EPS Responds to Global Pandemic with Global Instruction
EPS keeps students and families connected to learning community during challenging times
Elizabeth, N.J., October 14, 2020 – During the COVID-19 pandemic which has challenged school districts throughout the nation to provide a high-quality education to their students in-person or virtually, Elizabeth Public Schools is providing instruction globally to keep their students on track to graduate and compete in the global marketplace.
Elizabeth, a port city that is the fourth largest in New Jersey, is home to one of the most diverse communities on the east coast. Its population represents more than 50 countries and its schools serve more than 28,000 students who speak nearly 50 different languages.
For the school district, like many throughout the nation due to the unprecedented circumstances, providing remote education to that many students proved to be challenging.
All Elizabeth Public Schools students in grades three through twelve were provided with technology devices that included free internet connectivity by Altice/Cablevision when schools closed throughout the state in March due to the pandemic. Students in grades prekindergarten through two were provided instructional packets to complete for the last marking period of the 2019-2020 school year. Through additional funding courtesy of the CARES Act, students in grades prekindergarten through two were provided technology devices with free internet connectivity for the 2020-2021 school year, giving all district students the ability to participate in classroom instruction remotely.
The ability of to secure technology devices for all of its students was vital given the circumstances that the district has been presented with at the onset of the 2020-2021 school year. In September, Elizabeth Public Schools was informed by dozens of families that for reasons including child care issues and continued airline cancellations, their students were unable to return to the country and could not access their classrooms. The students who remain outside of the country are currently staying in 14 different countries spanning four continents.
The district’s information technology department has been able to support those students and keep them connected to their school community and their academic instruction. The affected students have been provided an international code which allows them internet connectivity through their devices to access the Elizabeth Public Schools remote learning platforms.
“Our students and families are so fortunate to have such dedicated teachers and administrators who are committed to providing them with a high-quality education,” said Elizabeth Board of Education President Diane Barbosa. “The Elizabeth Board of Education is proud of all of our team members for the work they have already done and continue to do to ensure our students are learning and succeeding despite the unprecedented and challenging circumstances placed before us.”
Elizabeth Public Schools, through its efforts to keep everyone connected and engaged to teaching and learning, continues to work hard to fulfill its promise to provide an innovative and personalized learning environment that ensures every child achieves excellence.
“At Elizabeth Public Schools, we believe that all children can achieve excellence and all means all,” stated Elizabeth Public Schools Superintendent Olga Hugelmeyer. “It is so important to keep all of our students and their families engaged in a rigorous education that prepares them for college and career success. I especially applaud the members of our technology department for their tireless work in keeping our students connected to learning and maintaining our online educational platforms.”