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The New Jersey Department of Education is working with school districts on plans to safely reopen schools, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced.

Two school districts — Willingboro Schools and East Brunswick Schools — discussed their reopen plan during Wednesday’s Covid-19 presser. 

“It’s health and safety above all else,” when it comes to reopening schools, Governor Murphy said.  

East Brunswick schools will not fully return to school at this time, but a hybrid education plan will be in place, schools superintendent Victor Valeski said. The school has not decided how many in-person days school will take place but all students will participate in virtual learning to a certain extent, Veleski added. More than 70% of parents within the school district said they wanted a hybrid education plan for the fall, Valeski said.

Elementary schools will be broken down into two groups and Secondary schools will be broken down into four groups, Valeski said, noting that students in the same family will attend school on the same day. Students won’t eat in the cafeteria but will have grab-and-go lunches available for students. 

Willingboro Public Schools says all students will participate in remote learning at least until November, superintendent Neely Hackett said. Students will have virtual classes five days a week from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. local time and classes will be recorded so if students miss a class, they can catch up later.

When in-person classes begin again, the school plans to give all students face masks twice a month, Hackett said.

Ventilation issues are a big reason why students can’t return to school at this time, Hackett said. The Willingboro School District has submitted their plan to reopen schools to the New Jersey Department of Education, Hackett said. Back to school plans “will be reviewed as soon as they come in, as soon as the department can get to them,” New Jersey Department of Education Spokesperson Kevin Dehmer said.

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