In the early days of the school year, 11-year-old Tyler Chen found himself exposed to COVID-19 and forced to learn remotely from home, without any virtual access to his classroom. Chen is one of more than 200 kids in New Jersey who are already experiencing quarantine due to an in-school exposure. But how they’re learning during their time at home, depends on their individual school district. And across the state, it looks very different than last year, where all students had virtual access to their classrooms and their teachers.
“This year, the teachers are focused on the students who are in front of them. In the rare instance that we have a student in quarantine or who’s tested positive for COVID, we’re allowing that student to tap into the remote instruction in the classroom, but in a passive manner. So the teachers is not actively involving them in the lesson itself. The student is just watching from afar,” said Michael LaSusa, superintendent of schools, district of the Chathams.