MILLSTONE – Some students who are enrolled in the Millstone Township K-8 School District have physically returned to school for the first time since November.
Jan. 11 marked the resumption of in-person instruction for Millstone students whose parents selected an option which permits their children to be in a school building.
The district operates the Millstone Township Primary School, the Millstone Township Elementary School and the Millstone Township Middle School.
As of Jan. 22, however, the primary school returned to fully remote instruction for its pupils, according to district administrators.
In-person instruction remained in effect at the elementary school and the middle school, where a half-day schedule is being followed.
For the previous two months, all of the district’s students had only been receiving remote instruction because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
After employing a hybrid model of education that combined in-person instruction and remote instruction on alternating days during the initial weeks of the 2020-21 school year, district administrators changed course and allowed students to physically attend school five days a week if their parents choose that option by October.
Parents also had the option to select fully remote instruction for their children.
In mid-November, administrators shifted course and moved to a model of fully remote instruction for all of the district’s students.
Superintendent of Schools Christopher Huss cited a rise in coronavirus cases as the reason why children were no longer permitted to be in the school buildings.
As noted by Huss, the COVID Regional Risk Assessment currently deems Monmouth County to have a high risk for the virus. State officials recommend, but do not mandate, that a fully remote instructional model be employed by school districts in a high risk area.
In mid-December, Huss announced Jan. 11 as the scheduled physical return date for students. He reaffirmed that return date in a Jan. 6 letter.
Because Monmouth County is still designated as a high risk area for the virus, the school district will employ a shortened daily schedule for students.
Huss said Millstone will continue to follow that model until the number of coronavirus cases decrease in the region and the area maintains a moderate risk designation for three consecutive weeks.
Students whose parents selected the fully remote option for their children will continue to receive their education in that instructional model, according to the superintendent.
“I continue to appreciate (parents’) cooperation, patience and flexibility as we strive to provide the best education possible in the midst of a public health crisis,” Huss said.
Pupils returned to the primary school for in-person instruction on Jan. 11, but less than two weeks later the evolving situation necessitated that the building move to a fully remote instructional model.