Oct. 5, 2020-- Today Toms River Regional Schools welcomed back into its buildings preschoolers, kindergarteners, first graders, and learning language disabled (LLD) students as part of Phase 2 of its #TRSafeReturn plan.
That blueprint for a safe return was refined when the district announced it would begin the year in an all-virtual format for most students, and its phased-in approach has set TRRS on track to bring all students back into school for blended learning by its target date of Nov. 9.
“It was a beautiful thing to see children back in their classrooms and in the hallways today, and I’m so proud of how our teachers and staff have made this transition smooth and safe,” said Superintendent David Healy, who visited several schools today to check in on Phase 2’s progress.
Toms River Regional Schools was one of the first districts to commit to beginning the 2020-2021 school year virtually, and many NJ districts followed suit in the days and weeks following that Aug. 17 announcement. However, despite beginning the year virtually, the district brought the vast majority of its teachers and staff back into the buildings, and have also hosted special education students for limited instruction since school began Sept. 8.
“We implemented this plan because it was the safest for our staff and students, and made the most sense for this community,” said Healy. “Throughout it all we haven’t wavered, and have provided resources and constant communication along the way. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you have a supportive and understanding school board, an engaged community of families, and a staff full of dedicated, hard-working people.”
Healy announced last week that Phase 3 would commence Oct. 26, and bring back grades 2-5 students for blended learning, a phase that reintroduces about 50 percent of the district’s 15,200 students to the classroom. The balance of its full enrollment, all secondary students, are expected to return for blended learning Nov. 9.