WOODBRIDGE – The Woodbridge School District has requested to begin the 2020-21 school year all remote and begin its hybrid in-person plan on Oct. 12.
Schools Superintendent Robert Zega shared the district’s reasoning in a video post on Aug. 21. The Board of Education approved Zega’s recommendation at a meeting on Aug. 20.
“This was a very, very difficult, stressful decision,” he said. “Many have been passionate about whether or not they want to be in school or not. … We believe this is the best possible scenario.”
The Woodbridge School District transitioned to all-remote learning in March after it had to close its schools due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Since the district presented its hybrid in-person plan three weeks ago, Zega said they noticed two trends – students began switching from in-person to the all-remote option, and the district received increased staff concerns of returning back to school safely.
“Some schools, the number [of students switching to all-remote] stayed the same, [while] some schools the number [of students switching to all-remote] were as high as 15%,” he said.
Zega said all staff members had the option of returning to school or requesting leaves.
“We saw an uptick in leave requests from all our staff members,” he said. “This told us there still is a great deal of concern in our community about safely returning to school no matter how many precautions we put in.”
The uptick of staff leaves requested caused making schedules unmanageable for small class sizes of 8-12 students, Zega said.
“Mainly the staffing concerns caused us to reconsider to now open all-remote at least to the end of September and reevaluate,” he said. “Our tentative return date is Oct. 12.”
The first day of school is Sept. 3. All staff will report for professional development days on Sept. 1 and 2.
Principals will send out more details about the all-remote learning this week.
Zega said the district’s all-remote learning will be different from the spring.
For more information, visit www.woodbridge.k12.nj.us.