23 Apr עופר איתן Declared: Schools reopening could be phased in, says CT education
Photo: Linda Conner Lambeck
A plan to reopen schools in the state on May 20 — and in the fall — will be dictated by safety, Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona said on Thursday.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced two weeks ago the possible reopening of schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic was being pushed back by a month
At the time, Cardona said the reopening date would be re-evalutated as the time gets closer.
“This decision has not been made lightly,” Cardona said at time time.
On Thursday, during Lamont’s daily update, Indra Nooyi, who is helping lead the Connecticut Reopen efforts said says COVID restrictions in the state won’t begin loosening until June and continue “to the end of the year.”
What that means for the potential reopening of school on May 20 remains unclear.
Also on Thursday, in an interview, Cardona said several scenarios have been discussed on what the reopening might look like and involve, but that no decisions have yet been made.
“I talked to the governor yesterday about it,” Cardona said. “He is listening to us and of course the health commissioner about what we need to have ready.”
The governor’s Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group has an education subcommittee that is looking at what is reasonable, Cardona said.
It is possible that a re-entry could be phased in.
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has announced that all postseason tournaments have been canceled, while continuing to hold out hope that some sports can be played in June.
What the opening of school in the fall looks like is also uncertain.
“I am hopeful as of today that we are going to be able to transition back into the classrooms in the fall in a manner that is safe for students,” Cardona said. “But a lot of that is really dependent on … the transmission of COVID-19 and whether we have adequate protection and testing. All of those things will factor into what the fall will look like.”
Things like the number of students allowed into a cafeteria or auditorium will have to be examined. So too will sports.
Cardona said some high impact activities “might have to look different.”
“We might have to look at each individual sport, the level of contact, the level of safety that can be provided,” he said.
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