3 staffers in Gloucester County school district test positive for COVID

The week is off to a rough start in one south Jersey school district where three staffers, from two different schools, have tested positive for COVID-19.

Washington Township School District sent a letter over the weekend announcing positive COVID tests from three district staffers, two of them from Hurffville Elementary. Superintendent Joe Bollendorf says that under guidelines, hybrid learning has been pushed back a week.

“So, basically just acting responsibly, based on the guidance that we received. We have two unrelated cases for staff regarding testing positive for COVID-19. There’s no evidence that these infections were acquired within the district. So, in essence, unrelated cases and we are just following our protocols. Nothing more, nothing less,” stated

The superintendent said the district was all virtual, so far. Students due back at Hurffville September 21st will now return the 28th. The letter also says a Washington Township High School staffer who tested positive has been is now under quarantine. Superintendent Bollendorf says under the N.J. Department of Health guidelines, no shutdown is warranted under the circumstances. Working parents say they’re distracted and worried.

“I’m getting emails, I’m getting phone calls and I have to keep interrupting my job to go outside and attend to them. And, it’s hard, especially when you’re working with autistic patients. You can’t just up and leave them to take a phone call that your kid’s not doing the work,” said one parent.

“And, it’s hard that he’s there by himself, doing homework by himself. And, all of his work by himself. And, I have to trust that he’s doing it,” another parent remarked.

Parents pulling their hair out over virtual learning is certainly not limited to Washington Township. Most parents in the region are dealing with some form or another of the juggling act.

Michael Hudack taught at Washington Township High for more than 30 years.

“We are in trying times right now. This might take on an affect where it changes the way education continues. In high school, middle school, elementary and even college,” Hudack stated.

Hudack adds that a big part of teaching is getting students to buy into what the teacher is selling. He says that’s a whole lot harder on a Zoom call.


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