The Ocean City School District announced Tuesday that starting on April 12, doors will open for all students to attend in-person instruction.
The news comes just after the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic school shutdown.
Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor explained in a letter Tuesday that the district leaders, members of the Board of Education and the community have been working tirelessly as a team to develop new habits and routines to enable all students to return back to in-person teaching in a timely manner.
To view Dr. Taylors letter click here: https://ocnjdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/OCSD-Community-Ltr-031621.pdf
Their team has gained valuable insight during the hybrid months to be able to implement safety protocols for day-to-day teaching, according to a school district press release Tuesday.
Students have been extremely receptive to these efforts, with 91 percent of them opting in for in-person instruction, the release stated. Dr. Taylor said that it’s a joint effort to bring this to fruition by students and staff alike.
As of Tuesday, grades kindergarten through sixth have already returned to full in-school instruction.
Dr. Taylor’s letter explains how grades seventh and eighth will begin to transition the second week of April. Grades ninth through 12th will also begin the second week of April, but with all early-dismissal days.
The schools may not be able to adhere to the 6-foot social distancing rule, but the CDC has announced loosening the restrictions from 6 feet down to 3 feet.
Dr. Taylor explained in her letter that by doing this, the school district will be able to bring all students back. The district will continue to offer virtual learning for those who opted for it and offer flexibility for adjusting to COVID-related concerns.
Dr. Patrick Kane, vice president of the Board of Education and chairman of the board’s COVID-19 Task Force, brought attention to a study released last week in the “Infectious Diseases Society of America.” The study examined COVID case rates in Massachusetts and how lowering physical distancing with mask mandates does not negatively impact students or staff.
Ocean City’s plan for all students to return to in-person instruction awaits final approval from the New Jersey Department of Education and the New Jersey Department of Health, according to Dr. Taylor’s letter.
For more information, refer to Dr. Taylor’s letter. Parents in the Primary School and High School will receive additional information on the return to five-days-a-week instruction. Updates will be posted via SwiftK-12 messaging, social media, as well as the OCSD website.
The current hybrid plan and additional COVID-prevention guidelines can be found on the district website oceancityschools.org.