Lawrence Township public school students will be back in the classroom for a full day of in-person learning Jan. 18, following a rapid decline in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 among students and staff.
The Lawrence Township public school district was closed Jan. 17 for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but classes are set to resume Jan. 18, school district officials said.
In a Jan. 12 letter to parents and guardians, Superintendent of Schools Ross Kasun wrote that the schools would be open for a full day of in-person instruction – to include lunch – if the number of positive cases of COVID-19 among students and staff continued its downward trend.
Based on the school district’s COVID-19 counter on its website, there were fewer positive cases of COVID-19 among students during the week of Jan. 10-14 than during the previous week of Jan. 3-7.
During the week of Jan. 3-7, which was the first week of school after the winter recess, 211 students had tested positive for COVID-19. School district officials reverted to remote instruction because of the increased number of infections among students and staff.
The 211 students who tested positive for COVID-19 included a combined 67 students in the four elementary schools; 53 students at Lawrence Intermediate School; 47 students at the Lawrence Middle School; and 44 students at Lawrence High School.
Students returned to school for a half-day of in-person instruction during the week of Jan. 10-14. By the end of the week, the number of positive cases of COVID-19 dropped to 68 cases.
The 68 cases included 11 students combined in the four elementary schools and 12 at the Lawrence Intermediate School, during that week. There were 16 positive cases at the Lawrence Middle School, and 29 at Lawrence High School.
Given the decline in positive cases of COVID-19 over the past two weeks, students will be in school for a full day of in-person instruction, school district officials said.
Several families had earlier requested a choice to keep their child at home and for the schools to offer a remote option, but school districts are not permitted to give a choice and offer remote instruction, Kasun said. The state Department of Education does not allow it.