ANSONIA, Conn — All public schools in Ansonia will be closed for the remainder of the week amid “considerable staffing shortages” following the holiday break, the superintendent of schools announced Monday.
Superintendent Dr. Joseph DiBacco said in a letter to parents that remote learning is not an option, which is why they have made the “very difficult decision” to close schools through Friday, Jan. 7. They will reopen on Jan. 10.
He said these days will be added to the end of the school year, pushing the tentative last day of school to June 10.
“I want to thank our parents and families for their support, patience, and understanding during this time,” DiBacco said. “These past few days have been extremely challenging and have drastically changed our ability to safely staff our buildings and get our students to and from school in a timely manner.”
DiBacco told FOX61 on Monday they got COVID test kits and they handed them out Sunday evening to symptomatic staff, which "was a blessing and a curse."
Currently, 25% of Ansonia Public School staff is out due to COVID-19, and seven out of 19 bus drivers were also out, which resulted in the cancelation of transportation, the superintendent said.
The district "limped along" Monday but ultimately determined that they could not continue safely or provide instruction at that level.
DiBacco also told FOX61 that being remote is a lot better than kids not coming in, and would like the state to provide that option; not necessarily for the whole semester, but more so for short-term situations.
“It is a harsh reality and a stark reminder that our community is suffering from another wave of COVID,” DiBacco said in a letter to parents, adding later: “We are sorry for any inconvenience it could have caused but the safety of our students and staff and community is paramount. Ansonia Public Schools is aware that in-person instruction is best for our students, however, if we cannot do it safely we need to look toward alternatives.”
The news comes as several schools across Connecticut were forced to delay the start of classes or outright cancel school because of staff and transportation issues.
“I applaud all the districts that are able to keep their doors open,” DiBacco told FOX61.
On Monday, the state Department of Health issued updated guidance on quarantines for schools.
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