Gov. says schools must provide full-time, in-person instruction in Sept.

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Gov. Phil Murphy has announced that upon the conclusion of the 2020-21 school year, portions of Executive Order 175 allowing remote learning will be rescinded, meaning that schools will be required to provide full-day, in-person instruction as they were doing prior to the COVID-19 public health emergency that began in March 2020.

“When schools across New Jersey first closed their doors in March of last year, little was known about COVID-19 and how it spread. But over a year has passed and we are now facing a very different reality,” Murphy was quoted as saying in a press release from his office.

“With our health metrics trending decisively in the right direction, the significant progress we have made in our vaccination effort, and vaccines now available to those as young as 12, we are in a position to get our students back into the classroom full-time come fall. We know there is no substitute for in-person education and know a full opening of our schools is critical to the well-being of our students,” Murphy said.

Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, New Jersey’s acting commissioner of education, said, “Over the past year we have made the health of our students and school staff a top priority, and stakeholders in all of our school communities have done a commendable job of weathering this storm.

“Now we turn a corner, and students, educators and parents throughout New Jersey can look forward to the full return to safe in-person instruction at the start of the 2021–22 school year. Local educational agencies will continue to adhere to individualized education programs, 504 plans and the home instruction needs of their students,” Allen-McMillan said.

According to the press release, while school district administrators will be required to fully open buildings beginning at the start of the 2021-22 school year, remote learning will be permitted in the event there is a localized outbreak or other emergency.

If buildings are open for in-person instruction, parents or guardians will not be able to opt out of in-person instruction, according to Murphy.

Summer camps and summer educational programming for the summer of 2021 will not be impacted and will still be required to follow relevant health and safety protocols, according to the press release.