New Jersey school to begin year online – only after mold discovered in cafeteria

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A New Jersey school will start the year with all-remote learning – but not because of the coronavirus.

Voorhees High School had planned to have students return with a hybrid schedule, but mold discovered in the cafeteria has forced the school to change its plans, Principal Ron Peterson wrote in a letter to parents and students, who were supposed to start in-person classes this week.

“The mold was discovered as our custodial staff was disinfecting and making preparations to the building for reopening,” Peterson said. “The mandatory closure of the building for several months left small areas with limited ventilation and coupled with the hot summer seem to have been the cause of the mold growth."

Peterson said an environmental testing company will perform a full inspection to make sure the mold hasn’t spread to other areas. He said experts believe it could take “a few weeks” to solve the issue.

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The search for a coronavirus vaccine continues amid the continuing controversy over whether students should return to class for the fall semester; Steve Harrigan reports.

Students could expect to return to the planned hybrid schedule, which includes a mix of in-person and virtual classes, with an option for online-only learning, “on or around Sept. 14,” Peterson said.

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With school start dates nearing across the state, more than 115 districts have already submitted plans to begin the year remotely to the state Department of Education due to coronavirus concerns, NJ.com reported.

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