The Cranbury School has so far experienced two confirmed positive COVID-19 cases since returning to in-person instruction on Oct. 19.
The latest case was confirmed through a health notification from district communications the week of Oct. 31. Students in preschool through fifth grade did return to their hybrid in-person instruction schedule on Nov. 2, while middle school students in grades sixth through eighth were fully remote.
“As I parent I do think the school can be more timely and informative in their dialogue,” Township Committeeman Jay Taylor said. “If it is severe enough to shut down the middle school and make it all virtual learning from grades six through eight, why are we not also looking at the younger kids and the potential that their siblings could be in the middle school.”
Due to Election Day on Nov. 3, deep cleaning of the school facilities on Nov. 4 and the New Jersey Education Association Convention, all students are finishing out the week with fully remote instruction, according to the Cranbury School administration.
“The school has been doing a fantastic job of social distancing, mask wearing and minimizing contact. We just have to keep doing this as we continue to move indoors with days getting colder and shorter,” Mayor Matt Scott said. “Again, it is not unexpected and not particularly alarming. I can speak from my experience of watching my children. They take it all very much in stride. They are not alarmed and know what they have to do.”
In-person learning will return for all students the week of Nov. 9.
With the recent confirmed cases, Scott said it is a reminder for residents and families to continue to stay vigilant when taking precautions against the virus.
“This virus is a persistent nuisance and it is everywhere and we are not out of this. We just adapt. As a parent, 100% the school has done the right thing preparing for this virus. With an excess of caution and concern they have done the right thing,” he added. “They are not just doing things willy-nilly. They are utilizing CDC and New Jersey Department of Health guidelines as sort of their north star in figuring this all out. I give it to them on their implementation and communication. They are very good with getting out phone calls and emails.”
Superintendent and Principal Susan Genco reminded parents in a letter on Nov. 2 that if a member of a student’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone diagnosed, the student(s) should not attend school as soon as the parent is aware.
In addition, all students in the home of someone diagnosed with the virus must quarantine following the guidance from New Jersey Department of Health and CDC.
“I actually started on the bases of the school being fully remote and then I went to the view of doing a hybrid model. The students should have the ability to be in class and they are going to learn the best in school,” Taylor said. “Having seen two cases within the last two weeks I am sitting here now reassessing that. I am wondering if we are not better off waiting until we have better handle and control around the situation and protocols in place before we do hybrid.”