It was a rainy start to the school year but spirits were not dampened, as many students returned to their classrooms in Westfield Public Schools on Sept. 10.  Like other districts across New Jersey and the country, Westfield schools opened with a hybrid combination of in-person and remote instruction.  Last month, approximately 84% of survey responses representing more than 6,100 students selected the hybrid model, with the remaining respondents choosing to begin the school year with all-remote learning.

“I am so grateful to our administrators, teachers and staff whose smiling faces welcomed their students – both in-person and remote – to a school year that no one could have predicted,” said Superintendent Dr. Margaret Dolan.  “I also appreciate the patience and support of our families and school community as we work together to get this right.”

Earlier this week, educators took part in two full days of professional learning organized by Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Programs Paul Pineiro and his team.  On Sept. 1-3, 40 new staff members, socially distanced and divided into three cohorts, attended an in-house orientation as part of the New Staff Institute (NSI).  The NSI is a two-year program designed to support first-time educators and those who are new to the district.  The comprehensive program is organized by Human Resources Specialist Barbara Ball and her staff, along with a leadership team comprised of seasoned Westfield educators.