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Lawrence schools go back for half-day sessions

After a week of remote instruction, Lawrence Township public school students will be back in the classroom – but only for a half day, according to Superintendent of Schools Ross Kasun.

In a Jan. 9 letter to parents, Kasun wrote that students will attend a half day of school in the morning for the week of Jan. 10-14. Lunch will not be served.

The Lawrence Township Public Schools reverted to remote instruction for the week of Jan. 3-7 – which was the first week of school following the winter recess – because of an increase in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 among students and staff, including school bus drivers.

The plan for a half day of school anticipates that no more than seven school bus drivers will be absent, Kasun wrote. The lack of bus drivers and the resultant inability to provide transportation was one of the reasons for switching to remote instruction.

“We will need flexibility and support at certain bus stops (during the week of Jan. 10-14), and we will contact those that will be impacted directly. Students may need to be picked up early and/or dropped off late,” Kasun wrote.

But despite plans to provide in-person instruction, Kasun wrote, “some classes may be fully remote due to the number of students or staff who need to be absent due to COVID.”

While the state Department of Education does not allow for an “option or choice” to keep students at home and receive remote instruction, Kasun wrote that anyone who has symptoms or is waiting for a COVID test – which is in short supply – should stay home. Those students may attend classes via Zoom, he wrote.

The school district’s COVID-19 dashboard revealed that 194 students tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of Jan. 3-7.

Of those 194 students, 64 students were enrolled in the four elementary schools, and 49 students were enrolled at the Lawrence Intermediate School. There were 41 students who tested positive at the Lawrence Middle School, and 40 students at Lawrence High School.

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