South River schools to continue virtual learning through Jan. 29; preschool and special ed students allowed in person


SOUTH RIVER – South River Public Schools will stay on a fully-remote learning program through at least Jan. 29.

Superintendent Sylvia Zircher said the current pandemic continues to challenge the district’s ability to provide a continuous learning environment for students and staff, according to a letter dated Nov. 19.

The district went back to a fully-remote program on Nov. 30.

“As you are aware, our district opened for in-person, hybrid instruction on Oct. 1. During the month of October, we used all necessary resources to cover staff leaves, transition to synchronous instruction for both in-person and hybrid students, and acquire the needed PPE, technology and supplies to adjust to the ever-changing situation,” Zircher said in the statement.

By the end of October, Zircher said the district transitioned its teachers and students acclimated, and the COVID-19 related issues were minimal.

“[Then] came November. In the first two weeks of the month, the number of positive COVID-19 cases that impacted our schools more than quadrupled. We had to shut down two of our four schools,” Zircher said in the statement.

“We realize that this platform is not best for certain populations of students. We therefore intend to continue to provide an option for in-person instruction for our self-contained special education programs and preschool program with an anticipated start date of Dec. 10,” Zircher said in the statement.

Beginning Dec. 10, the following students were allowed to attend school in-person:

  • Preschool classes will be on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with early release time from 8:40 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.
  • Self-contained special education classes will be on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with early release times for each school. The primary school’s early release time will be 8:40 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. The elementary/middle school’s early release time will be from 8 a.m. to 12:21 p.m., and the high school’s early release time will be 7:40 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

The district’s Remote Learning Center (RLC) provides childcare for kindergarten to eighth grade students. Pre-registration is required, and is open from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at the elementary/middle school by entering through the cafetorium, located at 3 Montgomery St., according to information provided by the district.

Zircher said the district also knows families have circumstances that are challenged by a fully remote learning program. The district is therefore exploring free child care/remote learning supervision for families with this need. The district will provide families with more information in the near future, she said.

“We thank you for your ongoing support and partnership. We hope your family remains safe and well during these challenging times,” Zircher said in the statement.

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