Governor Murphy Announces That Schools Will Be Required to Provide Full-Time, In-Person Instruction Beginning Fall 2021

May 17, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Continuing his commitment to ensuring that students have access to a high-quality education, Governor Phil Murphy today announced that upon the conclusion of this school year, portions of Executive Order 175 allowing remote learning will be rescinded, meaning that schools will be required to provide full-day, in-person instruction, as they were prior to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

“When schools across New Jersey first closed their doors in March of last year, little was known about COVID-19 and how it spread. But over a year has passed, and we are now facing a very different reality,” said Governor Murphy. “With our health metrics trending decisively in the right direction, the significant progress we have made in our vaccination effort, and vaccines now available to those as young as 12, we are in a position to get our students back into the classroom full-time come fall. We know that there is no substitute for in-person education and know that a full opening of our schools is critical to the well-being of our students.”

“Over the past year we have made the health of our students and school staff a top priority, and stakeholders in all of our school communities have done a commendable job of weathering this storm,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner of Education. “Now we turn a corner, and students, educators, and parents throughout New Jersey can look forward to the full return to safe in-person instruction at the start of the 2021–2022 school year. Local Educational Agencies will continue to adhere to Individualized Education Programs, 504 Plans, and the Home Instruction needs of their students.” 

While school districts will be required to fully open buildings beginning Fall 2021, remote learning will be permitted in the event that there is a localized outbreak or other emergency. If buildings are open for in-person instruction, parents or guardians will not be able to opt-out of in-person instruction.

Summer camps and summer educational programming for Summer 2021 will not be impacted and will still be required to follow relevant health and safety protocols.