WESTFIELD, NJ — Public schools here will close for nearly half a day next week to plan for remote teaching should the district need to close as a consequence of the novel coronavirus, the district’s superintendent said Wednesday.

Superintendent Margaret Dolan said the district will update parents on the plans for remote learning in the coming days. The early dismissal is set for Wednesday, March 18, Dolan said.

“Additionally, our custodial staff will use that time to continue their hard work in providing a higher level of cleaning,” Dolan said.

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Word of the partial closure Westfield schools comes two days after news of Union County’s first case of COVID-19 — a 48-year-old Berkeley Heights man — and one day after New Jersey saw its first death by coronavirus, a Bergen County man.

“The daily barrage of news regarding COVID-19 can be disconcerting,” Dolan said. “Please know that we are working quickly and collaboratively with local and state public health officials, as well as state and county educational agencies, to focus on the safety and wellness of our school community.”

The early dismissal schedule is as follows:

Westfield High School (Periods 1-8): 7:30 - 11:49 a.m.
Westfield High School (Periods 2-9): 8:01 a.m. – 12:21 p.m. (Dismissal times for WHS vary based on student’s schedule)
Intermediate Schools: 8:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Elementary Schools: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Kindergarten & Kindergarten WRAP AM: 8:50 – 10:35 a.m.
Kindergarten & Kindergarten WRAP PM: 11:15 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Transitional & ABA Kindergarten: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Pre-K AM: 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Pre-K PM: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
ABA Pre-K: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

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