BERNARDSVILLE, NJ — The Somerset Hills Regional School District has decided to delay the start of the school year, but only by a few days.

Schools Superintendent Gretchen Dempsey said last week that a need for additional professional development days for faculty has precipitated a shift to Tuesday, Sept. 8 as the first day of school in the district. The original plan had been for a Sept. 3 first day.

However, Somerset Hills schools still are proceeding with a hybrid of in-person and virtual instruction to start the academic year, similar to what the Bedminster Township Public School is doing.

Many schools in Somerset County and around New Jersey are beginning the 2020-21 school year with 100 percent virtual instruction and are keeping their doors closed to students, either because their schools to not meet post-COVID safety protocols, or because of pressure from teacher’s unions. In many districts, teachers have said they will not teach in schools while the coronavirus still poses potential health threats.