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Back to School | Connecticut releases framework for students to return to school in fall

Connecticut schools have been closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A more detailed plan will be released on June 29.

HARTFORD, Conn — Governor Lamont held his daily press briefing Thursday at 4 pm. 

The Department of Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona joined the governor. Cardona spoke of the new plan of returning students back to school for the fall. Connecticut schools were closed in March as a result of the pandemic. 

“While we’ve made good strides to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Connecticut, the virus hasn’t gone away and we need to do what we can to keep students and staff safe while also doing our best to provide our young people with access to an education that prepares them for the future,” Governor Lamont said. “Working with public health and medical experts, and with the support of our educators, we are preparing a number of steps that protect the health and safety of everyone who makes contact with our school system.”

The plan was developed by a series of surveys with over 23,000 citizens and 16,000 students. 

Cardona said during the press conference that districts should prepare to open in the fall every day. Socialize distancing will be enforced and grades K-8 will cohort together. 

Students taking the bus will have to wear face coverings when riding and practice social distancing. Students and teachers will also be required to wear masks while they are in the building. 

The commissioner also said the public should be ready for an uptick in cases and a comprehensive plan with details will be released Monday. 

This plan is subject to change though hinging on Connecticut COVID-19 statistics. 

“This pandemic represents more than a virus, it represents an historic disruption to our school communities and created barriers to how we best deliver academic and non-academic supports in a way that is accessible, equitable, and meaningful,” Commissioner Cardona said. “Addressing the educational setbacks and the social-emotional toll caused by COVID-19 is best addressed by maximizing in-person instructional time. In developing this plan, we worked in close consultation with public health officials to prioritize the safety of our school communities and, just as intensively, engaged students, parents, and educators for their critical input. We stand with our districts, educators and families as we commit to making 2020-21 a year devoted to creativity, innovation, courage, and reimagining education together.”

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For more on Connecticut's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, click here