Middletown Schools will encourage masks, allow students to take laptops home in reopening plan

When Middletown Schools’ 6,300 students return to school in August, they will be ‘encouraged’ to wear masks to protect them from the coronavirus, Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. said Tuesday. School officials released the district’s back to school plan and it also includes free coronavirus testing and thousands of free computer laptops for students so they can also learn from home if they choose that option.(File Photo/Journal-News)
Caption
When Middletown Schools’ 6,300 students return to school in August, they will be ‘encouraged’ to wear masks to protect them from the coronavirus, Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. said Tuesday. School officials released the district’s back to school plan and it also includes free coronavirus testing and thousands of free computer laptops for students so they can also learn from home if they choose that option.(File Photo/Journal-News)

Middletown students will start the new school year “encouraged” to wear protective masks and many will have free school laptops they can use at home for the first time, district officials announced.

Students and school staffers are also being offered free coronavirus testing prior to the start of school in August, and teachers will be required to wear masks or face shields unless they are at a safe distance from others.

“The Middletown City School District believes the reopening of our schools should be a decision informed by applicable health and safety information. Our number one priority remains the safety and well-being of our students and staff,” said Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr.

Middletown Schools is offering its more than 6,300 students choices between in-school and remote learning when the new school year starts Aug.17, which is a week later than original scheduled.

“While some students might opt for our virtual learning option and some students will opt for in-school instruction, we’ve made the decision to provide all students grades 3-12 with a district-issued laptop. We are excited to start the process of removing the device barrier and getting all students ‘logged in,’” said Styles, who recently testified before a Congressional committee about the district’s need for more federal and other assistance in providing students with laptops.

Explore MORE: Middletown school leader tells Congress of his district’s digital gap

Styles also said free coronavirus testing will be offered on seven days at different locations around the city from July 27 to Aug. 4 for students and staffers so to allow time to those found positive to self-quarantine.

“The testing begins two-plus weeks before the start of school, meaning if a student or staff member tests positive that they will have over two weeks to self-quarantine and recover,” according to the back-to-school plan.

For more information, go to Middletown Schools website .