Parents blindsided by Cedar Grove’s plan for all-remote learning

Parents in Cedar Grove say that they feel blindsided by the school district’s plan for all-remote learning to start the school year.

News 12 Staff

Sep 1, 2020, 9:36 PM

Updated 1,321 days ago

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Parents in Cedar Grove say that they feel blindsided by the school district’s plan for all-remote learning to start the school year.
The district was planning on having a hybrid start to the year, with students going to school in groups four days a week, with Fridays reserved for virtual classes. But after 33 teachers requested leave, the district was forced to fall back on virtual learning.
Many parents tell News 12 New Jersey that they are disappointed with the decision.
“It’s safe to be in school. If you can go to Costco, if you can go to a restaurant and vacations, you can go back to school,” says parent Patty D’Angelo.
D’Angelo says that she wants her three daughters – whom will all be attending Memorial Middle School – to be back in the classroom. She says that it is slightly disingenuous of the teachers to start applying for leave now after the hybrid system had already been agreed upon. She also says that she believes that the teachers were pushed by their union to vote for remote learning.
“Eighty percent of parents said they wanted to go back to school,” D’Angelo says.
Cedar Grove School Superintendent Anthony Grosso said in a letter to parents, “The impact of these requests has put a strain on our ability to accommodate the requests and provide coverage for staff members with substitute staff.”
The letter continued, “…We understand the inconvenience this poses on families and caregivers at this point in the summer, but want to provide our students and staff an environment that is secure.”
The head of the Cedar Grove teachers’ union says that teachers do not feel safe going back to the classroom.
“Our position has been clear from the beginning that the school shouldn’t open until it’s safe to do so,” says president Chris Cannella.
Cannella says that those teachers requesting leave for medical or child care reasons have a right to do so, confirming that they will receive two-thirds of their salary. He says that it will take proper ventilation for the teachers to feel safe.
“Throughout the state we are still finding areas of concern when it comes to air quality and ventilation,” says Cannella.
Superintendent Grosso says that he hopes to be back on the hybrid schedule by October. Meanwhile, Cedar Grove students will learn from home.
“It’s going to be safe, but we will take it day by day and hope they can get the best out of it,” says D’Angelo.
 


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