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LEAD Charter School, the education arm of Newark Opportunity Youth Network (NOYN), is entering Phase 2 of its reopening plan starting April 19. To ensure students and staff remain in a safe and healthy learning environment, LEAD is collaborating with Inspire Diagnostics to administer Covid tests to support LEAD’s return to in-person education.

Starting today, April 19, LEAD will reopen at 40% capacity, or about 70-80 young people in the building per day. Inspire Diagnostics will provide Covid screenings and rapid tests with trained technicians on-site at the 201 Bergen location. PCR test results are guaranteed within 24-48 hours, with rapid test results in as little as 15 minutes.

“We know that students learn best in the classroom. With access to vaccines for educators and the ability to routinely administer Covid testing, it’s time to begin returning to in-person instruction,” said Daniel Cruz, Supervisor of Instruction at LEAD. “This partnership with Inspire Diagnostics is providing a resource that helps our staff and students feel comfortable and at ease so they can get back to the business of teaching, learning and growing as a community.”

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John Kang, CEO of Inspire Diagnostics, added, “We’re proud to partner with LEAD Charter School to advance our common mission of prioritizing community health, safety and productivity. Testing is and will continue to be a critical component for preventing any emerging outbreaks and identifying new variants.”

Phase 2 of LEAD’s reopening plan permits young people to be in classrooms four days a week — Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday — for Career and Technical Education (CTE) training. Academic classes will remain virtual, but young people’s construction, allied health and information technology training will be conducted in-person. Wednesdays will remain virtual.

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LEAD alum Rahmell Parmley said he can support anything that gets everyone back together at LEAD. “It’s just great to be back in space, honestly. Here, you feel like you can go to anybody for help or if you’re down and you need a laugh, you can come to somebody. This space brings good energy,” he adds.

Young people opting for in-person learning will continue to wear masks indoors and remain socially distanced, whether or not they’re vaccinated. All centralized testing will be conducted at LEAD’s 201 Bergen campus, and rapid testing will be available on-site at all three locations: 201 Bergen, 571 Central Avenue and La Casa de Don Pedro’s campus on 39 Broadway.

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