High Point Regional High School officials are looking to return to full in-person instruction four days a week starting after spring break.
Under the plan outlined by school Superintendent Scott Ripley, students would attend school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, with Wednesday remaining as a virtual day for the school to undergo a deep cleaning, starting on April 12.
The day would include lunch.
“Our hope is to incrementally move forward,” Ripley said. “This is the next step in that incrementalism. We look forward to kids being here four days per week.”
Ripley said the district considered started this move two weeks earlier but decided to use spring break to set up the desks.
“We deconstructed some rooms, and there needs to be some work done so we can redistribute desks,” Ripley said.
Ripley said for the week ending Feb. 6, the local case rate was 26.99 percent down from 40.33 percent the week prior. Sussex County is still technically in the high-risk orange level, but so far, the numbers appear to be regressing, he said. A month prior, district officials were told the county was headed for the higher red level, but that never happened.
“It’s still something we are eternally vigilant about,” Ripley said. “We believe students in front of their teachers are better served than by hybrid or remote.”
School board member William Kehoe said at the beginning of the school year that the district had one goal: to keep the school going. He commended the teachers and administrators for keeping the district open.
“It’s a team effort,” Ripley said. The teachers and administrators have been focused on what’s best for kids. I’m every pleased with the amount of time we’ve actually been in school compared to the amount of time others have been in school.”
While the goal is to have students back in their classrooms after the break, nothing is guaranteed.
“Please understand that it is preliminary,” Ripley said. “I’m just telling you what we’re planning, and hopefully it does manifest in that time frame. We’re very hopeful for that.”