CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — Even as some school districts are reverting to virtual learning because of surging COVID-19 cases, some are staying open for at least some in-person learning. One of those districts is Cherry Hill.
The continuing rise in coronavirus cases has many school districts in the tri-state area reverting to all virtual learning, but New Jersey officials are staying the course offering a range of options.
“This week, we welcomed children back into the buildings for the first time in almost eight months,” Cherry Hill School District Superintendent Dr. Joseph Meloche said, “which really is kind of going against what most other school districts are doing at the moment. Our children had been on full remote instruction since the beginning of September, and honestly since back on March 16 when we started in the spring.”
Cherry Hill School District officials say they’ve welcomed back at least 25% of students in a hybrid learning setting while some parents have chosen to continue all digital education for their children.
School district officials say the kids are adapting to a new normal in a most abnormal situation.
“Our students have definitely been prepared, wearing masks,” Meloche said. “They know about washing hands, many of them are carrying hand sanitizer with them. I was out in front of one of our middle schools this morning, the kids got off the bus and they just immediately kind of fall in and keep themselves separated.”
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has left it to each school district to decide what works best for its students and he believes that system is working.
“Our in-school experience so far, I’m knocking on wood, has been very good,” Murphy said. “We’ve had 56 cumulative in-school transmissions impacting a couple of hundred people since school opened. We take all of that very seriously. That’s 56 out of over 3,000 buildings.”
School districts in New Jersey are in daily contact with state health officials. As school districts continue to monitor cases within their school environments, Murphy continues to give them the autonomy to decide how to continue to keep students safe.
“We’ve got hybrid districts, we’ve got completely remote, we’ve got in-person, we’ve got combinations,” Murphy said. “We continue to monitor this at the district level every single day.”
Camden County officials say they are seeing a surge in Camden City. That is where their focus is at this point and they’re working with school districts to ensure everyone stays safe.
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