Beach schools plan to draw more students to in-school regular schedule

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POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Point Pleasant Beach Schools plan to change some of its in-person learning strategies to get more students back to a normalized schedule of in-person learning. 

Starting Nov. 9, fifth- to eighth-grade special education students at Antrim Elementary School will resume a four day a week schedule, eliminating the set drop day for each student. 

Wednesday will remain a virtual learning day for all students. 

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Then, at Point Pleasant Beach High School on Nov. 16, the district will return to in-person learning, five days a week for special education students. 

According to Schools Superintendent William Smith, both schools will work to bring more and more students back to the school on a normalized schedule by the new year, potentially returning to a five-day in-person model.

“Obviously any plan changes that we make, we’re trying to get to the community with as much advance notice as possible so people can plan,” said Mr. Smith. “While everything is subject to change, we have been working hard on some plans that will return more students to more in-person learning.”

“We are going to be watching the spread of the disease,” said Mr. Smith. “Community spread is school spread so we’re going to be watching those facts closely.

He said, even with the plan, there is a lot of time until the start of next year. 

“We’ll see what happens between here and there but I’m very excited that we foresee a pathway to do that and I think our families will be excited to see that,” he said. 

Antrim Elementary School Principal Tara Weber said the school is thrilled about the time they made through in-person instruction this far.

“Our teachers have been working harder than ever and our kiddos are settling back into a routine,” said Ms. Weber. 

The high school principal, Nathan Grosshandler, agreed and thanked the community for its effort during these tough times. 

“I really want to thank our high school community who’s done a really good job at communicating with our school and keeping to our mission of keeping our building safe and healthy,” he said. 

The district has seen only a small number of positive COVID-19 cases popping up since October highly due to the borough’s willingness to keep others safe, Mr. Smith said. The superintendent urged families who are traveling for the holidays to do their part and quarantine for 14 days after returning to the borough. 

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