After two staff members and a student tested positive for Covid-19, the College Achieve Charter School switched to all-remote learning.
The two infected staff members were not classroom instructors.
“Student safety is and always has been the number one priority at College Achieve Paterson. To ensure that nobody is impacted, the school immediately shifted to a fully virtual program for at least 28 days—double the time required by the CDC,” said Naush Boghossian, a spokeswoman for the College Achieve network of charter schools.
Boghossian said the school is conducting contact tracing and informing people who may have been exposed to the three people. She said so far there is no indication of spread. The school notified staff, students, and families of the cases, she said. School officials did not publicly announce the cases until the Paterson Times contacted them for comments. A staff member at the charter school notified the Paterson Times of the cases earlier in the week.
College Achieve Charter School in Paterson has been successfully operating on a hybrid model since September. Under their model, families decided whether to send their students for in-person schooling 3-4 days a week and virtual for 1-2 days.
“Across two campuses, College Achieve Paterson has served about 200 students—or 20 percent of the student population—who opted for our hybrid program,” said Boghossian. She said the school has not had a single case in the first two months while other schools in New Jersey had to shut down soon after opening in-person instruction because of outbreaks at their campuses.
Paterson has witnessed a fresh surge in Covid-19 in the fall after a relatively stable summer. On Thursday, Paterson reported 115 new cases, highest daily figure in five months. Paterson school district officials had to close two schools and their headquarters as a result of small outbreaks. The city’s mayor imposed a midnight curfew on businesses to deter large gathering at bars and nightclubs.
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Updated on Nov. 9 at 3:10 p.m.