NEW JERSEY -- In an announcement that was widely expected, Gov. Phil Murphy announced today that all schools will remain closed for in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year.

"Guided by safety and science, this is the best course of action," said Gov. Murphy, who added that his priority is to protect the health of our children, our educators, and their families.

"The NJ Department of Education will be leading stakeholder meetings to determine whether summer educational or other programs offered at our schools may proceed," Gov. Murphy said. "They will also conduct this same rigorous work regarding the opening of our buildings for the 2020-2021 school year in September."

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Additionally, student-athletes who were holding out hope that their spring seasons might be saved, heard the news they have dreaded. Gov. Murphy announced that the NJSIAA, the governing body for high school sports in the state, has recommended against the resumption of spring sports for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

"The NJSIAA Medical Board concluded that due to a lack of testing, viable treatments, and a vaccine, that spring sports were not a viable option," Gov. Murphy reported.

"To every student: We want you to be safe. We want you to be healthy. We want you to continue your educational journey, wherever it takes you. To ensure all of these things, we have to take this step,"-- Gov. Phil Murphy

Milestone events such as proms, graduations and other moving-up ceremonies will either occur virtually or be delayed to this summer or fall depending on when the state declares it is safe to gather in groups again. These decisions will be made individually by each school district.

"We’re working with the principle that public health creates economic health – or in this case, educational health," Gov. Murphy said. "If the standards are high to reopen our workplaces are high, they are even higher when it comes to schools filled with our children."