FAIR LAWN, NJ - The Superintendent of Schools said there will be no in-person instruction on Wednesdays when the school year begins in September, but there will be "meaningful" instruction on that day with distance learning.
"This is a change in our plan," Superintendent Nicholas Norcia said on July 30 during the virtual Board of Education meeting. "We will have one full day of distance learning."
Last week, the Superintendent laid out a detailed in-person return to school plan for the district's 10 schools buildings. The plan included 5-day per week in-person instruction for pre-K through 6th grade; and an A/B schedule for grades 7-12, with up to half the students in those grades in school buildings at any one time.
The new plan: all district schools will be closed to students and staff on Wednesday.
"This is not a flex day," he said of the no in-person Wednesday plan. "There will be meaningful distance learning that day."
Norcia said after hearing concerns and doing research, he decided, along with teachers and administrative staff, this was the best course of action.
Grades 7-12 will continue to operate on an A/B schedule on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, Norcia said. And, the pre-K through 6th-grade students will attend full school days on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. No in-person school Wednesdays, the full day without students or staff in the building, will allow custodial staff "time for a full cleaning."
That day of cleaning will be in addition to the cleaning that happens over the weekend, Norcia said.
So far, school is scheduled to start on September 8 if the COVID-19 pandemic infection rate remains on track and remains manageable in the eyes of the state. Gov. Phil Murphy, via executive order, closed schools statewide in mid March and just recently informed districts they can reopen in the fall with their own individualized plans.
Norcia laid out Fair Lawn's in-person back-to-school plan for the fall on July 23 which included district-puchased masks, face shields for teachers, and desk shields for kindergarten, and possibly other grades. He reminded the Board the plan is preliminary with many moving parts.