By CBS3 Staff

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — Just days before New Jersey students return to the classroom, a new vaccine mandate for teachers and school staff is what many educators expected.

Governor Phil Murphy announced the mandate Monday, joining states like California and Connecticut with similar requirements.

READ MORE: More Than 100 Penn State Students Temporarily Suspended After Missing Weeks Of COVID Tests

“We are going to do what we can to ensure a safe start as possible,” the governor said.

The new requirement means teachers and staff for preschool through 12th grade have to get the vaccine by October 18. Those who don’t will be tested weekly.

Dr. Joseph Mcloche, the Cherry Hill Superintendent of Schools, told CBS3 the mandate was not a shock.

READ MORE: FDA Authorizes Pfizer's COVID-19 Booster Shot For Americans Over 65, Those At High-Risk

“Honestly, we weren’t surprised; it’s something we have been talking about planning for and preparing for since the beginning of the summer,” Dr. Mcloche said.

He said the schools are now working to incorporated the new rule. Teachers are simply excited to see their students again.

“There is a lot of excitement for the first day of school,” he said. “We are thrilled for the kids to be back and for the staff to be back. Schools should have human beings in them and a lot of them.”

MORE NEWS: 3 Men Injured In Wynnefield Shooting, Police Say

Any employee who doesn’t get the vaccine can be tested for COVID up to two times a week.