Different approaches: Monmouth County school district goes all-virtual, Ocean County school district stays in-person
The Oceanport School District will switch to remote learning for a week, beginning today, after multiple people in the district are showing COVID-19 symptoms, while the Lakewood Public School District will stay in-person full-time despite 17 positive cases.
The cases in Oceanport stem from Wolf Hill Elementary and Maple Place Middle School. The district has not said if the individuals are students or staff.
The switch was announced on the Oceanport School District Facebook and website pages. After a call to the Monmouth County Health Department, the district said it was in the best interest to go virtual for a week. Many parents left comments on the page, letting the district know their anger and frustrations at that decision.
The district says testing has begun on students possibly exposed in the schools.
“Things are going well,” says Laura Winters, Lakewood public school district superintendent. “I want to thank the staff [and] the students of Lakewood public schools. As of yesterday, since Sept 1, we have seven students and 10 teachers that have been COVID positive, and I want to thank Ocean County Health Department working with Dan and his team. They've been great and we have plans for testing at Lakewood High School, which will start next week. “
Winters told Gov. Phil Murphy Friday they're staying open despite 17 positive cases in the district.
News 12 also received a call Friday from Dawn Hiltner, of the NJEA, saying at one point last week, 17 teachers were absent from the middle school, leaving classes to be covered by security guards and secretaries. She criticized the decision to remain open full time in person, saying, “We are terrified for our members and students and families in Lakewood who have to fear getting sick or worse."
Both Ocean and Monmouth counties have seen COVID-19 cases on the rise recently, and are frequently mentioned by the governor in his recent briefings.