Some New Jersey schools going virtual as COVID-19 cases rise across New Jersey

A surge of COVID-19 cases in New Jersey means that more school districts in the state are choosing to have kids stay at home.
The Mount Laurel School District chose to switch back to remote learning after an increase in absences. Schools in the town were closed on Wednesday so that teachers and staff had enough time to prepare for virtual learning. The decision came as students returned to the classroom on Tuesday following winter break.
“We had to pack up our things quick and easy,” says Yolanda McGraw, a sixth grader at Hartford School.
The schools will be virtual until after at least Jan. 14. A letter sent to parents explained that the decision came because of staffing shortages and the number of students out sick. Fifteen percent of students were absent on Tuesday.
Pre-K through first grade and some special-education classes will remain in person, but for half-days. Second grade through eighth grade will have virtual half-days.
Yada Bowery is a mother with one student who will be remote and one who will remain in-person. She says that it is hard for working parents, but she is happy that her children will be safe.
“I was kind of hoping with so much going on right now, I don’t want them to get sick again. So, I’d rather they be home than in school with the kids that possibly could be sick or teachers,” Bowery says.
Some middle school students had mixed reactions to the decision.
“I can stay home and sleep more,” says eighth grade student Kuron Perch.
"Online it's harder because you can't do everything that you're supposed to do because tests are harder to do online than in school,” says McGraw.
Mount Laurel is now the only district in Burlington County that is going remote. Burlington City and Burlington Township are both online as well.