SUMMIT, NJ - In a three-page flyer sent to parents of Summit Public Schools students, the Summit School District has announced the expansion of in-person learning for students in Grades 6-12. The plan will begin as early as April 12, as the District "will be phasing out the Maroon and Gold rotation and welcoming students in grades 6-12 for in-person learning five days a week on a single session schedule, with remote instruction in the afternoon."
According to the District, subject to delivery and installation of additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the schedule will be:
April 12 - Grades 8 and 12 return five days per week
April 15 - Grades 7-11 return five days per week
April 19 - Grades 6, 9 and 10 return five days per week
The document, subsequently obtained by TAPinto Summit, states that factors contributing to the decision to expand in-person instruction included:
- "Both local and statewide trends indicate that school is a safe environment for students and staff.
- Community conditions continue to trend in a positive direction.
- An additional 2,000 dividers were ordered to accommodate classroom spacing requirements.
- Beneficial to academic performance, as well as social-emotional wellness.
- We are working towards our goal to provide the most in-person learning opportunities as safely as possible."
According to the District, the timing will allow for additional dividers "expected to arrive in the beginning of April," and notes "we will not be able to increase capacity in grades 6-12 without the additional PPE."
Further, the staggered schedule "will help staff members address any unexpected concerns with our PPE, classroom setup, and student movement."
Stating that, "It Is not our intention to alter these plans," the District notes that "if our community sees a spike in COVID-19 cases, we will collaborate with the DOH to evaluate any changes to this model," and -- on the topic of teacher / staff vaccinations -- adds that it has "been in communication with Overlook Hospital accessible opportunities for our staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine."