Many New Jersey students are still on a fully remote learning plan, but a new study shows that the Garden State is one of the safest in the country when it comes to having the best conditions to reopen schools.

The study by WalletHub compared all 50 states across 15 key metrics.

“Our data set includes such things as the number of child COVID-19 cases per 100,000 children, the average public-school class size, and the ratio of students to school nurses,” said the study authors.

Overall, New Jersey ranked number 8 in terms of readiness to reopen.

The top five states that had the safest conditions for reopening were as follows:

  1. Vermont
  2. Maine
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Massachusetts
  5. New Hampshire

When it came to the states having the fewest COVID-19 cases in the past seven days per 100,000 residents, New Jersey ranked number five. NJ also came in number 4 for lowest pupil-teacher ratio, which WalletHub ranked as a positive for reopening conditions.

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When it came to the lowest overall likelihood for COVID-19 infections, New Jersey tied Florida for the number 2 spot. It also did well in the category for the lowest student-to-school nurse ratio.

The hope is that low overall likelihood of COVID-19 cases, low student-teacher ratios and plenty of attention from school nurses on our kids will bode well for a safe in-person learning experience. The CDC says that a lack of in-person education can cause students to fall behind academically, particularly in lower income areas. Students who are denied the chance to attend school also suffer damage to mental health and social development and get less physical activity.

WalletHub also pointed out how important in-person education is to the economy.

“In-person schooling is vital for the economy because it both provides temporary supervision for children during the day and most importantly helps students have a better chance of achieving future economic success.”

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