MOUNT OLIVE TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) – As a precautionary measure, the Mount Olive School District will shutter its schools for seven weeks beginning Monday, Nov. 23, according to a post on the district’s website.
All grade levels will be taught remotely with the exception of students in specialized programs who will continue with daily in-person instruction. The move comes as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rises in New Jersey and Morris County at a similar rate as the virus’s peak in April and May.
Mount Olive’s closure, which begins the Monday before Thanksgiving and is set to end the day after Martin Luther King Day on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, covers a time period when school districts traditionally see cold and flu cases spike, in part due to close contact during holiday gatherings and travel. The precautionary closure is a proactive step intended to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the Mount Olive community during this time period.
In a video that was posted to social media, Superintendent Robert Zywicki, Ed.D, jointly announced the pending closure with Mount Olive Mayor Rob Greenbaum and Trevor Weigle, director of the Township of Mount Olive Health Department. Several township restrictions were also introduced.
The district has seen several students and staff members test positive for the novel coronavirus since in-person instruction began in September. Following the suggested guidelines provided to school systems by the New Jersey Department of Health, the district responded by restricting impacted classes to remote instruction and completely closing three schools for several weeks after multiple positive cases were diagnosed.