District offers more in-person opportunities, hybrid seniors can attend four days starting March 15


At the February 18 Hammonton Board of Education meeting, several community parents attended to question district officials about future plans for students to integrate back into a new schedule.

Since September of 2020, the district has offered two plans: students may access classes remotely (Cohort R) or they may attend a hybrid in-person schedule (and were placed in either Cohort A or Cohort B). Some students qualified for Cohort C, which allowed a small percentage of the student population to attend four days.

At the meeting, board president Sam Mento and superintendent Robin Chieco both expressed a desire to have students to go back full time but acknowledged the inherent risk of doing so, as more students would prevent the ability to have six feet of social distancing. This, they argued, increased the possibility of close contacts and larger shut downs.

The points the parents were bringing up were that most students were struggling with virtual learning. Another point brought up by a parent was that kids in younger grades are home and require supervision, which is affecting parent work schedules.

Others speculate that students may also be taking advantage of virtual learning, causing them to miss class because it is easier than getting up and going to school. Another valid point is that kids in younger grades are home more than they should be which is messing with their parents’ work schedules.

About a week after this meeting, Chieco sent a letter to districts indicating the board’s plan moving forward with a tentative timeline:

  • On March 1, PreK students can attend five days a week
  • On March 8, special education hybrid students can attend four days a week
  • On March 15, hybrid seniors at the high school can attend four days week

The district also released a survey open from March 2-7 for parents to complete. Based on the result of that survey, additional changes will be implemented by April 12.

Board president Sam Mento outlined the plan in district video post on February 25. A copy of Chieco’s letter can be read here.

At the March 11 Board Meeting, Chieco noted that 63% of parents that responded supported five half days. She also noted that athletes may be offered a study hall opportunity in the building so that they can stay on the campus until practices start at 2:15.