West Essex moves online in response to coronavirus


File photo

West Essex High School will be closed from March 16 to March 27 until further notice due to fears over the coronavirus.

By Danielle Schwartz, Editor-in-Chief

West Essex parents and students received news on March 13 that the school would be closed from March 16 through March 27 as a precaution amid the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The closure falls into a widening pattern of school districts, business and other parts of American life being temporarily shuttered by the coronavirus.

In a direct memo to families, Superintendent Damion Macioci said that students will complete remote learning from home through online tools like Google Classroom, email and Google Meet. School will operate digitally on a half-day schedule and teachers will be available during the virtual “school day” hours by email.

“Our district is committed to maintaining quality instruction and support services to all students,” Macioci said in the March 13 email. “West Essex is well equipped for distance learning, and we are confident in our ability to provide continued instruction aligned to curriculum standards.”

While students will only have a couple hours of work each morning and therefore have more free time, they are being urged by school, state and national authorities to practice social distancing and stay inside.

“I realize social distancing is extremely challenging for children and families,” Macioci said in a follow-up email on March 15. “But we must continue to work cooperatively in keeping the health and safety of our community a top priority.”