Princeton High School remote learning extended to Nov. 9

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Remote learning at Princeton High School is being extended to Nov. 9, after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

Princeton High School initially was slated to revert to remote learning for Oct. 26 and Oct. 27, after school district officials learned that a Princeton High School student had tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 23.

Officials then learned of the staff members’ positive tests Oct. 24, Interim Superintendent of Schools Barry Galasso said.

None of the three confirmed cases of COVID-19 originated at Princeton High School or were transmitted at the high school, Galasso said.

School district officials were going to reassess the situation at Princeton High School on Oct. 27, but have since moved to extend remote learning for two weeks in the wake of the two staff members’ positive COVID-19 tests.

The decision to pivot to remote learning at Princeton High School does not affect hybrid learning at the Princeton Unified Middle School – which opened for in-person instruction Oct. 26 – or at the four elementary schools, which already are teaching in hybrid form, Galasso said.

“Based on the number of teachers who now must participate in precautionary 14-day quarantines or require remote teaching assignments, all students at Princeton High School will learn remotely until Nov. 9. We will begin in-person learning with Cohort A on that date,” Galasso said.

Hybrid instruction is a combination of in-person learning and remote learning. Small groups of students are brought into the classroom on different days of the week, splitting the days they will be in the building. On the other days, they will learn remotely at home.

“When we approved our phased-in return to hybrid learning, the district was aware that there could be instances where it would be necessary to pivot to all-remote learning if the number of teachers required to participate in quarantines increased dramatically,” Galasso said.

“I have heard from many parents who are happy to have had even a few days of in-person learning for their children, and also from parents who are disappointed that their children have not yet been able to return to school,” he said.

Galasso said that while he understands that it is a hardship for the students, their families and staff, and that there are mental health and financial implications and inconveniences to remote learning, the district is working hard to support them, all while working to keep the school community healthy.

Looking ahead, Galasso cautioned parents to be mindful of travel and quarantine restrictions during the upcoming holidays.

“We encourage you to select your travel destinations carefully,” he said.

Galasso said the district will require all students who are coming back from locations – domestic and international – that are on the travel advisory list to participate in remote learning while they are under quarantine for 14 days after returning home.