Ocean City schools to move to 5-day in-person learning by February

The Ocean City School District is getting ready to bring its students back for in-person learning five days a week. The district announced that the plan is to return by February.
“They need that face-to-face interaction with each other, but also with their teacher,” says Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor.
The district, which has about 2,200 students, has been hybrid since the beginning of the year. Grades K-5 will go back to school full time in just a few weeks. Officials say that they are taking the proper precautions to protect the students from COVID-19.
“All facing front, wearing masks and 6 feet apart. And then also around the desks is Plexiglass barriers,” Taylor says. “We now ordered Plexiglass barriers for fourth and fifth grade, so we’re waiting for them to come in.”
The district is waiting to set an official day for the reopening until they have all safety measures in place and logistics squared away.
“There’s many things that have to play into this,” says School Board President Joseph Clark. “Just the location of the students, how they spread out, do they have the internet connectability -- all these things have to play into this.”
Parents like Patrick Kane, who sits on the school district’s COVID committee, say that they are confident that this will work.
"My third grader summed it up best. She used to love school and she said this year she doesn't like it because everything that was fun about school was gone,” Kane says. “I think it's because were trying to jam-pack a normal schedule into two days and then we're putting them on a computer the other three days. They're very much excited to get back to normalcy and I think it's just healthy for the kids."
Kane says that he wouldn’t be sending his daughter to school if he didn’t think that it was safe.
Sixth grade through 12th grade will remain hybrid for the time being. But the district said that they will continue to work on a plan to bring those grades back to school full time as well.
The district also says that they have had had minimal cases of the virus this school year. According the state's COVID dashboard, Cape May County has had eight confirmed outbreaks in schools.