WOODBRIDGE – Most of the schools in the Woodbridge School District are back to in person learning five days a week.
“Those schools not back to five days will hopefully be back to five days very, very shortly,” Schools Superintendent Robert Zega said in a video message on April 2. “Our goal is to have all our schools offering five days of instruction by end of April.”
The superintendent said the district is “fully aware” of concerns of learning loss and how far behind students are due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“We only know the sure cure for getting our students where they need to be academically and emotionally is to get them back to school and get them in person in front of their teachers, it’s the only thing that’s going to help them,” Zega said. “They need to be with our teachers, they need to be in person and need to be there as much as possible. We are committed to making that happen.”
Zega said several things have made the move possible includes the lowering of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) social distance guidelines from six feet to three feet.
“This allowed us to increase capacity in each of our classrooms and allowed more students to be in person at the same time,” he said.
Another factor includes the district’s partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH) and JFK Medical Center in Edison to offer vaccinations for all district staff members.
“This was a really wonderful gesture by HMH to make [the vaccinations] available,” Zega said. “It’s a process, it could take up to six weeks from the first shot for a person to be fully vaccinated.”
HMH is also offering vaccinations to neighboring school districts in Edison and Metuchen. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Dec. 11, the Moderna vaccine on Dec. 18 and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 27.
Finally, Zega said the district made a bulk order of several thousand desk shields.
“These are desk partitions that fold up and sit on students desks,” he said. “[This will] certainly help with the spread of any airborne particles.”
Zega said with the three factors combined, it has helped the district get more students back in the classroom.
For more information, visit www.woodbridge.k12.nj.us