PATERSON, NJ - Paterson’s public schools buildings will stay closed until at least November 1 following a unanimous vote by the Paterson Board of Education Wednesday.

The action came just hours after Governor Phil Murphy spoke extensively to the issue of school reopenings and remote learning, and in the midst of an extensive campaign by the Paterson Education Association (PEA) sharing their concerns about the potential health risks to students, teachers, and the community related to the continued spread of COVID-19.

While Paterson Public Schools will continue to monitor local conditions, they will, by October 15, assess whether schools are ready to open safely by November 1. Even then, Board President Kenneth Simmons clarified, students will only return to classrooms following a hybrid model.

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Factors that will go into the decision to further reopen will include cases and transmission rates, the ability to provide personal protective equipment to all students and staff, and the availability of teachers.

All school buildings will also have at least one full-time nurse, adequate custodial staff and fully operational HVAC systems before reopening.

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