Sparta schools on track to open Nov. 2

Sparta. The middle and high school’s A cohort will attend in person on Monday, and the B cohort on Wednesday. The district has the intervening day, election day, off.

Sparta /
27 Oct 2020 | 04:10

The Sparta Township School District is on track to open the middle school and high school hybrid students on Nov. 2, Acting Superintendent Patrick McQueeney announced at last Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.

“We’re really thankful that we’re going back to school and we’re really appreciative of everything the teachers and staff have done,” said senior Andrew Venizelos, executive vice president of the Student Council.

The middle and high school A cohort will be in person on Monday, Nov. 2, and the district will be off Tuesday, Nov. 3, for Election Day. McQueeney said the schools will be cleaned and disinfected on Tuesday.

Then, on Wednesday, Nov. 4, the B cohort will be in person. The opposite cohorts will be virtual on those days. Then the schools will be closed for the New Jersey Education Association Convention.

“It’s an interesting week to say the least, but I want to give kudos to Mr. (Frank) Ciaburri from the middle school and Mr. (Ronnie) Spring from the high school. They’ve developed a program to bring all students – not at the same time – in that week.”

There will also be a change in the middle and high school schedules starting on Nov. 2. Middle school will begin at 7:50 a.m. and end at 12:20 p.m. High school will begin at 7:22 a.m. and end at noon.

During the public comment, resident Jen Hamilton said her daughter was excited to finally be going back to school after having watched her younger siblings attend already.

McQueeney said the district’s self-contained programs for Pre-K through grade 12 have been in school since Sept. 8.

Students in Pre-K through second grade returned to Alpine Elementary School in cohorts on Oct. 5. Third graders returned to the Mohawk Avenue School and the fourth and fifth graders at the Helen Morgan School returned on Oct. 12.

The entire district will be in session for hybrid instruction on an A cohort week starting Nov. 9 and rotating on a weekly basis.

“We are very excited to have all students coming back,” McQueeney said. “I have to thank the (Sparta Education Association) for their partnership. There’s a lot of obstacles as one can imagine with all the regulations and concerns that we have, but they have been true partners through all this helping us to get back into our buildings. I have to thank teachers who have gone above and beyond and have done nothing short of blowing our expectations away.”