By Cory James

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — With COVID cases spiking, the return to school after winter break will be a remote learning experience for thousands of students in New Jersey.

Right now, nearly a dozen Hudson County school districts are going remote for one week from Jan. 3-7:

  • Jersey City
  • Harrison
  • Bayonne
  • Union City
  • Weehawken
  • Guttenberg
  • East Newark
  • North Bergen
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Newark Public Schools, however, is enforcing the change for an extra week, keeping kids at home from Jan. 3-14.

Superintendent Roger Leon said in a statement, “This is not the news I want to be sharing with students and their families at this time because we need to continue in-person instruction, but the health and safety of students and staff remains the top priority.”

Alex Pavia, in Jersey City, says keeping the kids at home for school is difficult with both he and his wife working full-time jobs, and he has concerns about how it might impact his children’s education.

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“For kids this little, remote learning is more or less useless,” he told CBS2’s Cory James. “But I think a lot of the parents around here fear that it’s going to be much longer than that.”

Another father said while it’s not ideal, his family understands why the change is being made.

“It is what it is,” he said. “We’re just going to make the best of it … Hopefully this is the last time we have to do it.”

Meanwhile in Jersey City, the school district says it will provide breakfast and lunch at 20 different schools throughout the city beginning Tuesday. Those meals will be served between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

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Editor’s note: This story was first published Dec. 30.

Cory James