In another about face, Jersey City schools to reopen with students in-person

What was planned as a protest rally against the Jersey City Board of Education turned into a victory celebration Thursday as after school officials announced students would be returning to the classroom only days after saying they would not.

In January, Jersey City school officials announced schools would remain closed through April 21.

Parents who attended the rally outside BOE headquarters Thursday said they received notice over the weekend that schools would not reopen and would remain closed for the rest of the year, but on Wednesday night, the district made another about-face with the decision to reopen schools after all.

Organizers said the initial decision to stay closed was guided by the science in fighting the pandemic and not having enough teachers, but the outcry by parents and local leaders was so strong that the Board changed their stance.

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"We've ad more than 6,000 students that opted to come back," said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. "More than 3,000 teachers and even more than what's happening over the next eight weeks, it's  a test run to make sure you can have a safe enfironment in September."

The new schedule will have students and staff K-3 returning on April 29. Middle schools will reopen on May 10. It was not clear when high school students would return.

Wednesday will be a remote learning day to facilitate building maintenance.