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Newark Trust Taking on Problems from Return to Classroom Learning

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Schools are dealing with a rise in student conflict, teacher shortages, vaccine safety issues and Covid safety protocols

The return to classrooms is presenting its own set of challenges for students in Newark and elsewhere in New Jersey.

Schools, nonprofits, and other educational organizations are trying to address Covid safety protocols, teacher shortages, vaccine safety issues and as Stephanie Parry of the Newark Trust for Education says, friction between students.

“There is a rise in student conflict, you’re seeing more incidences of fighting and students kind of renegotiating how to interact with each other,” she said.

She said this is happening at all grade levels.

Parry said students may have lived very differently during that year and a half away.

“Students are coming back to school, and adults, with very different experiences of how they lived during the pandemic, some may be coming from families that are super-conservative about masks and distancing, and kind of how they’ve interacted with other children,” she said.

Parry said it’s an adjustment for parents too.

“There was a huge boost in home-school connection during virtual learning, that was one of the actual good things that came out of this pandemic, parents became teachers, parents became super involved. Now going back into in person learning it’s kind of the opposite, parents are not allowed in the schools,” said Parry.

The Trust and other organizations are holding a series of webinars on these problems to see if conversations can lead to solutions.