On Saturday afternoon, Superintendent of Haddonfield schools, Chuck Klaus, issued a further missive regarding the state of education in the district as COVID-19 numbers continue to increase in the borough, the county and the region.
The newest letter reported, “Friday afternoon, Dr. (Assistant Superintendent Gino) Priolo and I participated in a conference call with the Camden County District Superintendents, the Camden County Superintendent of Schools, and Dr. Nwako, the Camden County Public Health Coordinator. The purpose of this call was to inform school leaders of the fact that Camden County COVID-19 rates of transmission have shifted from the Moderate Risk ‘yellow’ zone to the High Risk of transmission ‘orange zone.’
“Below is a summary of how our school district will proceed moving forward.
- For the time being, school district operations will remain in our current hybrid model. We fully understand the importance and benefits of in-person instruction, and our goal is to remain in-person, with mitigation efforts in place, as much as possible.
- However, if positive cases surge in any school, or if regional numbers continue to rise into the “Very High Risk” Category, we may have to close a building or the entire district and return to full remote instruction as indicated by the department of health.
- I will receive an update on the transmission rates next Wednesday, November 23rd, and will continue to keep you informed.
“We are committed to keeping you informed of all county and/or state communication we receive related to COVID-19 rates of infection so that you can prepare for child care and family obligations. We appreciate your continued efforts to practice all recommended behaviors such as mask-wearing and hand washing and to help us to keep our children in school.”
On Sunday, Nov. 15, Klaus reported to the community that Haddonfield Memorial High School would revert to all-virtual learning, effective Nov. 16 and lasting through Nov. 30, while the elementary and middle schools would continue with hybrid education.
The move was made due to several factors: a sharp rise in the number and rapidity of new COVID-19 positive results in the high-school-aged population, a significant number of students who disengaged from the hybrid model to go all virtual, as well as a significant number of teachers who had to quarantine due to potential contact with those who showed COVID symptoms.
Klaus told the Sun this past week that he would like to have another update regarding the high school, either returning to hybrid or continuing to be all virtual, before the district pauses for Thanksgiving break.
Stay tuned as the situation continues to develop.