HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ -- The rise in COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases coupled with difficulty in maintaining staffing when members of the school faculty need to quarantine has led the Hamilton Township School District (HTSD) to move to an all-remote instructional model. In a letter to the community on Friday afternoon, School Superintendent Dr. Scott Rocco announced the decision, made with the full support of the local Board of Education, to move to an all-remote schedule beginning on Monday, November 30 until January 19, 2021.
Currently, in Hamilton Township, two of the high schools, one middle school, and two elementary schools have been on full remote because of coronavirus cases and / or staffing issues associated with required quarantines. Since Halloween, the District has seen 25 confirmed positive cases with 466 identified contacts.
In the letter Rocco stated that this week school administrators discussed the growing number of cases locally, regionally, and statewide. "The data is troubling," he said. "It’s not just the increase in total cases, it is the increase in positivity rate, rate of transmission, and hospitalizations that causes alarm for professionals dealing with the health aspect of this crisis."
"In (our) latest conversation with the Health Department, they concur that a switch to remote learning is warranted."
Robbinsville Township School District similarly announced on Thursday that they will be moving to an all-remote learning platform on November 30. They will remain remote until January 11.
The HTSD remote learning model will resemble that which was used earlier in the school year with adjustments to meet the concerns of parents, students and teachers. The initial outline of the program will have students learning remotely five days a week following their regular daily schedule. However, there will only be one session day for students on Wednesdays in the morning. In the afternoon, teachers will be able to provide academic support for students. There also will be time allotted for teachers to participate in grade level, departmental, building or District meetings.
Additional information on the all-remote schedule will be made available to the students and faculty next week.
There is a bright spot for the school community to look forward to -- the annual Thanksgiving High School will be played while maintaining the health and safety restrictions established by the NJSIAA next week. The game also will be broadcasted live through WBCB radio’s Facebook page.
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