BRIDGEWATER, NJ - All Bridgewater-Raritan Regional schools will be closed, with a distance learning plan in effect from March 16 through March 27, and all field trips, school events and activities are also postponed, effective March 16.

According to a message from the district, schools are already closed March 13 for students and teaching staff, but the distance learning plan will begin as of March 16.

From there, the district says, the situation will be evaluating each week, and the distance learning program will be extended if necessary.

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All students, family members and community members will not be permitted in any school building until further notice.

"It is possible that action from the NJDOE or the governor may supersede us at some point," the district said. "We are choosing to act immediately and will adjust plans if necessary."

According to the district, the first priority is the health and well-being of the students, teachers and staff members.

"As you know, we have been proactively preparing to continue delivery of instruction through distance learning since the NJDOE indicated, last week, that if we have a plan in place for consistent home instructional services while closed, such days would count toward our 180-day requirement," the district said. "Public health officials continue to advise that social distancing is the most effective strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We recognize that school closures will create challenges for our families and our community, but we also recognize our responsibility to address this public health concern."