Princeton Public School students are back in the classroom for hybrid learning, after one week of remote learning following the Thanksgiving break, Superintendent of Schools Barry Galasso said.
School district officials held off bringing students back for hybrid learning during the week following the Thanksgiving break to allow for students and staff who may have had to quarantine because of the holiday – but as of Dec. 7, they have resumed hybrid learning, Galasso said.
Hybrid learning alternates between bringing small groups of students into the classroom for in-person learning for part of the week and having them learn remotely at home for part of the week. All of the students had been learning remotely for the first few weeks of the 2020-21 school year.
Neighboring school districts, meanwhile, have switched from hybrid learning to remote learning through the middle of January. Those school districts include the Lawrence Township Public Schools, the East Windsor Regional School District and the Montgomery Township School District.
Several days before the Thanksgiving break, Princeton school district officials expressed concern that as confirmed cases of COVID-19 began to rise in the community, the number of students and staff who might have to quarantine after the holiday would make it difficult to operate the schools.
Spending a week learning at home after Thanksgiving would have given time for students and staff to quarantine, if they needed to do so – which, in turn, would have allowed the district to resume hybrid learning Dec. 7, Galasso said.
School district officials spoke to the school district physician and Princeton Health Department officials, who agreed that it would be safe for the district to resume hybrid learning because there had not been a post-Thanksgiving surge of illness in the community, Galasso said.
“While the numbers (of confirmed COVID-19 cases) for our district remain relatively stable, we are clearly in a statewide environment where things can change quickly,” Galasso said Dec. 4.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and pivot to all-remote if it becomes necessary to keep our students and staff safe,” he said.
Galasso said “it is more crucial than ever” that students and their families avoid large gatherings and observe all precautions, including physical distancing, mask wearing and symptom monitoring.