By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank Regional High will stick with all-remote schooling through Thanksgiving because of rapidly spreading COVID-19, Superintendent Lou Moore said in an announcement Wednesday evening.
Separately, a plan to resume a ‘hybrid’ of in-school and at-home instruction for Red Bank’s primary and middle school students as soon as Thursday has been scrapped because of the resurging virus.
While there’s still “no evidence of community transmission of the virus within our school,” in-person learning at RBR has been suspended until Wednesday, November 25 “because of the high transmission rate in our community and a significant number of our students testing positive for the virus,” Moore wrote in a message on the school website.
“We hope to resume in-person programs on Monday, November 30,” he wrote, adding:
I realize that this news is disappointing and frustrating. I share these sentiments. I also know that RBR and other schools are doing our best to stop the spread of the virus. Because of strict adherence to protocols–mask wearing, social distancing, and strictly following the advice of public health experts–we have minimized transmission within our zone of influence. Now the larger community needs to do all that can be done to stop the spread of the virus. This includes ceasing social activities that can spread the virus.
On Wednesday, Monmouth County officials announced these COVID-19 case totals since March in RBR’s three sending districts: 524 in Red Bank, up from 407 on November 1; 111 in Little Silver, up from 84; and 114 in Shrewsbury, up from 97.
In Red Bank, where a “temporary” switch to in-home instruction for all students had been expected to end Thursday with a return to the blended schedule, students will now instead continue with remote learning through Friday, December 4, Superintendent Jared Rumage said in a notice posted Wednesday evening.
“While our current safety protocols and preventative measures greatly minimize the risk of a COVID-19 positive entry or an on-site transmission, the climate outside of our facilities is becoming an unquantifiable threat to our educational environment, students and staff,” Rumage wrote.
“Again, this is not a result of on-site exposures but a precaution based on the data collected regarding community exposures connected to our schools,” he said
In fact, the district had been planning to unveil “a slow expansion of in-person instruction,” Rumage said. “However, the recent uptick in positive COVID-19 cases in New Jersey, Monmouth County, and Red Bank forced us to reconsider.”
The district is now delaying plans for increasing in-person instruction, and “we do not plan to make significant changes until January 2021,” Rumage wrote.
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