Elizabeth School District approves full remote learning for fall amid teacher concerns

During the fall, schools in Elizabeth School District will look a lot different with kids and teachers embracing a full remote learning experience.

News 12 Staff

Aug 12, 2020, 2:16 AM

Updated 1,340 days ago

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During the fall, schools in Elizabeth School District will look a lot different with kids and teachers embracing a full remote learning experience.
Pat Politano, the spokesperson for Elizabeth schools, submitted the plan for an all-virtual education experience after at least 402 teachers said they wouldn't return to the classroom due to health concerns. The district had been looking to move to a hybrid style, but with about 20% percent of the teaching staff out it would be impossible.
"It became a mathematical impossibility to open the schools," says Politano. "Teachers have health issues as the community does and they're worried about it."
John Griffin, president of the Elizabeth Education Association, says this was not a revolt.
"None of our teachers are refusing to come back," says Griffin. "We were given an invitation to make the district aware of underlying health conditions."
With only five weeks to go until the start of school, officials say all kids will be on equal footing.
"We've got 9,000 tablets and laptops," says Politano. "We've assured there is Wi-Fi access for all children."
The Department of Education must now review the plan since it doesn't fit in with Gov. Phil Murphy's mandate that schools provide some form of in-class instruction.
Department of Education officials tell News 12, "The Department's county offices of education are receiving local school reopening plans, and they are being reviewed to ensure they meet the minimum requirements in the state's guidance. Final determinations will be made by the administration only after plans have been reviewed. "
The plan for virtual learning is for the first marking period only and will be reviewed again in November.


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