Toms River schools return to 4 half days a week; 600 staff members sign up for COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines will be given out next Monday to hundreds of teachers in Ocean County, as some schools transition into its latest step in the safe reopening.
The vaccines for the Toms River School District staff members will be given out at Community Medical Center. Six-hundred faculty members have already signed up for the shots.
Toms River paired up with the RWJ Barnabas Health Group to offer the large number of faculty members a shot.
“We are excited to be working with our local hospital community medical center Robert Wood Johnson to provide additional vaccinations for our staff members,” says Assistant Superintendent James Ricotta.
As part of its phased-in approach, priority is being given to staff members who are 55 years of age or older, or who have pre-existing medical conditions. It's expected all staff members who have signed up will be able to receive the first shot next week. Many have already received vaccinations on their own who previously qualified under state guidelines.   
“We have a staff, a veteran staff of teachers, paraprofessionals, bus drivers, bus aids, custodians,” says Ricotta. “These people we depend upon, the cafeteria workers, they are important. Everyone's important to our mission of getting our students back to school full-time. That's our goal. That's what our community and our board of education wants.
Toms River secondary schools transitioned this week into its latest step in the safe reopening, as kids are now going to in person in classroom learning four-half days a week. Ricotta also expects to return to a five-day in-person school week for high school and middle school students soon.