth quarter, possibly by April 22.
The district’s students have been on a remote learning schedule since March 2020.
“We will open classes provided that the health data continue to improve and can maintain a safe environment with adult supervision for students,” said Superintendent of Schools Franklin Walker.
The district asks that parents and staff complete an online survey to help plan for reopening.
If schools reopen to in-person learning, students would return in a hybrid model with some students learning remotely and others returning to their physical classrooms.
Those who return to the classroom would be dismissed by 12:45 p.m. according to the district.
Social distancing and all other COVID-19 protocols will be strictly followed throughout all school buildings.
“We’ve been waiting for restrictions to be lifted so that we can inoculate teachers and meet the community’s call to get students back to in-person learning as quickly as possible, and now that we’ve reached that point, we’re prepared to dedicate the necessary resources to safely and swiftly reopen classrooms,” said Mayor Steven Fulop. “Now that we are finally starting to get more doses, we can vaccinate more people, and we can expand our impact in order to help families and ultimately the broader community get back on their feet as fast as possible.”
“Mayor Fulop reinforced his commitment to the Jersey City Public Schools’ safe reopening with his plan to dedicate thousands of vaccines to the teachers and support staff,” said Walker “Jersey City Public School employees will receive their vaccine at James J. Ferris High School and the Patricia Noonan Public School #26 starting the week of March 15, 2021. The vaccinations will provide confidence, an additional level of support, and safety for our entire school community.”
According to a press release from the city, the Fulop Administration has worked closely with the Board of Education on COVID-19 testing, individual contact tracing, and support for families with access to City Health Officers and the Covid Crisis Manager. The city will continue to work with the BOE to register educators and school staff from the 42 schools within the district.
Every employee within the Jersey City Public Schools will receive a form to fill out if they choose to get vaccinated, which will then be coordinated with the school district’s nurse.
Jersey City is expanding the offer to include local charter schools and daycare facilities.
Two of the city’s vaccine sites, in Ferris High School and PS 26, will be allocated to those who opt into the school vaccine program.
Appointments will be required.