HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - The Hasbrouck Heights School District has temporarily reverted to remote learning, according to an email to parents.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Matthew Helfant emailed district parents late Monday morning. Remote learning begins Tuesday, November 24. He cited the increasing COVID cases and positivity rate. The decision was made in coordination with the Bergen County Department of Health.
He announced during last Thursday's Board of Education meeting that the district would decide whether to move to remote learning before the Thanksgiving break.
Below is Helfant's email to parents.
We are experiencing significant technological issues within the district which are hindering the ability to have any remote learning today. Beginning tomorrow, as outlined below, Tuesday, November 24, remote learning will resume for ALL STUDENTS.
On November 19, 2020 the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) released a revised CoronaVirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Regional Risk Matrix that identified four levels of risk based on Percent Positivity*: Low (<3%), Moderate (3-10%), High (10.01-20%) and Very High (>20%). Within this document, schools are mandated to close once a region reaches greater than 20% positivity in reference to COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests. Schools may also “consider fully remote learning,” in coordination with our local health department, once a particular region reaches High Risk.
On November 19, 2020, the NJDOH released the weekly COVID-19 Activity Level Report, which indicates that our region (Northeast) now has a 10.04% positivity rate – High Risk. Our region’s percent positivity has climbed eight weeks in a row from 1.44% and has increased by almost 40% over the past two weeks. As we approach the holiday season, it is anticipated that these numbers will continue to rise.
Based on guidance from the NJDOH, and in coordination with the Bergen County Department of Health (BCDOH) and our current technological issues, the Hasbrouck Heights Public High and Middle Schools will be remote from November 24th until January 15th and the Hasbrouck Heights elementary schools will be remote from November 24th until December 11th. The elementary schools will resume in-person learning on December 14th unless there is another significant increase in COVID-19 positive cases during the remote learning period.
Please remember that we have 18 positive student cases at the Middle/High School and 10 positive students cases at the elementary level. There are 10 positive cases among the staff throughout the district. There are also a number of students in quarantine and awaiting test results. We have not yet identified a single individual case originating in the Hasbrouck Heights Schools. All cases have been traced to outside settings. We truly believe that our schools are safe; however, individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and may not have known that they were ill have entered our schools over the past few weeks. With this information in hand, coupled with the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases across New Jersey, it is in the best interest of our school community’s health to implement fully remote learning for the aforementioned time period.
We appreciate everyone’s patience and support, as we continue to navigate through these challenging times.
Dr. Matthew Helfant
Superintendent of Schools