HAMILTON, NJ --  Hamilton Township school children will be headed back to their classrooms in the fall under a newly devised "hybrid" model announced by the School District on Monday. School Superintendent Dr. Scott Rocco is also recommending that the school year should not begin until September 8.  

Under the proposed"three-day" hybrid model each school student will be assigned to a group - A, B, or C -- that will determine their attendance schedule. This will bring one-third of the school's students into the classroom at a time in order to implement proper "social distancing in all indoor spaces of our schools, hallways, and stairwells."  

With specific days of the weeks designated as A, B, or C days on the school calendar, the remaining two days during a full week of school will be designated on a rotating basis. Students will be in school for a full day when they are there.  

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Elementary students will be in person 20 days for each trimester and on remote learning 40 days during that time. Secondary students will be in person 15 days for each marking period, and on remote learning 30 days during that time. Special education students in certain programs or receiving certain services will attend more days per week.

The Hamilton Township School District (HTSD) said that "every effort will be made to group families together in this model." 

Last week, HTSD announced that plans were under discussion for the schools to reopen. The District determined that a "normal" school year and schedule would not be possible.  

On days when students are attending classes in person, they are expected to practice social distancing and wear a face covering -- two are recommended to be brought for each school day -- one to wear and one in case of an emergency. Students who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons will need to provide a document from a medical professional or wear a face shield. 

In cases where a medical condition would make it difficult for a child to return to school in-person, the family can submit a form (AVAILABLE HERE) to request fully remote learning.  

Prior to the start of the school year, faculty and staff will be given "professional development opportunities associated with the hybrid and remote models. In addition, there will be a focus on social emotional learning and mental health training" said Rocco.  

Fall sports and extracurricular activities will be held in accordance with the plan recently announced by the New Jerseys Interscholastic Sports Athletic Association (NJSIAA) which delays and shorten the fall sports season. 

HTSD said they are developing a fully remote model that may mirror the regular school day should it need to be implemented.

The HTSD plan must be approved by the Hamilton Board of Education as well as the Department of Education.  

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