HRT - Hormone Replacement Therapy in Fairview, NJ

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What Causes Menopause?

The most common reason for menopause is the natural decline in a female's reproductive hormones. However, menopause can also result from the following situations:

Oophorectomy: This surgery, which removes a woman's ovaries, causes immediate menopause. Symptoms and signs of menopause in this situation can be severe, as the hormonal changes happen abruptly.

Chemotherapy: Cancer treatments like chemotherapy can induce menopause quickly, causing symptoms to appear shortly after or even during treatment.

Ovarian Insufficiency: Also called premature ovarian failure, this condition is essentially premature menopause. It happens when a woman's ovaries quit functioning before the age of 40 and can stem from genetic factors and disease. Only 1% of women suffer from premature menopause, but HRT can help protect the heart, brain, and bones.

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Depression

If you're a woman going through menopause and find that you have become increasingly depressed, you're not alone. It's estimated that 15% of women experience depression to some degree while going through menopause. What many women don't know is that depression can start during perimenopause, or the years leading up to menopause.

Depression can be hard to diagnose, especially during perimenopause and menopause. However, if you notice the following signs, it might be time to speak with a physician:

  • Mood Swings
  • Inappropriate Guilt
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Too Much or Too Little Sleep
  • Lack of Interest in Life
  • Overwhelming Feelings

Remember, if you're experiencing depression, you're not weak or broken - you're going through a very regular emotional experience. The good news is that with proper treatment from your doctor, depression isn't a death sentence. And with HRT and anti-aging treatment for women, depression could be the catalyst you need to enjoy a new lease on life.

 HRT For Women Fairview, NJ

Hot Flashes

Hot flashes - they're one of the most well-known symptoms of menopause. Hot flashes are intense, sudden feelings of heat across a woman's upper body. Some last second, while others last minutes, making them incredibly inconvenient and uncomfortable for most women.

Symptoms of hot flashes include:

  • Sudden, Overwhelming Feeling of Heat
  • Anxiety
  • High Heart Rate
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Typically, hot flashes are caused by a lack of estrogen. Low estrogen levels negatively affect a woman's hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls body temperature and appetite. Low estrogen levels cause the hypothalamus to incorrectly assume the body is too hot, dilating blood vessels to increase blood flow. Luckily, most women don't have to settle for the uncomfortable feelings that hot flashes cause. HRT treatments for women often stabilize hormones, lessening the effects of hot flashes and menopause in general.

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Mood Swings

Mood swings are common occurrences for most people - quick shifts from happy to angry and back again, triggered by a specific event. And while many people experience mood swings, they are particularly common for women going through menopause. That's because, during menopause, the female's hormones are often imbalanced. Hormone imbalances and mood swings go hand-in-hand, resulting in frequent mood changes and even symptoms like insomnia.

The rate of production of estrogen, a hormone that fluctuates during menopause, largely determines the rate of production the hormone serotonin, which regulates mood, causing mood swings.

Luckily, HRT and anti-aging treatments in Fairview, NJ for women work wonders for mood swings by regulating hormone levels like estrogen. With normal hormone levels, women around the world are now learning that they don't have to settle for mood swings during menopause.

 Sermorelin Fairview, NJ

Weight Gain

Staying fit and healthy is hard for anyone living in modern America. However, for women with hormone imbalances during perimenopause or menopause, weight gain is even more serious. Luckily, HRT treatments for women coupled with a physician-led diet can help keep weight in check. But which hormones need to be regulated?

  • Estrogen: During menopause, estrogen levels are depleted. As such, the body must search for other sources of estrogen. Because estrogen is stored in fat, your body believes it should increase fat production during menopause. Estrogen also plays a big part in insulin resistance, which can make it even harder to lose weight and keep it off.
  • Progesterone: Progesterone levels are also depleted during menopause. Progesterone depletion causes bloating and water retention, while loss of testosterone limits the body's ability to burn calories.
  • Ongoing Stress: Stress makes our bodies think that food is hard to come by, putting our bodies in "survival mode". When this happens, cortisol production is altered. When cortisol timing changes, the energy in the bloodstream is diverted toward making fat. With chronic stress, this process repeatedly happens, causing extensive weight gain during menopause.
 HRT Fairview, NJ

Low Libido

Lowered sexual desire - three words most men and women hate to hear. Unfortunately, for many women in perimenopausal and menopausal states, it's just a reality of life. Thankfully, today, HRT and anti-aging treatments Fairview, NJ can help women maintain a normal, healthy sex drive. But what causes low libido in women, especially as they get older?

The hormones responsible for low libido in women are progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.

Progesterone production decreases during perimenopause, causing low sex drive in women. Lower progesterone production can also cause chronic fatigue, weight gain, and other symptoms. On the other hand, lower estrogen levels during menopause lead to vaginal dryness and even vaginal atrophy or loss of muscle tension.

Lastly, testosterone plays a role in lowered libido. And while testosterone is often grouped as a male hormone, it contributes to important health and regulatory functionality in women. A woman's testosterone serves to heighten sexual responses and enhances orgasms. When the ovaries are unable to produce sufficient levels of testosterone, it often results in a lowered sex drive.

 Hormone Replacement Fairview, NJ

Vaginal Dryness

Often uncomfortable and even painful, vaginal dryness is a serious problem for sexually active women. However, like hair loss in males, vaginal dryness is very common - almost 50% of women suffer from it during menopause.

Getting older is just a part of life, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for the side effects. HRT and anti-aging treatments for women correct vaginal dryness by re-balancing estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When supplemented with diet and healthy living, your vagina's secretions are normalized, causing discomfort to recede.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Fairview, NJ

Fibroids

Uterine fibroids - they're perhaps the least-known symptom of menopause and hormone imbalances in women. That's because these growths on the uterus are often symptom-free. Unfortunately, these growths can be cancerous, presenting a danger for women as they age.

Many women will have fibroids at some point. Because they're symptomless, they're usually found during routine doctor exams. Some women only get one or two, while others may have large clusters of fibroids. Because fibroids are usually caused by hormone imbalances, hysterectomies have been used as a solution, forcing women into early menopause.

Advances in HRT and anti-aging medicine for women give females a safer, non-surgical option without having to experience menopause early. At Global Life Rejuvenation, our expert physicians will implement a customized HRT program to stabilize your hormones and reduce the risk of cancerous fibroid growth.

 HRT For Men Fairview, NJ

Endometriosis

Endometriosis symptoms are much like the effects of PMS, and include pelvic pain, fatigue, cramping, and bloating. While doctors aren't entirely sure what causes this painful, uncomfortable condition, most agree that hormones - particularly xenoestrogens - play a factor.

Endometriosis symptoms are much like the effects of PMS and include pelvic pain, fatigue, cramping, and bloating. While doctors aren't entirely sure what causes this painful, uncomfortable condition, most agree that hormones - particularly xenoestrogens - play a factor.

Xenoestrogen is a hormone that is very similar to estrogen. Too much xenoestrogen is thought to stimulate endometrial tissue growth. HRT for women helps balance these hormones and, when used with a custom nutrition program, can provide relief for women across the U.S.

 Sermorelin Fairview, NJ

What is Sermorelin?

Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.

 HRT Fairview, NJ

Benefits of Sermorelin

Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.

  • Benefits of Sermorelin include:
  • Better Immune Function
  • Improved Physical Performance
  • More Growth Hormone Production
  • Less Body Fat
  • Build More Lean Muscle
  • Better Sleep
 Hormone Replacement Fairview, NJ

What is Ipamorelin?

Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.

Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Fairview, NJ

Benefits of Ipamorelin

One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies. Ipamorelin can boost a patient's overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life.

When growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland using Ipamorelin, clients report amazing benefits. Some of those benefits include:

  • Powerful Anti-Aging Properties
  • More Muscle Mass
  • Less Unsightly Body Fat
  • Deep, Restful Sleep
  • Increased Athletic Performance
  • More Energy
  • Less Recovery Time for Training Sessions and Injuries
  • Enhanced Overall Wellness and Health
  • No Significant Increase in Cortisol

Your New, Youthful Lease on Life with HRT for Women

Whether you are considering our HRT and anti-aging treatments for women in Fairview, NJ, we are here to help. The first step to reclaiming your life begins by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation. Our friendly, knowledgeable HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!

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Latest News in Fairview, NJ

Bergen County Food Deserts: Fairview Makes The List

Fairview ranks among 50 cities in the state considered to be food desert communities, according to the Economic Development Authority.FAIRVIEW, NJ — Fairview is one of 50 cities in New Jersey considered to be a food desert community by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.The authority's board approved a list of food desert communities throughout the state that may be eligible for Food Desert Relief Act funding.Fairview had a score of 48.3 out of 100 for overall access to healthy foods, according to the ...

Fairview ranks among 50 cities in the state considered to be food desert communities, according to the Economic Development Authority.

FAIRVIEW, NJ — Fairview is one of 50 cities in New Jersey considered to be a food desert community by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

The authority's board approved a list of food desert communities throughout the state that may be eligible for Food Desert Relief Act funding.

Fairview had a score of 48.3 out of 100 for overall access to healthy foods, according to the authority's list of state food desert communities.

The authority based its scores on a city's food retail environment, demographics and economic and health indicators.

Fairview residents share a retail area with Hudson County, where approximately 303,129 residents are underserved, according to the authority's report.

"Access is key," Susan Colacurcio, executive director of Fairview's Franciscan Community Development Center, said in the report. "These people don't have cars, they can't afford taxis or jitneys, so they have to be able to walk to the sore. The stroller is the universal carrier. If there's a child in the stroller, they carry less food per trip."

Gov. Phil Murphy in January 2021 signed into law the Economic Recovery Act, part of which included the Food Desert Relief Act, which required the development authority to address food insecurity within cities across the state.

The authority will provide up to $240 million in funding through the relief act, with up to $40 million per year for six years in tax credits, loans, grants and technical assistance to increase access to nutritious food and help alleviate food deserts.

A January U.S. Census Bureau survey found that almost one in 13 New Jersey households reported not having enough to eat in the past seven days, the authority reported. There were more than 1.5 million people in all 21 of the state's counties living in a food desert community.

The development authority expected to issue regulations later this year, "a critical step in the development of any Food Desert Relief Act-related programs," it said.

"New Jersey has long been at the forefront in the fight against food insecurity," said Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, in a statement. "We have a moral duty to reduce food insecurity within our state's borders and the programs we create under the Food Desert Relief Act will strengthen our ability to connect New Jerseyans in the 50 designated Food Desert communities with access to much-needed nutritious food."

Here is a list of the food desert communities in North Jersey:

Go here to view the full list.

North Jersey to share in $40M fund aimed at attracting grocers to underserved areas

It may be the Garden State, but New Jersey has 50 "food deserts" in need of a $40 million annual carrot to attract businesses that can supply fresh fruits and vegetables to residents.New Jersey's Food Desert Relief Program will offer up to $240 million in tax credits, loans, grants and technical assistance over the next six years to attract providers to these 50 underserved areas.The New Jersey Economic Development Authority estimates 1.5 million residents live in one of these so-called deserts, includi...

It may be the Garden State, but New Jersey has 50 "food deserts" in need of a $40 million annual carrot to attract businesses that can supply fresh fruits and vegetables to residents.

New Jersey's Food Desert Relief Program will offer up to $240 million in tax credits, loans, grants and technical assistance over the next six years to attract providers to these 50 underserved areas.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority estimates 1.5 million residents live in one of these so-called deserts, including 330,229 in Essex County, 133,609 in Passaic County and 10,478 in Morris County.

Fairview was the only Bergen County municipality to qualify, mostly because its 1,135 residents share a retail area with neighboring Hudson County, where an estimated 303,129 residents are underserved.

"Access is key," said Susan Colacurcio, executive director of Fairview's Franciscan Community Development Center, which feeds the food insecure. "These people don't have cars, they can't afford taxis or jitneys, so they have to be able to walk to the store. The stroller is the universal carrier. If there's a child in the stroller, they carry less food per trip."

The authority will issue participation regulations later this year, said CEO Tim Sullivan.

A food desert is a geographic area where access to affordable, healthy food is limited or nonexistent because grocery stores that provide nutritious food such as fresh fruits and vegetables are too far away.

The New Jersey program is part of the Economic Recovery Act signed into law last January. The municipalities were given factor scores based on retail environment, demographics, economic and health indicators. Camden/Woodlynne had the worst overall access to healthful foods of the 50 chosen sites, with a score of 100. Montague Township in Sussex County scored 26.1. Passaic was worst in Passaic County, at 81.3. Fairview came in at 48.3.

In North Jersey the "desert" sites include:

City Green in Clifton runs a variety of food-related programs, and is "following this very closely" said Jasmine Moreano, director of advocacy and community engagement.

"We think they're on the right track, thinking outside the box," Moreno said. "There are many variables to contribute to these areas, and the goals are to make food accessible and affordable."

Moreno cited her own family experience struggling for access after a Pathmark closed in Paterson. It meant a bus trip to Fair Lawn's ShopRite.

"There are many factors," Moreno said. "Small stores need help buying refrigerators so they can keep fresh produce. Farmers market people need help with wireless terminals so they can process SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Access Program]. It's a lot of little stuff like that that makes it prohibitive to set up in these areas."

New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher cited the state's 10,000 farms as hope for the future.

"We can, and must, leverage the ingenuity of our farmers and the resources made available through the Food Desert Relief Act to connect food insecure New Jerseyans with access to the fresh-grown fruits and vegetables grown at these farms," Fisher said.

To view an interactive map of food deserts, click here.

Marsha Stoltz is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

7 Bergen County towns under boil water advisory for E. coli. Here's what you should do

Seven towns in Bergen County are under a boil water advisory after E. coli was detected within a water distribution system following a water main break.Fairview, Cliffside Park, Ridgefield, Edgewater, Fort Lee, Palisades Park and Leonia were notified by Veolia Water New Jersey after 9 p.m. on Thursday after test results returned.The boil water advisory remains in effect. New water samples will be collected on Saturday morning, for testing by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection & Energy, according to...

Seven towns in Bergen County are under a boil water advisory after E. coli was detected within a water distribution system following a water main break.

Fairview, Cliffside Park, Ridgefield, Edgewater, Fort Lee, Palisades Park and Leonia were notified by Veolia Water New Jersey after 9 p.m. on Thursday after test results returned.

The boil water advisory remains in effect. New water samples will be collected on Saturday morning, for testing by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection & Energy, according to a message sent out to Leonia residents. The earliest that the boil water advisory might be lifted would be Sunday afternoon.

Residents are also reminded that Veolia does not recommend the use of water filters during the boil water advisory and that they will not be effective.

Additional water tests were performed after a water main break occurred in Ridgefield on Monday night during a rainstorm. The water main break wasn't fully repaired until Tuesday followed by additional water tests.

Veolia, formerly Suez Water, takes over 7,000 water quality tests a month normally, Debra Vial, a spokeswoman for Veolia said. Additional tests came back clear Tuesday, but it takes 24 hours for the E. coli test to return. After a trace amount of E. coli returned, the state required the company to validate the results with additional tests, which came back Thursday night.

"One of the many tests indicated a trace amount, which triggered a boil water before drinking advisory," Vial said.

E. coli indicates that water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. "Human pathogens in these wastes can cause short-term effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms," Veolia warned. "They may pose a greater health risk for infants, young children, the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems."

Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source, like during the heavy rains earlier this week. It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system pipes or a failure in the water treatment process.

Additional test results are scheduled to return Friday night and if needed Saturday that will determine when the advisory will be lifted.

Veolia began flushing all the pipes in the area with high velocity water to clear the E. coli. Phone messages were sent to customers and town officials were notified and began issuing their own warnings to residents. The same notification process will take place once clean test results are received.

Tens of thousands of water bottles were distributed to the effected towns in senior housing areas. A water tanker is also available on Brinkerhoff Avenue in Fort Lee.

What should you do now?

Do not drink the water.

Residents are instructed to bring tap water, even if it is filtered, to a rolling boil for one minute and allow it to cool before using for the following: drinking, cooking, or baking, making ice cubes, taking medication, brushing teeth, handwashing dishes, washing food, mixing baby formula or food, mixing juices or drinks, feeding pets, and all other consumption. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms that may be present in the water. Water does not have to be boiled for showering or washing clothes.

What do I do once the advisory is lifted?

After a notice has been lifted, you should flush household pipes, ice makers, water fountains, etc., prior to using for drinking or cooking. Flushing simply means letting the water run to ensure that no contaminated water remains in your pipes. Follow these guidelines for flushing:

Verona Faces Prospect of Raising Pool Membership Rates to Help Fund Upgrades

VERONA, NJ -- The township's interim chief financial officer, Jennifer Muscara, presented a report to the Verona Town Council Monday night on the status of the community pool project.Muscara said that current projections are that the pool may generate $100,000 less in revenue in 2023 than it will this year."As of right now, we can only anticipate $723,860 of revenue for 2023," Muscara said. The projected 2022 pool revenue is $831,490. "The difference needed to cover our debt for 2023 is $117,233. We currently hav...

VERONA, NJ -- The township's interim chief financial officer, Jennifer Muscara, presented a report to the Verona Town Council Monday night on the status of the community pool project.

Muscara said that current projections are that the pool may generate $100,000 less in revenue in 2023 than it will this year.

"As of right now, we can only anticipate $723,860 of revenue for 2023," Muscara said. The projected 2022 pool revenue is $831,490. "The difference needed to cover our debt for 2023 is $117,233. We currently have 1,277 members. If I divide that, it's about a $92 per membership increase."

Muscara said that several high-cost renovations are pending at the pool.

"The splash pad alone for the zero entry baby pool will be $1.3 million. That does not include the spray park parts, which are about $95,000, which we are getting cheaper off of state contract," Muscara said. "We're estimating $20,000 in road repairs from the water line from the baby pool all the way up to Fairview to patch that. ... Two shade structures are not included at $58,000."

Total costs for the splash pad project to $1.498 million.

"We've got some quotes for replacing the tennis courts, would be about $100,000. Three basketball courts would be $96,000," Muscara said. "The playground up there, I'm assuming, around $250,000. Refurbishing the big pool would be $450,000."

Councilman Jack McEvoy pointed out that the large pool must be refurbished in 2023.

Muscara said, "We will definitely have to talk about increases in memberships next year."

Council members raised concerns that too steep an increase in pool memberships might drive the number of memberships down.

"I would be concerned about where we would end up on the balance of how many people actually get memberships at a higher rate. So I'm wondering if we know what sort of elasticity there is for membership pricing," Mayor Alex Roman said. "What I worry about ... is basically causing a larger financial problem for the pool. If you raise the membership rates too high, you're going to have a dropoff in memberships. That's likely to cause a larger long-term fiscal problem. ... We can't just raise the rates on the pool ad infinitum and (expect that) they're all gonna pay it."

Councilwoman Cynthia Holland said that the pending expenses are "something that we should have been more thoughtfully planning for as a town. ... We do need an asset management plan, not just for our water utility, where it's required."

McEvoy said that some of the upgrades at the pool have been in the planning stages for years, before the cost of materials rose sharply. He also said that some of the planned upgrades are luxuries, rather than necessities.

"We started this before COVID. Once COVID hit, rates went up. Materials are a lot more money now," McEvoy said. "The higher numbers that are shocking are the ones because you're giving these amenities. You want a zero entry baby pool, you've got to pay for it. Two shade structures for $58,000. These things are perks when you go there."

McEvoy said that raising membership rates might diminish one of the prime attractions that the pool offers for local residents.

"One of the beauties of that pool, you hear from a lot of people, the rates are low, and that's why they pay it, and they go there all summer," McEvoy said. "I don't want to burden the people who, during these times, are financially burdened. Some people use it for their vacations."

‘COVID crushed us’: Chronic absenteeism plagued N.J. schools during pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the 2020-21 school year, thousands of Camden students were chronically absent, either not showing up at buildings or failing to log in for remote learning, a state report shows.The number of students in the Camden City School District who missed 10 or more school days — the definition of chronically absent — jumped to 57% that year, up from 34% during the 2018-19 school year, the last full year held in person, according to the annual New Jersey School Performance Reports.It was a y...

As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the 2020-21 school year, thousands of Camden students were chronically absent, either not showing up at buildings or failing to log in for remote learning, a state report shows.

The number of students in the Camden City School District who missed 10 or more school days — the definition of chronically absent — jumped to 57% that year, up from 34% during the 2018-19 school year, the last full year held in person, according to the annual New Jersey School Performance Reports.

It was a year unlike any other when the coronavirus forced schools to shut down for months. Camden was among the last districts in the region to fully reopen; elsewhere, schools slowly reopened buildings with in-person learning, although many students stayed remote.

» READ MORE: Thousands of kindergartners didn’t show up for school last year. Here’s what that means for the school year to come.

In an annual report that usually assesses student performance in math, science, and language arts — tests that were canceled in both spring 2020 and 2021 — the impact of the pandemic was most visible when it came to attendance: Chronic absenteeism increased 30% among New Jersey’s 1.4 million public school students, the report found. Graduation rates also fell slightly statewide, while some economically disadvantaged districts like Camden and Burlington City had a much larger decline. (Figures were not reported for the 2019-20 school year because of COVID-19.)

Camden, which enrolled almost 6,200 students that year, ranked second-highest for chronic absenteeism among South Jersey districts with at least 500 students. (Camden Prep, a charter that enrolls about 1,000, had the worst record.) Absenteeism was highest among preschoolers, kindergartners, and freshmen, said Camden Superintendent Katrina McCombs.

“It was a long 18 months for our high school students being in a remote environment,” McCombs said Monday. “Despite the hard work, we just had a difficult time keeping our students engaged.”

The findings of the report are troubling but not surprising, school officials say, given that some schools had virtual instruction for part of the year. In some districts, students went months without devices to get access to their classrooms.

Among the districts with the highest absenteeism rates were poor-performing and economically disadvantaged districts including Camden, Willingboro, Paulsboro, Lindenwold, and Clementon. Several charter schools, including Camden Prep, KIPP Norcross Academy, and Mastery Schools, saw fewer students coming to school as well.

Absenteeism at KIPP, where enrollment is about 1,700, more than doubled to 45% in 2020-21, compared with 23% for the 2018-19 school year, the report said.

There were many reasons why students may not have attended virtual classes, said Jessica Shearer, a KIPP spokesperson. Some may not have had a quiet place at home to log on, or they were responsible for supervising younger siblings, she said.

“Our students and their families were hit particularly hard by the pandemic,” she said in a statement. “Attendance could not be the priority it may have been in previous years as families struggled to overcome the chaos of the pandemic.”

Said one Burlington City school official: “COVID crushed us.”

When the 2020-2021 school began year, many public schools opened with hybrid learning models and students attended traditional and online classes. Teachers said the biggest challenge was getting students to log in virtually. (New Jersey leaves it to individual districts to come up with attendance policies, but schools are required to open for 180 days.)

Before the pandemic, average daily attendance in Camden, a state-run school system, was about 92% in its traditional public schools, McCombs said. That first year of COVID, officials sent letters, called parents, made home visits, and provided internet help to get more students to show up, she said.

McCombs said the year was especially difficult for Camden’s 1,400 high school students, who spent the entire 2020-21 school year in remote learning. The district decided to keep those five schools closed after health and safety concerns and after only about 25% of students said they would return to the classroom. McCombs said some had to work to help support their families after their parents lost their jobs.

”There’s no substitute for a teacher being in front of students,” she said.

Camden’s four-year graduation rate in 2020-21 also dropped 11.4 percentage points to 58.5%, the lowest in the region. The state average is 91%, a slight decline from the previous year.

Elsewhere in the region, graduation rates at Mastery Charter, Burlington City, Riverside, Paulsboro, Lindenwold, Pennsauken, and Pine Hill were among the districts with graduation rates below the state average.

McCombs said it was “very sobering to see all of the different ups and downs” in Camden schools. The state took over the district in 2013 after years of poor student performance.

The superintendent said graduation rates increased from 49% just prior to the state intervention to about 70% for the 2019-20 school year before the pandemic upended education.

McCombs said the district has put co-teachers in elementary classes, hired more counselors, and added more resources to help students cope with the social and emotional impact from COVID-19. The district also plans to offer summer school this year to help students make up for learning loss.

”It’s heartbreaking when you see all of the hard work that educators and students are doing,” McCombs said. “We’re going to keep pushing and pushing until we see that gap close.”

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