LIVINGSTON, NJ — As Spring Break begins for Livingston Public Schools (LPS) students and the next major pivot approaches on April 5, the district is urging community members to help keep the schools open by “contributing through their personal choices to the health and safety of everyone in Livingston,” Superintendent Dr. Matthew Block said in a message to LPS families on Thursday.

“Not doing so will result in us pausing our next steps in increasing our student capacity and time in schools, which is something we all value,” said Block. “Only through our collective dedication to one another will we realize the successful navigation of these exciting next steps.”

When school resumes on April 5, the district will continue its mission to transition to more in-person experiences by welcoming back students in grades three through five as well as secondary students for a new overlapping cohort schedule.

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In order to do so, however, the district reminds residents that the greatest risk of spreading COVID-19 within the schools “derives from the decisions that students, staff and families make” during the times they are outside the walls of the school building, according to health and safety experts.

“Experience over the past year has demonstrated that it is far less likely that our journey back to normal will be diverted by something that happens in school,” said Block. “It is far more probable that events that happen outside of school could derail our progress. In other words, we must remember that one large gathering outside of school could quickly set us back and bring a halt to our spring forward.”

All LPS students and families who plan to travel over the break are expected follow all travel guidelines, which includes quarantining upon return. Those who follow travel guidelines over spring break will not be penalized.

“No student will be negatively affected if they elect to access classes remotely for the first two weeks after spring break,” said Block. “We need everyone to put safety first...If in doubt, we would rather you err on the side of caution and access school remotely.”

Students and families are asked to continue to fill out the daily COVID-19 tracker and to “use it faithfully.” Block noted that anyone who fills out the tracker dishonestly will “immediately be sent home until the required quarantine period has ended.”

Anyone who feels sick or may have come into contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19 is also urged to stay home.

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