Preparing for our Return to School in the Fall.
Update 6.25.20- Governor Lamont Press conference
As you are likely aware, this afternoon Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona announced details of the framework to allow all students, in all school districts statewide the opportunity to return to school in the fall.
Today’s press conference was a preview of the comprehensive Reopen Connecticut School-Guidelines which are scheduled to be released Monday June 29th. We anticipate the comprehensive guidelines will provide families and staff with further guidance on face coverings, student groupings, social distancing and transportation.
We at Killingly schools are excited to welcome our students back. Over the next few weeks, our Return-to-School Task Force will continue working together to develop plans that are aligned with the SDE guidelines and ensure a smooth transition for students return to school.
It is natural for school and community members to have questions. While some answers are still being developed, the documents below provide the framework under which schools will reopen in the fall. They include the Governor's executive summary and the presentation slides used in this afternoon’s press-conference.
May 29 Update:
The best plan we can put together for reopening schools is one that prioritizes health and wellness and is responsive to the needs of students and our families. We are constantly receiving guidance from the State of Connecticut and The Connecticut SDE. Under the challenging and frequently changing circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, collaboration and adaptability are key.
Killingly Public Schools has launched the Return-to-School Task Force that will plan for what school may look like when we return in the fall. This group includes a variety of district stakeholders, including; parents, principals, teachers, support staff, transportation and O&M staff.
The group is also working closely to develop plans which address the details of various options for reopening schools, which will likely include a mix of in-person and remote learning.
On June 3rd, we will be sending out our community surveys to ask our students and families for their input on how our schools can best meet their needs when we reopen in August. The Reopening Task Force will carefully consider the perspectives shared by families and students as part of their discussion and planning processes.
Timeline of Meeting for the Reopening Task Force
The Reopening Task Force is working through multiple scenarios for returning to school that are based on health guidelines, equity, learning goals, social-emotional learning needs, and community feedback.
This team is also working with the EASTCONN regional task force, and the Northeast Department of Health. Our plan is to finalize a recommendation to district leadership in July.
Anticipated Health and Safety Guidelines from the SDE
Guidelines from the state of Connecticut are constantly changing, and we are working to monitor these changing guidelines. We anticipate the state of Connecticut will provide additional guidance for schools as the fall approaches. Expected guidelines include:
- Health Precautions We expect wellness procedures for adults and students to include temperature and symptom checks. We anticipate guidelines on wearing masks, frequent hand-washing/ hand sanitizer and disinfection of buildings and buses.
- Caring for High-Risk Staff/Students and Staff with Children at Home We know we will need to create specific policies for medically high-risk staff and students, as well as staff and students who live with people who are high-risk.
- Classroom Capacity Under current guidelines, all individuals must maintain six feet of distance from each other. The most recent recommendations are for a range of 10-16 individuals in any given space (such as classrooms, gyms) at any given time. These guidelines may change June 20th.
- Student Movement- Under current guidelines, we anticipate the need to minimize movement of students within the building. For example, students might need to lunch in classrooms, or may need to have adjusted schedules the reduce exposure to other students during passing time.
- In Case of a Positive COVID-19 test If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, health officials recommend the entire class move to remote learning for 14 days. This is the protocol under current guidelines.
Care Guidance that was posted by the Office of Early Childhood provides some guidance for our planning: