LIVINGSTON, NJ — As the Livingston Public Schools (LPS) district continues to transition its older students into the hybrid instruction model and resolve staffing issues at the middle and high schools, Dr. Matthew Block announced on Monday that an average of 74 percent of parents and students in grades six through 12 have selected the hybrid instruction model, while 26 percent opted to remain fully remote.
According to the results from the commitment form that was due back to the district on Thursday, the responses were broken down as follows.
- Mount Pleasant Middle School: 72 percent hybrid, 28 percent all-remote
- Heritage Middle School: 73 percent hybrid, 27 percent all-remote
- Livingston High School: 74 percent hybrid, 26 percent all-remote
In addition to welcoming back students in grades three through five on Oct. 5 for hybrid instruction, students at both middle schools also transitioned to a three-cohort schedule on that date, which features a longer school day. Livingston High School students began transitioning to their hybrid schedules on Tuesday in anticipation of in-person learning.
Students in grade six will transition to the in-person hybrid model on Oct. 19, followed by students in grades seven through 12 on Oct. 26.
“I think our secondary principals and supervisors and staff did a great job devising that schedule and refining it,” said Block. “I think it has a good balance of screen time with the asynchronous and in-personal learning, so we're looking forward to that schedule…
“It's been great seeing our secondary students preparing for the return to hybrid and in-person instruction. Thank you to our teachers and our administrators and every educator on our team who has switched paradigms already a few times this year.”
Now that the district has a better idea of how many students will attend school in person versus virtually in the coming weeks, the superintendent added that all nine principals are currently working to ensure that all cohorts are balanced.
“Generally they are, but if they are not, they're working on possibly moving a few classes to larger spaces, potentially calling a few students to see if there's some interest in moving cohorts to just get that balance in good shape,” he said. “We continue to work every day to resolve our staffing issues, and we are moving forward every day on that front. We are moving in the right direction and at a pace that we believe our dates continue to be realistic.”
Block also extended appreciation on behalf of the district to the LPS transportation department, which has been working hard to adjust its routes based on which families selected the all-remote model versus the in-person model.
“Getting the busing right and taking social distancing and the need to keep the population on our buses a bit more distanced adds to the challenge, and we really appreciate (LPS Transportation Manager) Lisa Marazzo and her department's efforts,” said Block. “We've really had five first days of school already, and over the next two Mondays, it will go up to seven first days of school—so all the preparation for those represent a lot of hard work, and I appreciate it.
“As we continue to transition to hybrid learning, we continue to be ready to pivot. We plan on implementing our plan that we put out at the end of September as written and are looking forward to welcoming the remainder of our students back to our facilities.”
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