CAMDEN, NJ — Camden schools will operate under a full-remote learning format through January 31, Superintendent Katrina McCombs said in a letter Thursday.

The school year will start Sept. 8.

“During this remote period, we will continue to assess and monitor the needs and feedback of our families and staff at which time we will make a determination in early January whether the District will be ready to adequately offer in-person instruction,” McCombs wrote to families in the city. 

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The superintendent was elated to share Wednesday that following the green light from Gov. Phil Murphy Camden schools would not have in-person instruction to start the school year off.

“I’ve gotten feedback from parents saying it’s a relief for them, as well as parents saying they were looking into sending their kids to school so it’s somewhat a mixed review but I think Superintendent McCombs is doing the right thing,” school board member Falio Leyba-Martinez told TAPinto Camden. “I think the district is moving in the right direction. With the [coronavirus] spike we're seeing in young people around the state, I think it makes sense we do this for now until we get more information.” 

The district originally announced a hybrid plan, saying it was “fluid” and could change based on state allowances. 

McCombs cited a shortage of staff in announcing the need to only have virtual learning.

Residents have also pointed to the disproportionate toll COVID-19 has had on Camden City as well - 2,562 cases and 71 deaths as of Thursday (more cases than any in the county).

The school district says it will share more information over the next few days. A questions form is also available here. 

“Once again, I recognize how uneasy this time is for us all,” McCombs continued. “I also recognize that yesterday’s decision may also not be the most ideal for all families. We are committed to working as hard as we can to provide the best, the safest and the most healthy learning environment for all our students.”

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