HARTFORD, CT — Classrooms won’t open up before June 29, but there will be summer school and camp.

The news has parents breathing a sigh of relief, but the guidelines for what it’s going to look like are still being discussed. There’s questions about capacity and whether there will be enough programming given the current social distancing guidelines.

Gov. Ned Lamont said they contemplated going back for three weeks, but ultimately looked at the health information and decided,“this was no time to take that risk.”

He said he wanted to be the “education governor” when he ran for office and he thought that was the most important thing he could do. “Now, I’m the guy who’s got to say we’re not going to continue the school year in that cycle,” Lamont said.

Earlier Tuesday Lamont announced that public school buildings would remain closed for the rest of the school year, but that distance learning would continue.

While there is no substitute for in-person teaching, educators will continue to provide distance learning and do all they can to keep students engaged and learning during the next several weeks, as they have been doing since mid-March, CEA President Jeff Leake said.

What about special education students who can’t learn from home?

Education Commissioner Cardona said they haven’t come to any decisions about what summer school for children with special needs. But it’s something they’ve been discussing “and we really want to prioritize.”

Before making his remarks Tuesday, Cardona congratulated all the students for what they’ve achieved this school year, especially those in fifth and eighth grades, and high school seniors.

Lamont said it’s not likely he would allow for in-person graduations all on the same day, but he’s awaiting additional guidance on when ceremonies can resume.

What will summer school look like?

Office of Early Childhood Director Beth Bye said there will be more guidance about what restrictions these camps and summer schools will have to have in place in order to open. That guidance will be issued on May 15.

“They will need to live with some very specific health guidance that we worked out with Reopen Connecticut and the health team,” Bye said.

Currently, child care providers that are open for frontline health care workers are keeping children in fewer than groups of 10 per room, taking temperatures, sanitizing surfaces, and ensuring anyone showing signs of sickness stays at home.

Bye said they will expand on these criteria and the ones discussed in this memo when they come out with their May 15 guidance.

CT COVID-19 Briefing: 4 p.m., May 5

For today’s briefing Gov. Ned Lamont will be joined by State Department of Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona and Office of Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye.
The administration had announced earlier today that school buildings would remain closed for the rest of the school year, but distance learning would continue: https://bit.ly/2WyTLXr
Let us know if you have questions.

Posted by CTNewsJunkie on Tuesday, May 5, 2020