State reports big drop in all-remote learning for NJ public schools

Department of Education data shows continuing trend toward at least some in-person instruction
Credit: (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
File photo: Schools that open for in-person instruction must maintain strict COVID-19 protocols

As a second surge of COVID-19 cases hits the state, New Jersey’s public schools are nevertheless continuing to shift toward at least some in-person instruction, according to the latest breakdown from the state.

The state Department of Education is reporting a significant drop in the last month of districts and other public schools going all-remote, with nearly a third moving instead to a hybrid model that includes both remote and in-person schooling.

Now, more than 500 of the 800 surveyed districts, charter schools and special needs schools are following the hybrid model, the department said.

Find your district or county here.

Here’s the latest breakdown:

  • 97 districts and charter schools are teaching with an all in-person model, up from 87 in mid-October;
  • 513 are using a hybrid model, including both in-person and remote learning, up from 437;
  • 164 are using all-remote instruction, down from 245;
  • 37 are using a combination of remote in some schools and in-person in others.

“We’ve certainly seen the number of hybrid plans increase and the number of remote plans decrease,” said Mike Yaple, the department’s spokesman.

“This is admirable progress toward the return to safe in-person instruction,” he said. “School districts and educators have shown great flexibility and ingenuity in switching from one learning model to another, depending on local circumstances and need. That is at the heart of New Jersey’s approach to reopening, and we expect that dynamic to continue.”

Yaple did not directly address the rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations outside of schools, but said that the state would continue to track the data in providing guidance to schools.

“As with dining, retail and other matters that require in-person interaction, any move toward in-person instruction in schools will be driven by the data,” he said.