New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced Monday that all public and private schools in the state will remain closed for the rest of the academic year.
“ALL SCHOOLS WILL REMAIN CLOSED for in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year – to protect the health of our children, our educators, and their families,” Murphy said on Twitter. “Guided by safety and science, this is the best course of action.”
The order also applies to private schools with longer school years, he said. They must remain closed until at least June 30.
“We reach this conclusion based on the guidance from our public health experts and with a single goal in mind, the safety, and well-being of our children and our educators,” Murphy said Monday during his daily briefing on the pandemic.
By extending the closure, New Jersey joins 45 other states that have ordered or recommended schools to close for the remainder of the school year, according to a tracker by Education Week. The closures affect nearly 50 million public school students.
“I believe we’re state number 46 to close for the balance of the year,” Murphy said. “We did want to give this every shot we could — in particular for the seniors.”
State officials may try and give graduating high school seniors who were “looking forward to their proms and walking across the stage to receive their diplomas” ways to celebrate, Murphy said.