The Toms River Regional School District is returning to a hybrid scheduled a week before they expected to as the level of Covid-19 cases has moved into a lower tier safe enough for classes to resume.

Superintendent David Healy sent a letter to parents on Monday announcing the decision to return to in-person classes on December 7 instead of December 14.

"After spending last week, the four-day weekend, and this Monday morning carefully analyzing hundreds of COVID-related quarantines and district-wide staffing, we have revised the date of a safe return to in-person learning for all schools to Monday, December 7," Healy said in the letter.

He pointed to the COVID-19 Activity Level Report which currently lists the Toms River area as High Risk.

"This designation requests consideration of an all-remote learning environment, and it was our determination last week that going all-remote would help ensure the safety of our community in the context of an upward trend in positive cases.

We believe our cautious approach was the right one, placing us in a stronger position to re-implement hybrid, in-person learning.

If, however, our “Central East” area moves to the Very High Risk designation, we may likely be required to transition back to remote learning districtwide.

We know that one size does not fit all, especially when we consider our school district's size and complexity."

There remains a possibility though Healy said "that a particular school or grade level may need to move to remote instruction due to the transmission of COVID-19 within a building or class."

The plan for the district was to eventually go virtual anyway, but that was back in August when cases had not yet spiked.

The Toms River Regional School District plan was to go all virtual for education to begin the school year with hopes of transitioning to hybrid and then all in-person at some point when it would be deemed safe to do so per state and health guidelines, Superintendent David Healy told 92.7 WOBM News on August 14.


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