Kenilworth schools welcome students for in-person learning

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KENILWORTH, NJ — Timing was everything as students from pre-K to grade 12 headed back to Kenilworth Public Schools on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Students at Harding Elementary School, who are attending school on a modified five-days-a-week schedule, were dropped off at slightly staggered times to allow for greater social distancing. Separate pickup times were established for the same reason.

All David Brearley Middle and High School students started classes virtually on Sept. 9 and continued learning from home that week. This allows students to participate in class meetings, get to know their teachers and learn about new health and wellness protocols before they even enter the building. Beginning Monday, Sept. 14, Brearley students were to attend school on a rotating schedule. The students are divided into Blue and Gold cohorts that rotate between in-person and remote learning, to reduce the number of people in the buildings at one time.

Kenilworth public schools also offered a fully virtual education option, in accordance with state guidelines. Around 30 percent of families selected that model, in which children learn online at home.

Inside the schools, classrooms were cleared of all nonessential furniture and equipment, to allow for more space between students. Two new custodians were hired to support enhanced cleaning and disinfecting techniques.

The district also invested in new equipment to help mitigate COVID-19, such as iWave units that generate the air-purifying ions found in nature; portable hydroxyl air-processing units that destroy contaminants in the air; and electrostatic misting sprayers that thoroughly coat surfaces as they clean.

Both Brearley and Harding schools start the school year with new leadership. Jeremy Davies became Brearley’s principal in June. Ron Bubnowski, a veteran of the Kenilworth District and the former assistant principal at Harding, is now interim principal at the elementary school.

Photos Courtesy of Sheri Berkery