Cranbury School extends remote learning to Jan. 19

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In-person instruction won’t be returning to the Cranbury School District this December.

The schoolwide switch to full-remote instruction for students at The Cranbury School has been extended to Jan. 19. The decision by the district administration arrives, as Cranbury Township faces an uptick in confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, along with the rest of Middlesex County.

With the rising numbers in positive cases, Superintendent and Principal Susan Genco released a letter to parents on Dec. 2, informing them of the decision prior to the Dec. 4 end date of the schoolwide switch to fully-remote learning.

“With the holiday season upon us, rising state and national cases, the return of our college students, and increased interstate and intrastate travel, it is evident that the district must take actions to protect the health and safety of our staff, students, and greater school community,” Genco said. “In consultation with the Middlesex County Department of Health and the Office of Emergency Management, and the Middlesex County superintendent, Cranbury School will extend fully remote instruction from now through Jan. 19.”

When the Cranbury School District announced it would be shutting down in-person instruction from Nov. 12 to Dec. 4, the district administration stated that the determination of whether in-person instruction could resume would involve using the New Jersey Regional Risk Matrix.

According to New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) guidance, the NJ Regional Risk Matrix provides guidance for schools on actions they should take based on the level of COVID-19 risk in their region. There are four categories: Low Risk, Moderate Risk, High Risk and Very High Risk. Each category has a list of recommendations regarding the type of instruction recommended: in-person, hybrid and remote.

However, the administration also used local factors such as increased state and township positivity rates and the potential for further spread to determine the decision to extend full-remote instruction, according to the district.

“The Jan. 19 date will allow for a two-week period between the holiday season and a return to in-person learning. Consideration to resume hybrid in-person instruction will be made in conjunction with a review of the Central East region rating as designated in the COVID-19 Activity Level Index (CALI) Weekly Reports,” Genco said. “Decisions moving forward remain at the local level unless the very high risk range is reached, at which time the choice would be out of district control per the NJ Regional Risk Matrix.”