Tabernacle schools to return for five day half days

The plan was approved unanimously by the Board of Education 

Beginning March 15, Tabernacle students will return to school five days a week.

Superintendent Shaun Banin announced “The Path Forward” plan at a special board of education meeting on Feb. 26. The five day plan will allow kindergarten through fourth grade classes to return for in person half days on March 15, while all other students will return on March 22.

District administrators worked “weekends and nights” to make the plan a reality, Banin said. Some students will move into Tabernacle Elementary School to ensure each classroom has enough space and ventilation. 

Banin said the administration is trying to keep students with the teachers they’ve had since the school year began in September.

He explained that the Burlington County Health Department considers the plan “high to higher risk” of contracting COVID. He said he hopes the district can bring students back to school for five full days in September.

Board Member Kevin McCloy noted that he still had concerns about bringing students back while the pandemic continues, but appreciated that remote students could choose to stay remote.

The plan faced a vote by the board, which passed it unanimously.

“Anything short of a vote yes would be a slap in the face,” said Board Member Daniel Dilks.

Now, the plan must be approved by the county, something district administration is already working on.

Jennifer Husted, president of the Tabernacle Education Foundation, spoke in favor of the plan.

“I want to applaud the team,” she said. “I know this did not happen overnight and I appreciate that.”