WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield’s public schools are now accepting paper statements or handwritten notes in lieu of the required online COVID-19 questionnaire, while technical problems with the questionnaire are being fixed, school officials said this week.

“We experienced a few mornings where parents had difficulty logging into the Genesis parent portal to access the student COVID health questionnaire,” district spokesperson Mary Ann McGann told TAPinto Westfield. “Our IT Department is working with Genesis to resolve the problem.”

“In the meantime, parents have been completing a hard copy of the questionnaire attesting to their child(ren)’s wellness, which students provide to their schools before entering the building,” she added. “Some students have been screened onsite.”

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At Tuesday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Margaret Dolan thanked parents for their patience.

“I appreciate the patience of the parents,” Dolan said. “You can also just hand in a paper one or write a handwritten note at this point, until we work out all the problems.”

Despite its technical difficulties, the questionnaire has helped to inform families about the virus and its symptoms, she said.

“That questionnaire is so important,” Dolan said. “I have heard from parents that they truly didn’t understand all of the symptoms and all of the things they should be paying attention to. And that has caused some families to check with their doctors when they might not have otherwise.”

She added: “People are taking it seriously, and that’s really important for the entire community.” 

Westfield’s public schools reopened for in-person instruction on Sept. 10, following a six-month closure. Dolan said teachers have been working hard to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.

 “They understand the commitment to their students, they are working very hard, they are learning as much as they can, they’re sharing as much as they can, and I give them a lot of credit,” she said.

Dolan thanked parents for their understanding.

“In addition to everything else, now we’re working on completely different schedules,” she said. “We have to remember A days and B days, we have to remember masks, and daily questionnaires. It’s a lot for parents as well, and we appreciate all of their efforts.”

Dolan added that students “are adapting, and they are becoming better at the technology day by day,” but that some have struggled to adjust.

“Some students find the new order a little more challenging than others,” Dolan said. “It’s all hands on deck, and we’re all trying to work with students to support their efforts.”

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