ELIZABETH, NJ — At Thursday’s meeting of the Elizabeth Board of Education, Board President Diane Barbosa stated the district’s intention to begin to re-open school buildings for students.
“We are working to reopen our schools for our children that are having a more difficult time virtually, and that's our special education students. Beginning with our autism program, doing that in a hybrid instructional model at certain pilot schools,” said President Barbosa.
The Elizabeth Public School district will then expand hybrid learning to other pilot schools for students in other special education programs. President Barbosa said that the Board has been working hard to find a way to reopen schools while maintaining the health and safety of students and staff. She also committed that any plans to move forward with reopening schools would be driven by science and data.
During the ‘public speaks’ portion, a parent whose son has Down syndrome wrote to the Board about the difficulties he and other special education students have been having with all virtual learning. The parent went on to speak about how a lack of in-person learning could lead some special needs students to regress.
The Board was not able to make any concrete commitments as to when schools would re-open for hybrid in-person learning this fall. President Barbosa did, however, commit that any decision about reopening would be made in conjunction with doctors and the City’s public health officers.