Nutley School District to switch to fully remote learning after Thanksgiving break

Students in the Nutley School District will not be returning to the school buildings after the Thanksgiving holiday, as the district decides to switch to a fully remote learning schedule.
The Board of Education held a special meeting on Monday to make the decision, even though no cases of COVID-19 have been linked to in-school instruction. But some parents say that they disagree with the decisions and that they should have been asked their opinion on the matter.
“My son is 12. I don’t plan to keep him in a bubble for a year to 18 months,” says parent Jennifer Boyes.
Boyes says that she wants her son Lincoln to return to middle school for his education. He has been learning at home since March 13. Lincoln says that he also wants to return to school.
“It’s not the same,” the boy says. “Even though I’ve seen friends occasionally, it’s really always over Google Meet, so it’s hard to not see your friends, even the teachers, to meet in person.”
Lincoln has never stepped foot inside of the middle school and was supposed to have orientation on Wednesday to prepare for a hybrid schedule that was supposed to begin on Monday.
Parents say that they are bothered that there is no return date in sight for in-person learning. Board members say that they are basing their decision on “responsibility, not fear.”
“All of us who have been working on this since March, February, are done a disservice if you think that we are doing this on a whim,” Superintendent Dr. Julie Glazer said Monday at the meeting.
A board member at the meeting also suggested that it is not worth the risk to add two weeks of in-person instruction between the holidays. The president of the teachers union went further with her suggestion.
“We are safe working from home. The children are safe in their homes. Please consider allowing us to go back to 100% virtual learning as soon as possible, not after Thanksgiving break,” said Nutley Education Association President Michele Cristantiello.
But Boyes and other parents complain that remote learning brings connectivity issues, too much screen time and that emotionally, the kids are missing out.
“I know for [my son] academically, it would make a world of difference,” she says.
Nutley parents say they deserved to be surveyed or allowed in the decision. But the board has already decided, so now parents are forced to wait and see if students will be in school buildings in January.