NEW JERSEY — Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that schools would remain closed for the remainder of the academic year in an ongoing effort to contain COVID-19. Remote learning will remain in place.

“We have a single goal in mind: the safety and well-being of our children, and of our educators, administrators and staff,” Murphy said. 

The governor's announcement at his daily press briefing comes after the New Jersey Education Association and other education groups wrote a letter last week encouraging Murphy to keep school buildings closed for the rest of the academic year.

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Spring sports at high school in New Jersey are also effectively canceled, the NJSIAA announced Monday.

“This decision was not made lightly and we are disappointed for the thousands of New Jersey student-athletes who will be unable to compete this spring,” the NJSIAA, governing body for New Jersey high school sports, said in a statement. “While we remained hopeful to the end, and left open every possibility, competition simply is not feasible given the circumstances.”

The cancelations follow New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision last week to shutter schools. Pennsylvania ordered its schools closed almost a month ago. Delaware shuttered its schools on April 24 while Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont is expected to make the decision for his state this week.

Milestone events such as proms, graduations and other moving up ceremonies are to be determined, Murphy said.

“The Department of Education will work with school officials to share ideas on safe and innovative ways to recognize 2020 high school graduates and other end-of-year milestones for students,” he said.

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