In a letter to parents and the community at large, Union City Superintendent of Schools Silivia Abbato has announced that, “beginning on Monday, April 19, 2021, teachers will return to school buildings to continue remote virtual learning, and on Monday, May 3, 2021, Union City public schools will begin to welcome students back for in-person learning.  Everyone will be temperature-screened when entering each morning, and anyone with a fever of 100.4 or above will be sent home.”

All students and staff will be required to wear a mask and/or face shields at all times, which will be provided.  Abbato adds that classrooms have been configured to maximize social distancing.  “School buildings will be cleaned daily and deep-cleaned and sanitized twice weekly” according to the Superintendent.

The HVAC system (ventilation, heating, and air-conditioning) has been has been examined to ensure full compliance with established guidelines.  The HVAC will be cleaned and upgraded with new air filters on a regular basis.

To help the district facilitate the gradual re-opening plan, all parents and guardians are asked to complete the Return-to-School Survey: by March 31, indicating whether your children will be returning to school or continuing with virtual learning.

Superintendent Abbato says it is critical the district know how many students will be returning to the district’s school buildings in order for proper classroom configuration.

Union City’s re-opening plan has been formed by guidelines from the New Jersey Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control, plus state and local health departments.  It has been implemented through the guidance of pediatricians and other medical professionals.

“The district has decided that all schools will operate on a hybrid A/B half-session plan” according to Abbato.  All in-person school days for students will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 12:30 p.m.  Students will be divided into A and B groups by last name to ensure that siblings are in the same group.  Group A students will attend school on Monday and Tuesday, with Group B students going on Thursday and Friday.  No students will attend in classroom instruction on Wednesdays, allowing the district to deep-clean and sanitize the buildings.

On the days students are not attending class in their school building, they will receive virtual instruction.  Prior to reopening, school principals will provide more information on schedules.

Finally, Abbato adds, grab-and-go meals will be provided to students on the days they attend school in-person.  Principals will provide food distribution schedules.  Parents and guardians of students who choose to remain on virtual learning full time, will pick-up their seven-day meal packets from their child’s school on Wednesdays.