Approximately 25% of schools that have submitted plans to the state Department of Education have indicated they plan to start the year with all-remote learning.
Gov. Phil Murphy, speaking at his COVID-19 briefing Monday, said 180 districts have made such a request.
Murphy said 436 reopening plans envision a hybrid model of both in-person and remote learning — and that 59 districts plan to reopen with all in-person learning. He also said 11 districts have multiple scenarios, depending on their individual schools.
Murphy said there have been 745 total plans submitted to the Department of Education. Of those, 251 have been deemed completed, while 389 have been reviewed and returned to districts for necessary revisions.
An additional 105 are awaiting review. It’s unclear if any those districts is asking for an all-remote start.
Murphy said the state is doing what it can to help each district address its own issues.
“As we have noted before, we recognize the tremendous differences between and within our school districts that make a one-size-fits-all solution impractical,” he said. “We have provided our school communities the flexibility they needed — and, frankly, deserved — to be able to make the decision that works best for them.”
Murphy reiterated that the Department of Health has created six regional metrics for health risks and safety that he feels will help further help guide decision-making.
“New Jersey has come a long way in fighting this virus, and we aren’t out of the woods yet, but, using this health data, our determination is that each region in the state is safe for school reopening, with the right precautions in place at the individual school level,” he said.
Murphy said the administration will update on those numbers as the state approaches the start of the academic year.
We are grateful to district leaders, educators, parents and stakeholders for working together — in whichever district they live — to come to the right decision for their specific community. This kind of partnership is what has made our state’s schools among the very best in the entire nation.
Murphy also acknowledged a new partnership between Union County and Kean University in establishing a COVID-19 program curriculum for students that will also bring with it also further academic and career opportunities.
“I congratulate and thank Union County Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella and Kean University President Lamont Repollet on this exciting new jointure,” he said. “This is a unique opportunity for those in public office and in our higher education settings to work together to not only defeat this virus, but to train the next generation of virus-fighters.”