In-person learning to resume in Jersey City starting with Pre-K & 3rd Grade

Coronavirus Update New Jersey
JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- Jersey City public schools have announced a return to the classroom, despite a recent robocall to parents that said in-person learning would be delayed till September.

On Wednesday, a statement from Superintendent Franklin Walker on the Jersey City Public Schools website announced that in-person learning would begin Thursday, April 29, for Pre-K to 3rd Grade students whose parents selected the hybrid model.

He says there will be a 12:45 p.m. dismissal and that the schools will put students into groups.

"The all-remote group, a group A and a group B. During their in-person week, students will attend classes Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday," Walker said. "Wednesday will continue as a remote day for everyone to enhance our cleaning at the schools. The school will provide parents and guardians with the schedules."

While Pre-K and 3rd Grade students will return on April 29, Walker says "the tentative return date for fourth to eighth grade is May 10, and grades 9-12 may return on May 10."

School Board President Mussab Ali also posted to Facebook saying that "All other grades will be able to return on May 10."

This comes after a robocall was sent to parents Sunday night, from Walker who said that in-person learning would not restart until September.
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Walker said there was not enough staffing to reopen the schools.

"The staff we need for adequate supervision and instruction is not available. On Thursday, we had 458 instruction staff absent and then close to 500 on Friday," he said in a Tweet.

However, Walker says that increased concerns from parents, especially those with young children, made them reconsider the decision.

"The District's focus continues to be on doing what is best for children. When The District made the difficult decision to remain closed, that decision was guided by science and the realities of safely staffing a district of 30,000 students for in-person and remote learning simultaneously," Walker said. "I recently met with Members of the Board and the Teachers' Union Leadership to further discuss reopening schools."

About 20% of parents had informed the school district that they would send their children back the week of April 26 if schools reopened.

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