Morristown High goes all-virtual through Nov. 30; class from Alexander Hamilton quarantined

Morristown High School. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Morristown High School. File photo by Kevin Coughlin
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Citing an “increase in positive cases” at Morristown High School, the Morris School District has switched to all-remote learning at MHS through Nov. 30, 2020.

The move comes at the direction of the local health department, according to a statement issued Friday.

“Beginning Monday, Nov. 16, students will access instruction online according to their regular schedule. All sports and extracurricular activities are suspended immediately. Contact tracing has been conducted, and any close contacts or others impacted by possible exposure have been notified directly,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, a class of students at the Alexander Hamilton Elementary School and other potentially affected persons have been directed to stay home for 14 days after an individual there tested positive.

“The remainder of the school will continue with instruction as normal according to their current enrollment in either in-person or all-virtual instruction,” the district said.

At a virtual school board meeting earlier this week, district Superintendent Mackey Pendergrast said 35 people had tested positive for COVID-19 since schools reopened in September.

The Woodland and Normandy Park elementary schools are in the midst of 14-day shutdowns, the high school already has had an extended closure, the Frelinghuysen Middle School briefly shut its doors, and the Hillcrest and Alfred Vail elementary schools also have required classes to quarantine at home this fall.

“Every day is extremely fragile,” Pendergrast told the board, adding that the regional district “just barely” has been able to staff its 10 buildings during the pandemic.

The district employs about 1,000 people and serves 5,700 students from Morristown, Morris Township and (high school only) Morris Plains.

As of Friday, New Jersey’s transmission rate was 1.32.  Anything above 1.0 indicates coronavirus infections are on the rise.

Some 127 new cases were reported in Morris County, the state indicated. Ten of those were in Morristown, five in Morris Township, and three more in Morris Plains, according to county health officials.

New COVID-19 cases in NJ, April-November 2020. Source: COVID19.nj.gov.

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