Cherry Hill schools are standing firm in their decision to offer remote learning until November 9 after parents protested outside Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting.

Superintendent Joseph Meloche in a letter on Sept. 1 said his decision was based on the combination of an "overwhelming" message from members of the Cherry Hill Education Association, a large amount of leave of absence requests and a shortage of substitute teachers.

"Our school buildings are prepared to welcome our staff and students for the year, but we must honor the concerns our staff has raised," Meloche wrote.

A Facebook group called Cherry Hill Parents for Safe In Person Learning organized a protest and held signs outside the board meeting at the Malberg School.

Rick Short, the organizer, told CBS Philly his son is not learning much and is missing interaction with friends. Another parent told CBS Philly that she had to take a leave of absence from her job to care for her two sons.

“We want everyone to go back to school and be safe but at the same time, we want them to get the best education that they can possibly have,” Mila Beaver told CBS Philly.

The district in a written statement reiterated that its buildings are ready for classes but they are taking into consideration the concerns of staff.

"Our focus now is to make sure our staff have the training and support they need and to make sure we have adequate staffing — including substitutes as necessary — to move to the hybrid learning model. We plan to start the hybrid model on November 9, 2020. We will continue to evaluate the many circumstances that could affect that date. If that date changes to an earlier or later one, we will inform our families," the district said.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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