Jersey City Public Schools planning in-person learning during 4th marking period, supt. says

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Jersey City Superintendent of Schools Franklin Walker says their public schools are planning to have in-person learning at some point during their fourth and final marking period this year.

Jersey City Superintendent of Schools Franklin Walker. Photo via the Jersey City Public Schools.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“The district is planning to make in-person learning available to all students during the Fourth Marking Period. All families can choose to keep their children learning remotely through June 2021,” he said during his weekly robocall to parents on Sunday.

“Starting [today] please go to the district website jcboe.org and complete a quick survey for each of your children. A parent may choose to remain with remote learning or for in-person learning based on a hybrid model. The hybrid model is a combination of in-person and remote learning. As of this time, we are planning to dismiss all children at 12:45 during Phase II. Your selection will help us plan.”

He added that classrooms will open again as long as health data related to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to improve, allowing for a safe environments for teachers, students, and staff.

Walker’s message comes after several parents and students urged the district to reopen their schools, which hasn’t happened for about a year due to the pandemic, as soon as possible during the public portion of the February 25th board meeting.

Despite the criticisms, the board did not take any formal action on reopening and is still scheduled to continue learning remotely through April 21st.

Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced last week that educators would be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as of March 15th and Walker said this opportunity would be made available to all school employees as part of a collaborative effort with the Jersey City Health Department.

However, vaccinations for teachers are already underway in South Jersey, as Murphy pointed out in a Facebook post Saturday about educators receiving the vaccine at Rowan University.

“Our children learn best when they’re together in the classroom. With today’s launch of our vaccination effort for educators and education support professionals, we’re one step closer to getting all our schools back open for in-person instruction.”

A poll by Project Ready New Jersey released last week said that 24 percent of Black parents want to return to in-person learning, compared to 73 percent of white parents.