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PATERSON, N.J. — While New Jersey’s third-largest city won’t have much in-person learning during the 2020-21 school year, they’ll be able to get some Paterson students and teachers back in buildings before the year closes out.

Teachers will head back to school buildings on Tuesday, June 1. From there, they’ll work Monday through Thursdays in-person and remotely on Fridays.

Special education students and what the school district calls “English Language Learners” will return to school buildings June 8. They, too, will be on hybrid schedule and do remote learning on Fridays.

“Just as the emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic is happening in stages, the reopening of Paterson Public Schools buildings will happen in stages,” said Paterson Superintendent of Schools Eileen Shafer. “With teachers returning to their classrooms on June 1, they are coming back to where they are at their professional best and where they can get comfortable with the technology they use to teach. While I know that this past year has been challenging for all of our students, we also know that it has been especially challenging for our special education and ELL students without the in-person educational experience.”

The Paterson Board of Education’s decision came after two days of walkthroughs of the district school buildings at the end of April. The district administration’s findings and remediation were presented at the special Board of Education meeting on April 28. 

The board claims to have several “layers” set up to protect children. There will be a universal masking policy, social distancing, partitions between students, supplemental ventilation, air purifiers, air scrubbers, hydroxl blasters, hand sanitizers and disinfectant spray. The district is currently planning to make the vaccine available to eligible students in the district who have a parent’s consent.