Feb. 23—Middletown Schools' students will return to five-day-a-week, in-person classes starting next month after a unanimous vote by the school board Monday evening.
The vote, which came after an endorsement from the city's top health official of returning to all live classes despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, means thousands for students will be back to normal classes on March 22.
"Schools stepped up to the plate and did whatever is needed to control the spread," of the coronavirus, Middletown Health Commissioner Jackie Phillips told board members during their virtual meeting.
Positive tests for coronavirus in the city have dropped to a level — and are expected to continue — and city health officials will continue to monitor closely the number of student and school staff positive cases.
If cases increase, Phillips said, the schools will return to its current hybrid class schedule that saw students in recent months attend in-person classes twice a week and the rest of the week learn via digital classes from home.
Marlon Styles Jr., superintendent of Middletown Schools, said the district's 10 schools will be ready for a return to live classes after spring break ends March 22.
"The safety protocols we have in place have been working," said Styles, who said in recent weeks there have been no cases of any student to student or student to staff transmission of the virus.
Board member Anita Scheibert said after hearing from Phillips and Styles regarding the return to a five-day class schedule, "I feel very comfortable with this decision."