The Bordentown Regional School District will go back to in-person instruction for students who want it starting April 15, said superintendent Ed Forsthoffer in a letter to the community. The news comes as the result of findings from the Return to School survey the district conducted last month.
Nearly 1,300 families responded to the survey. One of the key questions, Forsthoffer said, related to social distancing: “Depending on the number of families that wish to send their children into the building, it may NOT be possible to maintain 6-foot social distancing in all of the classrooms. If the district could not guarantee 6-foot social distancing, would you [be willing to send your children into school]?” Two-thirds of the respondents said that they would send their children to school for in-person instruction.
School will resume after spring break on an all-virtual model starting April 6, as recommended by the Burlington County Health Department.
“We recognize that many families will be traveling over the break, possibly outside of New Jersey,” Forsthoffer said. “Although the CDC recommends against traveling, some people are at their breaking points and need to see family that they may not have seen for a year. So that we can return safely and properly implement our next reopening phase, all instruction will be remote from April 6 through April 14… When we return to in-person instruction we will implement our next, and likely final, phase for this academic school year.”
School buildings will still be open to faculty and staff during this period.
Then, starting April 15, all in-person students will attend school five days a week for 4.5 to 4.75 hours a day.
“We are finetuning the actual structure of the day so that we will have the greatest educational impact,” Forsthoffer said. “There will be some opportunities for small group learning and remediation in the afternoons.”
Classes will be organized based on the number of students who will return to the classroom—parents were provided with another questionnaire last month to help determine how many students will attend physical instruction versus virtual instruction.
Masks will still be worn in the building and on school buses.
“We believe this final phase puts the school district on the proper trajectory to reopen our school buildings full day, every day in September,” Forsthoffer said. “However, we will continually monitor and possibly adjust our plan based on new trends or information. We look forward to working with you as we work together to get our children back into the schools.”
More information, as well as Forsthoffer’s letter to the school community, can be found online at bordentown.k12.nj.us.