In an effort to keep the corona virus infection outside its building, the Woodbridge Board of Education voted to go temporarily to full remote learning the week after the Thanksgiving holiday. “We have some concerns about the week after Thanksgiving,” Interim School Supt. Christine Syriac said at a special meeting of the board on November 11. Beecher Road School has been doing well in terms of students and staff staying healthy, she said, and to keep it that way, she, along with the local health department and the BOWA districts, suggested to switch to all-remote learning for a week.
So far, the school has been operating on an in-person, five-days-a-week schedule, albeit with about 20% of the student population studying at home. To practice the remote learning, the superintendent suggested — and the board approved — to schedule two hybrid learning days before Thanksgiving – Monday and Tuesday, November 23 and 24 — during which those whose last name start with A-K come in on Monday, those L-Z on Tuesday.
By staying home the week after the holiday — which is being done in many districts across the state — schools are allowing travelers to get tested before they return to school, and families to quarantine as needed. As of November 11, the plan was to return to full in-person learning on Monday, December 7.
“We are not seeing a spread in schools,” Syriac told the Woodbridge Board. “In-person learning is benefitting our students,” she said, adding that “arbitrary date-based closings [beyond the one week after Thanksgiving] are not warranted at this time.”
The Amity school system was planning to do the same, however a spike in coronavirus cases and contact tracing caused the high school to revert to full remote learning already this week. The middle schools, where students are cohorting in their classrooms, will stay open until the Thanksgiving break, as long as “the metrics continue to support some version of in-person learning,” according to School Supt. Jennifer Byars.
By Bettina Thiel – Woodbridge Town News Correspondent