District adjusts schedule for Antrim grades 5-8

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POINT PLEASANT BEACH — The Point Pleasant Beach School District continues to update and adjust its plan to return students to schools in a safe manner next week, Superintendent William Smith said.

Along with already designed staggered entries and dismissals, now students in grades five through eight will have a drop day schedule all to increase the number of remote learners. 

The drop day schedule has been sent out to the grades affected.

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Mr. Smith said the new addition allows the school to “ensure that our social distancing guidelines and our overall population within the school building can meet the standards that we had set for ourselves.”

The district already set in place its plan for student re-entry into the schools, beginning Sept. 8.

Students and staff will be screened every day before entry to the building. The district will employ a process by which families will confirm that students are free of COVID-19 symptoms, they say. Face coverings will be required during this process.

The district’s custodial staff is setting up personal protective equipment for students and staff including separation barriers in classrooms, masking directions and instruction for walking throughout the building and more as well as instruction for entry and exit of the building. 

The school has also already set up a block schedule for students minimizing the time spent in the hallways and moving around the building. The block scheduling also limits the number of students in a building at one time. 

“We always have to prioritize the health and safety of our staff and students and we’re quite certain that this modest adjustment to our previously announced schedule for grades five through eight only will be an improvement on what we have to do when we open our doors,” said Mr. Smith. 

The district also offered families a fully remote learning option through the fall. According to Mr. Smith, approximately 85 students district-wide will begin school in a remote learning setting.

The superintendent said the school is experiencing increased enrollment from Point Pleasant Beach students as more families move to the borough. 

These additions forced the school to add this drop day schedule for fifth through eighth-graders. 

“We’re looking forward to seeing our students back in person for Sept. 8, but we also know we have a number of remote learners who will be joining us on that day as well,” said Mr. Smith. 

Mr. Smith thanked families, teachers, custodial and administrative staff for all the hard work they’ve put in to prepare for the year. 

“Our first day of school, very excited about it,” said Mr. Smith. “We’re looking forward to this reopening of schools.”

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