NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The opening of city schools for in-person instruction has been postponed until April.

Superintendent of Schools Aubrey Johnson had circled this week as the launch of the district’s re-entry plan for its 9,800 or so students, with K-5 staff members scheduled to return.

At December’s Board of Education meeting, he detailed plans for those students to return for instruction in the hybrid model between Jan. 25 and Jan. 27.

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Middle school and high school staff members were scheduled to return Jan. 25, with students returning for hybrid instruction starting Feb. 1.

In a letter addressed to the school community, however, Johnson said that the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the delay in the distribution of the vaccine, has forced the district to change those plans.

“Virtual instruction will continue for all students, as we continue to closely monitor the status of the virus and assess, on a weekly basis, when it’s appropriate to re-enter schools,” according to the letter. “Our plan now is to reopen for in-person instruction for our Pre K-5 schools on April 12, 2021, and Pre K-8 schools on April 14, 2021. Then, on April 19, 2021, we’ll begin in-person instruction for our middle school and high school students.”

According to the letter, the district will “continue to work closely with public health officials and follow all federal, state, and local health guidelines to ensure the safety of our school community. If conditions worsen, we will employ more stringent strategies to protect the health of our students, families, and staff.”

The school district closed the doors to its schools and commenced remote instruction about two weeks after the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in New Jersey on March 4.

Since then, the district has continued to provide meals for its students. This fall, the high school sports teams were able to participate in abbreviated sports seasons under New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association rules.

The Board of Education is scheduled to meet today at 7 p.m. via remote technology.