TOMS RIVER – All of the schools in the Toms River Regional School System will be 100% virtual starting Tuesday, November 24 and remaining this way until reopening on December 14.
Superintendent David Healy said that it had been the district’s intention to remain open, but said in a message to parents that schools have to close immediately.
“We’ve been advised and urged by the Ocean County Health Department, in the interest of public health and with consideration for the rising number of COVID-19 cases within Toms River and the surrounding Ocean County community, to temporarily but immediately close our schools,” he said.
According to data from the OCHD, Toms River had several days in the last few weeks where there were 30 or more new cases a day.
Schools had been blended on Monday, November 23. Students had a mix of virtual and in-person education. The robocall, emails, and other messages about closing schools on November 24 was sent out on November 23.
The plan is to reopen for blended learning on Monday, December 14. This plan relies on the number of cases going down, and the guidance of health professionals.
“I want to reiterate that this was not a course of action we wanted to take, and I also want to reassure all of you that this decision is being made despite our relentless, collective efforts to adhere to protocols and thus ensure the safety of our students and staff,” Healy said. “This is not an indictment of those efforts; in fact, all reports and data suggest that our schools have done an extraordinary job of preventing outbreaks, a sentiment recently echoed by OCHD. Unfortunately, this is a necessary response to a much broader problem, as the status of
our area has progressed to ‘high risk.’”
Parents were urged to continue to notify building principals of any positive cases to protect the safety of other students and staff.
The district had plans in place to go virtual should the COVID numbers continue to rise, the superintendent said.