WESTFIELD, NJ — While Westfield High School had planned to have all students requesting in-person learning attend four mornings of school a week starting next Monday, that is no longer the case as a result of rising COVID-19 activity, the principal said Wednesday.

In an email to families, Westfield High School Principal Mary Asfendis said that with the COVID activity level index, or CALI, in the region continuing to be in the “high range,” state and federal health recommendations are that schools maintain 6 feet between high school students. To create that distance, students are now attending classes in alternating groups.

“Due to the large student body at Westfield High School, we would be unable to maintain 6 feet distancing should we combine cohorts,” Asfendis said. “This would result in significant numbers of students needing to quarantine as a result of potential school exposure, should a member of the school community test positive for COVID.”

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She said the district is continuing with the plan that has students attending classes in person in separate groups.

“Students will remain in their current cohorts with A students attending in-person on Monday and Thursday and B students attending in-person on Tuesday and Friday,” Asfendis said. “Cohort D students will continue with four mornings of in-person instruction.”

Parents should log into their school district parent portals to confirm which days their child is to attend school in person, she said.

“The teachers and staff are prepared to increase instruction to four in-person days a week as soon as the COVID level in the community decreases to a moderate level,” Asfendis said. “We will continue our communication with the Westfield Regional Department of Health and monitor COVID activity so that we may combine cohorts as soon as we can safely do so.”

As of Wednesday, no similar changes are planned for the intermediate and elementary schools.

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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