by Brent Addleman
Some school districts around Connecticut announced closures to allow students and teachers additional time to recover from COVID-19 as the state is experiencing a rise in cases and quarantines.
Stratford Public Schools posted a notice on its website stating that, “Schools will not be in session on Monday 1/3 and Tuesday, 1/4. We will effectively treat the next two days as Inclement Weather Days. This will position us to allow impacted staff members and students to receive current test results and potentially complete their quarantine for a safer return.”
Stonington Public schools announced the closure for Monday only and that Tuesday would be “closed due to Professional Development in lieu” a scheduled Professional Development Day on March 9, which will now be a regular class day.
Region 14 schools also announced a closure as Wayne McAllister, acting superintendent, penned a letter to parents and students that the school would be closed “due to an increasing number of staff who will be absent due to COVID-19 and other unforeseen reasons.”
McAllister said the district is “monitoring the situation closely” and decided for “health and safety of everyone to remain closed.” The district, he said, is working on a plan for a safe reopening on Tuesday.
Westport Schools Superintendent Thomas Scarise had announced schools would be closed due to infection rates among the district’s staff, among other issues, CT Insider reported.
The news outlet reported the superintendent sent an email to parents on Friday stating, “There are legitimate questions about our ability to staff our schools next week based on recent infection rates, travel cancellations for those out of state, among other complications. With limited guidance from the state level, we will work at our local level to develop approaches in the event conditions warrant further interventions and modifications.”
The school is currently reporting on its COVID-19 dashboard there are 331 staff and students who have confirmed cases and are currently in isolation.
Enfield Public School also announced closures due to “transportation and COVID-19-related issues.
Gov. Ned Lamont recently announced the results of a poll for the Test and Stay program, which is designed to keep students in the classroom during the pandemic, and a majority of the state’s school districts said they will be taking part in the initiative.
The Screen and Stay program, Lamont said, is a critical tool to keeping schools open and keeping students in school to learn.
“Some of the most important moments for children are those that are spent in the classroom, learning both social and educational skills among their peers and with their teachers,” Lamont said. “We want to maximize the amount of time spent in school, while minimizing disruption, and keeping our students, staff, and administrators safe.”
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Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist at The Center Square with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.
Photo “Wooster Middle School” by Stratford Public Schools.