First day of school begins for many across New Jersey, with most returning to hybrid lessons
Students across New Jersey started school Tuesday, with most returning to hybrid in-person and remote lessons.
The school-year shakeup stems from the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has resulted in nearly 195,000 positive cases and more than 14,000 deaths.
Gov. Phil Murphy said 388 school districts opted for a hybrid model, which entails classroom and remote learning. There were 69 districts with all in-person learning, and 238 with all-remote starts. Murphy says 28 districts have schools in them that went with a combination of those models.
The South Brunswick School District has different phases for getting back to school, calling the current phase -- fully remote -- phase four. It has different levels, gradually adding some students into the classrooms that have special needs.
Some of the other big districts in the state that began Tuesday are Newark, which is remote through at least the first marking period, Paterson, which is remote until at least Nov. 1, and Toms River, which is also remote through at least the first marking period. Trenton is remote, and their first day of school for all students is Sept. 10.
The South Brunswick School District also has remote learning centers in some of its schools, where students can go for their virtual school days, acknowledging that not every student has the ability to learn virtually at home, and many of their parents have to be at work.
Photos: Back to School 2020
“We can actually see kids, not just hear from them,” says Scott Feder, superintendent of the South Brunswick School District. “We're watching kids as they do their remote learning. So, that helps and gives us a lot of information because even when you come back to hybrid model, half of your kids are still remote learning in our district. Over 70% of our parents selected one, right there running at 100% choice. So, for us, remote learning is really important, for us to be able to see how remote warning is happening right in front of us is a huge advantage and allows us to make adjustments on the fly and then make permeated adjustments as we go.”
The district is working to get to a more hybrid phase where some of its students, particularly special needs students, can be in the classrooms.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.