Lawrence Township School District superintendent Ross Kasun sent a letter to parents Oct. 6 outlining the schedule to return in-person instruction.

For most students, the updated plan means they won’t go back to school buildings until Monday, Nov. 30.

The first batch of students—self-contained special education students at Ben Franklin Elementary School and Lawrenceville Elementary School—resume in-person instruction next week, on Oct. 12. Kindergarten, integrated pre-K and the remaining self-contained special education students in grades K-6 resume Monday, Oct. 26.

Two weeks later, on Nov. 9, all grade 1-3 students resume, with the remaining students in grades 4-12 starting Nov. 30. Those students who have selected to learn remotely this school year may continue to do so.

It’s all part of the LTPS plan to ease into hybrid learning—a mix of in-person and remote instruction filed under “Phase II” and “Phase III” in the plan approved by the Board of Education in August. Kasun promised to release more specific information in the coming weeks about school schedules, transportation, health and safety measures. He also cautioned that the dates could change.

“It’s important to keep in mind that this schedule can change at any given time, based on COVID-19 conditions,” he wrote.

When hybrid learning does start, it will be on an every-other-day A/B schedule, Kasun said, with in-person instruction days lasting four hours. If the district follows its original plan for hybrid learning, lunch will not be served for in-person students and there will be limited busing.

Athletics, however, will be allowed to continue. The 275 fall athletes at Lawrence High School have been practicing at the school daily, Kasun said, and scholastic sports seasons have begun.

Athletes haven’t been the only people on school grounds. Since the school year began in September, an average of 230 staff members have been in school buildings every day, and 33 YMCA staff members have been providing daily childcare at Lawrence Intermediate School.

Despite this, the district has had no positive COVID-19 cases reported, Kasun said.

School instruction has been entirely remote for LTPS students since the start of the school year Sept. 8.

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Rob Anthes
Rob Anthes is managing editor at Community News Service, and also serves as the editor of the Hamilton Post and the Lawrence Gazette. Rob's writing has been honored by the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists, the Keystone Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Association of Free Community Papers, most recently in 2020. He was a 2019 fellow at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting, based at the University of Rhode Island. A Hamilton native, Rob is a graduate of Steinert High School and Syracuse University.