JERSEY CITY, NJ - Defying recommendations made by Gov. Phil Murphy, the Jersey City Board of Education voted to keep kids out of the classroom when the school year starts. The board unanimously approved the total remote learning plan presented by Superintendent Franklin Walker.

The decision came in response to spikes in virus cases documented elsewhere in the country when in-class instruction resumed, Walker said.

In July, per direction by Murphy that schools must offer some in classroom learning,  the district announced that a third of its students would be allowed to return for in-class instruction. But Walker said reports from other parts of the country made it necessary to be more cautious in regard to Jersey City’s public school children.

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Walker pointed to the fact that spikes in cases have caused the government to scale back other openings, and so he decided to be cautious. The district’s plan, however, will need to get the approval of the state Department of Education.

If approved, Jersey City students will begin remote learning on Sept. 10 and the situation will be assessed at the end of October.

While one recent survey showed that more than half of the parents interviewed said they would not be sending their kids back to school in September because of COVID-19 fears, a second revealed that a significant number of teachers would not be returning to school at all, many possibly seeking retirement.