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The New Way of Going To School

The thought of no school for most students sounds amazing, but this closure has proven to be anything but. The Coronavirus pandemic has closed over 124,000 United States public and private schools and has affected over 55 million students. Many states have been ordered to close all schools in their states. This left most schools with only three to four months until the year finished. School districts across the country had to quickly plan how to continue the school year in a way that would keep students home due to how rapidly the pandemic was growing. Nutley High School is one of those many schools that had been ordered to shut down.


As the virus rapidly grew throughout our nation, Nutley Schools District knew they had to plan promptly. During the school week of March 8th, Nutley High School announced that they were going to have a testing day for their Virtual Learning Program on Monday, March 16th, not expecting to close that same week. This was going to be a day where all students stayed home from school and simply just answered a question in two of their classes on Schoology at 9:30. Due to the virus growing so fast throughout the nation, Nutley officially shut down their schools on that Tuesday, March 17th. When Nutley first shut down schools were expected to be out for only two weeks, but as the virus continues to advance, the return of school still remains undetermined.


Since then, the students from kindergarten through 12th grade have been participating in virtual learning from home. On average, an assignment and a quick attendance question is provided for the students to answer each day. There are about seven classes that will require work each day. By this time, the students have hopefully learned to work alongside an easy, balanced schedule so that they are not bombarded with work each day. This learning experience is not only something that the students must learn to cooperate with, but the teachers and entire Board of Education staff are working hard to continue and enhance an effective way of learning from home. 


Mr. Kent Bania, Director of Curriculum, is just one of the many people that have been working hard since before the closing of schools to make sure Nutley has a proper learning management system. When the virus began to rapidly affect other schools across the globe, he knew it was time that our community plan for a change that would soon occur. “As we entered early to mid-March, the timeline progressed quicker than expected,” he says. “It seemed like we needed to up our efforts and expedite creation and implementation of our learning plan.” 


By conferencing with teachers through email, and staying in touch with classmates online, the students battle through this hard time as best as they can. Finals and state testing such as SATs, ACTs, and NJSLA tests have been cancelled for the year. As everyone works hard to finish out this school year as strongly as possible, everyone hopes to get back to normal life very soon.