1st day of school for New Jersey students looks different

It's back to school for New Jersey teachers, students, and parents.

Katherine Scott Image
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
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The first day of school is looking different for many in New Jersey.

PENNSAUKEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Labor Day weekend is in the books.

Now tens of thousands of New Jersey students will be opening their books and kicking off the school year Tuesday, whether in-person or online.

First Day of School at Pennsauken

It's the first day for Pennsauken School District.

"We're going to make the best of it, you know," senior Ashley Verrios said.

Like many seniors, Verrios hoped 12th grade would be memorable- though perhaps not exactly like this.

Verrios added, "I just wanted to come back to enjoy it, try to enjoy my senior year, instead of doing it online."

Roughly half of the high school's 1,600 students selected the fully remote option, and they will be logged into their computers from home.

The 800 students who selected the hybrid option are split into A and B days.

Athletic Director Billy Snyder explained, "The maximum number of kids in any class is 12, and most of the classes are going to have between 8-10, so we already have desks spread out."

RELATED: Many New Jersey schools reopening Tuesday under hybrid plans

Snyder underscored the amount of work that went into making sure students could get their education online and in person.

"It is an absolute team and district effort. It does not just happen right away. It does not just happen overnight," Snyder remarked.

Desks are spread out to ensure social distancing.

Masks were already on students as they stepped off their buses.

Hand sanitizer stations are posted at the doors, around the buildings, and in every classroom.

Signage is tacked to walls.

Junior Jackson Fravel told 6abc, "I just simply learn better in a classroom, I think. It's easier to absorb subjects when you're face-to-face with somebody."

Senior Damion Louie said, "Came with my mask and hand sanitizer and stuff, just ready to come back."

Snyder continued, "All of the schools are doing everything they can to keep the kids as safe as possible. My kids come to our schools. Our superintendent's kids come to the schools, and we're sending them in person."

Back to School Around the Garden State

It's also the first day of school for the Camden City School District, which is starting the year fully online.

Families were out for some last minute shopping on Monday night in preparation for a unique school year.

"We're going to start, and it's dangerous, but my mother said as long as we have the face mask, which I just took off, then we're fine and healthy," eighth grader Mary Reyes said.

Some parents, whose kids attend charter schools, said they went back to the classroom last week and so far, things appear to be going well.

"Very good, excellent like the hours from 9:30 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. and with a 15-minute break in between in the morning and then an hour for lunch, it works properly," said Juana Tavares.

Send us your Back To School Photos & Videos

Even though your back to school photos and videos might look a little different this year, we'd still love to see them!

Do you have an at-home classroom set up? Does your child have an outfit picked out for their first Zoom call of the school year? Are they at the bus stop with a mask on?

Please share, and your photo or video might end up on Action News!