Even more NJ schools go all-remote over COVID-19
At least two more New Jersey schools are temporarily going all-remote after positive cases of the novel coronavirus were reported.
Another two others are switching to all-remote because of mistakes involving air filters.
Some students at the Griebling Elementary School in Howell will go all remote for 14 days after a person tested positive, according to a letter to parents from principal Nancy Rupp and superintendent Joseph Isola. The letter did not say if it was a student or staff member who tested positive.
The entire school will go all-remote on Monday and Tuesday. Like hundreds of New Jersey schools, had been on a state-approved hybrid schedule — with some remote learning and some in-person instruction. Several dozen school districts started the school year entirely in person, and some started entirely remote.
"This action will allow us to continue to partner with the Monmouth County Health Department as they work through their contact tracing to ensure a safe reopening for our students and staff. While we have already begun the extensive cleansing process, this additional time will allow us to optimally complete the process," the school officials wrote.
Frankford Township School in Sussex County also broke from its hybrid schedule to go all-remote on Monday after superintendent Braden Hirsch said he learned Friday night about a student who was confirmed with a positive case of COVID-19.
"The guidance (from New Jersey state officials) for one positive case is to quarantine only those students who had direct contact. However I do not believe that is sufficient enough for every one's health and well being," Hirsch wrote in a letter. He said the school would go remote for two weeks.
Students from pre-K through 8th grade attend the school. High-schoolers attend High Point Regional High School in Sussex.
Morris Hills High School in Rockaway and Morris Knolls High School in Denville in the Morris Hills Regional District will go all-remote for two weeks starting Monday because the wrong filters were installed in some classrooms in the schools' HVAC systems.
"We discovered that inaccurate information was provided to the Board of Education and to the Central Office Administration, and MERV 2 filters were installed in certain classrooms after they were cleaned this summer," according to a letter signed by the MHRD administrative team. The district had said MERV 8 filers would be installed in a report submitted to the state prior to opening this fall.
New filters were ordered and are being expedited by the manufacturer.
The letter stated that administrators were advised by the local health department there is "little functional difference" between MERV 2 and MERV 8 filters when it comes to the COVID-19 virus and moved from a hyrid scheduled "out of an abundance of caution."
A MERV rating represents a filter's ability to capture large particles between 0.3 and 10 microns, according to the EPA The higher the MERV rating the better the filter is at trapping specific types of particles.
Positive cases have been reported in students at East Brunswick Tech, Chatham High School, the Markham Place School in Little Silver and in the East Brunswick public school district. Classes at Bernardsville Middle School and Bedwell Middle School in the Somerset Hills school district are temporarily all-remote through at least Monday because of a ransomware attack.