Two staff members at Princeton High School and one student have tested positive for COVID-19, officials confirmed in emails Friday and Saturday. Princeton High School will shift to remote-only learning until Nov. 9 because of the cases.
In a letter to students and employees, school district officials said none of the cases originated at the high school or were transmitted at the high school. District officials said two of the cases originated from out-of-school sports programs.
Interim Superintendent of Schools Barry Galasso said that the high school would not reopen until Nov. 9 because of the number of teachers who must participate in precautionary 14-day quarantines or who require remote teaching assignments.
On Oct. 26, all-remote learning will start at 9:25 a.m. On Nov. 9, cohort A will bein in-person learning at the high school.
Only one cohort of high school students was able to have in-person learning for a few days before the district shifted to all-remote learning again. The superintendent said that when a phased-in return to hybrid learning was approved, officials were aware that it might be necessary to pivot to all-remote learning if the number of teachers required to participate in quarantines increased dramatically.
“I have heard from many parents who are happy to have had even a few days of in-person learning for their children and also from parents who are disappointed that their children have not yet been able to return to school,” Galasso wrote in his letter to staff and parents. “I understand that this is a hardship for all our students, their families, and our staff and that there are mental health and financial implications as well as many serious inconveniences. We are working hard to support staff, students, and families while at the same time working to keep our school community healthy.”
The middle school will open for in-person learning on Monday and the four elementary schools will continue with hybrid learning. The opening of the middle school was delayed until Oct. 26 because of construction at the school funded by the recent bond referendum. Originally the middle school was going to open one day later than planned, but the building still needed to be cleaned up more and staff members needed time to set up their classrooms. At a recent school board meeting, one teacher spoke during public comment and said more cleaning was needed and that a weekend plus an extra day was not enough time for teachers to prepare for the return of students. Cohort A is slated to return to the middle school on Monday.