MILLSTONE – Students and staff members in the Millstone Township K-8 School District will be on a full-day schedule with in-person instruction when they return for the 2021-22 school year.
The district operates the Millstone Township Primary School, the Millstone Township Elementary School and the Millstone Township Middle School. The schools are scheduled to open for students on Sept. 8.
Gov. Phil Murphy announced in May that all school districts in New Jersey would be required to return to in-person, full-day instruction at the start of the 2021-22 academic year.
Murphy’s announcement followed the 2020-21 school year that was conducted during the coronavirus pandemic with a combination of in-person and virtual instruction.
In a presentation from the district, administrators said all Millstone students from first grade through eighth grade will physically return to school with a full-day schedule five days a week.
Pre-kindergarten pupils and kindergarten pupils will be offered options for a half-day schedule or a full-day schedule, both of which were available before the pandemic, based on preference.
The district’s presentation notes that a fully remote learning option will remain available if required by the New Jersey Department of Education.
“The most socially restrictive option for learning is a fully virtual, remote learning environment,” the administrators wrote. “We recognize, however, that this option also takes place in the safe and secure environment of the students’ homes.”
District administrators acknowledged in the presentation that unfavorable health conditions could result in a remote learning mandate for all Millstone students. Students who receive remote instruction will follow their school’s designed schedule for remote learning.
During 2021-22, all students will have access to district-provided Chromebook laptop computers or similar devices.
According to district administrators, families who lack internet access for the devices are advised to contact their building level administrator. Hotspots, or other similar technology, will be provided to assist families who need connectivity support.
According to the presentation, administrators have been working alongside mental health professionals to identify ways to address emotional concerns of students and staff members as they return to school.
“We recognize that the challenges caused by this pandemic have taken a tremendous emotional toll on our students and staff,” the administrators wrote. “We also acknowledge that a full return to school may not be easy for some.”
As noted in the presentation, administrators are looking to ensure that everyone involved in the school district is supported upon their return and throughout the school year. Building-specific strategies to assist students and staff members and support their social emotional health and well-being will be shared at the building level.