BERKELEY SHORES — Amid increasing Coronavirus concerns and tighter restrictions being put in place by Governor Phil Murphy, one of the biggest school districts in Ocean County has announced that they will be deviating from their original in-person schooling to a hybrid model, the Superintendent said in a statement late Thursday afternoon.

"It was our hope to open our schools for maximum in-person learning to all of our families, but unfortunately we will need to dramatically reduce our building capacity while decreasing class sizes," Dr. James D. Roselli, Superintendent of Berkeley Township Schools, said citing Murphy's student mask mandate and reduction of the indoor capacity.

Because of the new restrictions, the district will be forced to reduce it's buildings' capacity while also decreasing class sizes, making an all in-person setting for the 2020-21 school year close to impossible.

"With the safety of students and staff as our primary concern, in September, our plan will change to a hybrid," Dr. Roselli said.

Dr. Roselli also made it clear to parents that the district may have to switch to an all-virtual model for the new school year "at any time."

Parents with students in the district should expect another survey to come soon as the district irons out all of the details of the hybrid plan.

Berkeley Township School District is not the only district in Ocean County to approach the new school year with a hybrid plan. Despite an Asbury Park Press headline, Toms River Regional Schools will be open for both virtual and in-person learning in September.

Earlier this week, the Asbury Park Press ran a story with the headline, "We're not opening in September" when referencing and interview with David Healy, the Superintendent of Toms River Regional Schools. In the body of the story, that was hidden by a paywall, explained that Healy was approaching the school year with a hybrid option.

Healy told the publication Jersey Shore Online that most people just read the headline.

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