WHS Temporarily Goes All Virtual


Michael Thomas

Conditions seen under WHS’s temporary virtual learning.

Michael Thomas, Editor

While the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) creates a mass spike of COVID-19 cases, students nationwide returned to virtual schooling, including the Woodbridge High School Barrons.

As previously reported in The Barron Perspective, the possibility of WHS pivoting to virtual learning has been present since the start of the rampant spread of the Omicron variant.

While no conditions for the school closures were officially set, if a high percentage of students were in COVID quarantine or there wouldn’t be enough teachers to properly supervise and teach students, district administration would have very little choice but to shut down.

Since the publication of the previous article, U.S. COVID cases have only risen, with the seven day average of cases as of January fourth above 550,000 compared to the daily average on December twenty-first at 157,000, and the number of cases on a single day reaching over one million on the third (New York Times).

This uptick in cases prompted schools around the U.S. to go virtual to avoid the advancement of infections, but throughout WHS’s winter break, the common consensus was that school would be back in session under “normal” conditions, a sentiment echoed by district school officials throughout the weekend.

But the night before WHS was due to reopen in-person, officials reported that during January third through the fifth, WHS, John F. Kennedy Memorial High School, and Colonia High School would operate under remote instruction, citing “…our inability to offer in-person instruction with appropriate supervision.”

Officials had thought that enough staff members would be able to return to school on the sixth, but this has not come to fruition.

Continuing the saga, during the fourth block of Wednesday’s classes, superintendent Dr. Massimino sent a letter to all concerned that the school’s remote instruction period would be extended to the end of the week, with students scheduled to return on Monday the tenth.

Conditions of this virtual learning period have not quite fully mirrored those of last school year. 

The scheduling of this period follows what Woodbridge High was following before its closure, a full school day with four, twenty-minute lunch periods, also, able teachers have to report to the school building to broadcast their lessons.

Alongside the teacher shortage, the numbers of students in quarantine are also high as America sees a large amount of pediatric COVID cases, with a growing amount of those cases turning severe.

As mentioned, WHS is not the only Woodbridge high school facing such troubles, with CHS and JFK Memorial High School operating under these same conditions, though Woodbridge middle and elementary schools returned as planned.

It remains unclear whether or not WHS will reopen on Monday as scheduled, but to stay up to date with WHS’s status, keep following the Barron Perspectives continual coverage.