Ocean City BOE Responds to Push for All Grades to Transition to In-Person Instruction

OCEAN CITY, NJ (March 2, 2021) – The Ocean City School District has spearheaded the return to in-person teaching plan for South Jersey as well as other districts throughout the State. They are one of the few districts to continue to keep their doors open with hybrid scheduling since the start of the Fall 2020 School Year with hopes to transition to in-person for all grades before the end of the year. In-person instruction began with grades K-5 in February and continues with sixth grade mid-March. District leaders say that there is one large hurdle to overcome before the remainder of students can transition and that’s the 6 feet social distancing restriction. 

In a recent letter to the district, Dr. Kathleen Taylor, Superintendent and Joseph Clark, Board of Education President explained how the physical classroom sizes limit the school from allowing a normal class size to follow the 6 feet social distancing guideline for grades 7 through 12. Until the social distancing guidelines are changed, they believe taking all students full time in-person could potentially push their progress back. 

“We are doing all we can do to continue to move forward while following CDC Guidelines,” said Dr. Taylor. “Our primary school and intermediate school class sizes allowed for this transition, but unfortunately the other grades will continue to teach via hybrid until the safety guidelines are changed. Despite what we wish could happen, safety is still our number one priority.” 

The community letter encourages parents and guardians to reach out to Governor Murphy’s office, the New Jersey Department of Health, the New Jersey Department of Education and State legislators to request the social distancing restrictions to be lifted or updated to a maximum of 3 feet social distancing. “Ocean City’s efforts will be more successful if we work together, as a community,” states the community letter. Along with the letter written to the community, Dr. Taylor and Clark drafted a letter to Governor Murphy to begin these efforts. 

Please refer to the attached community letter and the letter sent to Governor Murphy by Dr. Taylor and Joseph Clark for additional information. Updates will continue to be posted via SwiftK-12 messaging, social media, as well as the OCSD website. The current Hybrid Plan and additional COVID-Prevention guidelines can be found on the district website, oceancityschools.org.