FAIR LAWN, NJ - Superintendent Nick Norcia, Principal Nancy Schwindt and Vice Principal Dominick Tarquinio were on site to greet students at the new front entrance to Memorial Middle School, which is the first time students entered the building since mid-March when the COVID-19 lockdown began.

“Despite the current environment we are all facing, it was great to see our students and staff excited to come back to school this morning,” Superintendent Nick Norcia said. “For many of them, it is almost eighth months since they saw their friends or teachers and today we were able to see that excitement!”

Students have been working virtually with teachers since September 8 with their computers at home. They will continue a hybrid schedule, attending class in person two days one week and three days the next. Their home schedule will continue with remote learning with teachers who will remain in the classroom.

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Students lined up outside with their masks on, six feet apart, and had a chance to say hello in-person to their teachers and friends for the first time in many months.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking because we haven’t been in school for seven months, but I am very excited to be here today,” seventh-grader Adina L. said.

“So excited to see little faces, the smiles, and the pitter patter of feet,” Principal Nancy Schwindt said. “Our Special III Officer, our security guards and staff are all here, and we’re so excited to have some normalcy.  I can’t wait to see our second group tomorrow!”

“I am looking forward to seeing the students’ faces, and I am very excited to be back,” Vice Principal Dominick Tarquinio said.  “Everyone’s safety is our primary concern.”

The building, along with Thomas Jefferson Middle School, has undergone a $25 million expansion to include fifth graders, who used to be spread among the elementary school buildings.