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School district will return to fully remote instruction on Dec. 21

The Hopewell Valley Regional School District administration building in Pennington.

The Hopewell Valley Regional School District will return to fully remote learning districtwide with all hybrid students making that transition come Dec. 21.

For students and parents who chose the option of in-person instruction the temporary transition to full remote learning will go through Jan. 15. The schools are currently scheduled to reopen for in-person instruction on Jan. 19.

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Smith said in a letter released on Dec. 10, “We have determined that a temporary move to full remote learning connected with winter break will help address issues we are facing related to student and staff quarantining and will help mitigate the potential for additional spread in our schools and community.”

The district is recently coming off a previous transition to full remote learning from Nov. 25 through Dec. 6. That transition occurred at the six school district schools – Hopewell Valley Central High School (HVCHS), Timberlane Middle School (TMS), Toll Gate Grammar School, Hopewell Elementary School, Bear Tavern Elementary School and Stony Brook Elementary School – as COVID-19 cases continued to rise through Hopewell Valley and statewide in the midst of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the district, the administration has coordinated with the Hopewell Valley YMCA to offer child care from the organization to district families for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The service would run on a day-by-day basis and be based at Stony Brook Elementary School.

The temporary transition occurring on Dec. 21 to fully remote learning will not affect the district’s plan in January to have a five day a week instruction program for all students, which would have hybrid students attending school in person five days a week and not have A/B cohorts.

The district will also be evaluating a return to full-day in-person instruction in 2021.

“After the new year, we will assemble a committee to reevaluate our status with the hope of moving to full days in the spring. In the meantime, you have my continued commitment that we will continue to work diligently to provide a safe and meaningful education to our students and a safe environment for our staff,” Smith said.

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