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North Hudson school districts return to in-person instruction

Many had temporarily shifted to virtual instruction due to a recent COVID-19 surge

Testing kits were distributed to parents and guardians for student at Thomas Jefferson School in Union City over the weekend. Photo courtesy the school district

Following a shift to temporary virtual instruction for the first two weeks of January due to the Omicron surge, a number of North Hudson districts are set to return to in-person instruction on Tuesday, Jan. 18, after a day off for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday on Monday, Jan. 17.

Union City

Union City was one of many North Hudson school districts that opted to go virtual for the first week of January, extending it for the second week as well. Now Union City is slated to return to in-person instruction on Jan. 18, according to Superintendent of Schools Sylvia Abbato.

Ahead of the return, parents and or guardians were asked to administer at-home COVID-19 tests distributed by the district to their child on Jan. 17. If the test reflects a positive result, the district asks that they keep the child at home. Parents or guardians should also call the child’s school on the morning of Jan. 18, to report their absence and provide additional resources.

“We continue to be proactive in protecting the health of our students and all school employees, as well as the entire community,” Abbato said. “We still recommend that everyone receive a vaccination and a booster shot. Testing our students and staff prior to reopening adds an additional layer of protection for everyone.”

West New York

West New York went virtual for the first two weeks of January as well, but is set to return to in-person instruction this week. After consulting with the local Department of Health, the school district will transition back to in-person instruction on Jan. 18, according to Superintendent of Schools Clara Brito Hererra.

“As a reminder, masks must be worn at all times,” Hererra said. “For the health and safety of our students and staff, the local health department and CDC guidelines parents must screen students before they enter the building.”

In addition to mask wearing, parents must screen their students before they enter the building. Other guidance instructs parents to not give child fever-reduction medication before sending them to school. If a child is sick, has more than two COVID-19 symptoms, and or is un-vaccinated and has been in close contact or has potential virus exposure, do not send them to school and notify the school nurse, Hererra said.


Secaucus returned after winter break to in-person instruction on Jan. 3. However, before the end of the week, the district announced it would operate under virtual instruction until Jan. 14. Now the district is set to reopen on Jan. 18, according to Acting Superintendent of Schools Daniela Riser.

“First, I want to commend all of the faculty and staff who quickly transitioned to remote instruction last week,” Riser said. “Second, I want to send out a ‘thank you’ to all of the families who endured another week of remote instruction. It was a difficult time for all of us and I am happy to say we will be transitioning to full-day, in-person instruction on Tuesday, January 18.”

There were only 25 cases in the district last week, which allowed a return to in-person instruction, Riser said.

“In line with the state, we have seen a sharp decrease in community cases,” Riser said. “Therefore, we feel confident that our schools can safely open for full-day instruction going forward.”

If a student is experiencing any COVID-like symptoms, keep them home and get them tested, according to Riser.

The rest of North Hudson

Guttenberg was slated to remain open in-person with half days for the first two weeks of January, but the only school in the district, the Anna L. Klein School, opted to go virtual until Jan. 14. The district is slated to reopen on Jan. 18. School will begin with a one session day schedule, with lunch to go for students for the next two weeks until Jan. 24.

Meanwhile, North Bergen returned to in-person instruction on Jan. 12.

“For in-person education, we will have enhanced safety practices at all North Bergen Board of Education locations,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Solter said ahead of the return. “This includes wearing appropriate masks correctly, enhancing testing of staff and students, monitoring the health screening form on Realtime, and continuing to have vaccine clinics so we can help more students, community members and staff get protected.”

Additionally, the Weehawken and the Hudson County Schools of Technology school districts returned to in-person instruction on Jan. 10.

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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