Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and the upcoming holidays, Hoboken’s Public Schools are opting for remote and virtual learning for the week following the Thanksgiving holiday. Schools will be all-virtual from November 30th to December 4th to reduce transmission rates.
In a message to Hoboken Public Schools families on the school’s website and newsletter, Superintendent Christine Johnson wrote,
I hope that this message finds you and your family well. As we get closer to the Thanksgiving Holiday, it has become abundantly clear that travel and large gatherings are not recommended. It has been reported that the safest way to celebrate is with your immediate family or those currently residing in your household. Outdoor gatherings have also been recommended, along with reminders for social distancing and mask wearing. In an effort to provide you with the areas of high virus prevalence, please click here.
In an effort to reduce the possibility of COVID-19 transmission after holiday exposure, the entire Hoboken Public School District will shift to remote learning for the week of Monday, November 30th through Friday, December 4th. Children who are on remote learning during this second declaration period will remain on their remote learning plan during this week. Those children who are currently onsite during this second declaration period will remain with their onsite teacher using a synchronous teaching schedule that will be provided for that week.
The Google Form for the 3rd Declaration of Intent will be going out next week and is now set to begin on Monday, December 7th. That declaration will once again offer both an onsite and a remote learning option for all families. Yet, all families need to be aware that at any time, our district may need to shift to all remote based on the rising COVID-19 conditions.
As you know, we have been working diligently to follow all guidelines and directives set forth by the Department of Health. If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, we are required to create and submit a contract trace list that identifies all individuals that were within 6ft for 15 cumulative minutes within a 24 hour period to the Department of Health. The Department of Health will then investigate and require self quarantine when applicable and recommend testing. If the positive case is symptomatic, the contact tracing goes back 72 hours. If the positive case is asymptomatic, the contact tracing goes back 48 hours. Sometimes this process leads to the self quarantining of one or two people (either students or staff). Sometimes it leads to up to twenty or more people (either students or staff). There are times that we can shift one classroom to remote instruction due to self quarantining. Sometimes we need to shift a grade level or school, depending on staffing. Keep in mind that the requirement to self quarantine is to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
At this time, we have placed the 8th Grade at Hoboken Middle School on remote learning and one section of 6th Grade on remote learning for this coming week and the week after due to a positive COVID-19 case. We also had a positive COVID-19 case at the high school resulting in the requirement of self quarantining by a circle of students and two staff members.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding. In the midst of this trying time, take a moment to see all of the good things that continue to happen in the Hoboken Public Schools. We are all doing our best during this very complex period of time.
Christine Johnson, Superintendent
The full update can be viewed here.
Hoboken has seen a spike in cases over the last few weeks, with the latest numbers on November 14th at 27 positive cases. There have been 1,197 cases as of November 15th since the beginning of the pandemic.