Op-Ed: Our Schools Deserve a Thousand Thanks


The schools are open! New Canaan is now a major step closer to normal, COVID-19 be damned. 

In a few weeks, barring a significant increase in community transmission, all 4,100-plus students will be able to attend school in-person, five days a week. If there is an increase, the schools have effective plans for that, too. This “no matter what” capability has required an unprecedented effort by all school leaders, by teachers and all other staff members, by the Board of Education, by other government officials, by parent-volunteers, and by many others. A thousand thanks are in order. 

When asked about this fall’s reopening—temporarily in “hybrid” mode—parents’ eyes light up and their praise is effusive. It has been “something to behold,” one said. Others remarked that the reopening has been “astounding,” “amazing,” “joyful,” and “it shows the hard work and professionalism of the teachers and staff.” 

Parents remember the district’s quick pivot to remote learning in March, which meant New Canaan students had several weeks more of quality instruction than in most other school districts. The second pivot—fall reopening—took a summer of innovation and dogged preparation. It requires teachers to master multiple new layers of technology and to reinvent the way they communicate with students.

The payoff is that children are eager and engaged (both on in-person days and remote days), teachers are energetic and confident, and parents are comfortable with the elaborate mitigation measures meant to keep their children safe. 

No matter what problems the future may bring, the New Canaan Public Schools have shown that they always respond with world-class solutions. 

A thousand thanks for that. 

Tom Butterworth is a Town Councilman but writes on his own behalf. 

5 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Our Schools Deserve a Thousand Thanks

  1. I, too, am thrilled to see our schools open for in-person instruction. The work it took to do so was and is enormous. We must remember that it is the responsibility of each member of our community to ensure that our infection rate continues to be suppressed. Continuing to wear masks, observe social distancing and take the right precautions will help our schools, our kids, and each other.

  2. Please remember the important role District Nursing Supervisor, Janet Reed has played in this situation as the Covid-19 compliance liaison individual for the school district. And of course, the school nurses, ever vigilant providing education and TLC to all district employees of their concerns, worries and health issues. BRAVO!!

  3. Tom,
    Perfectly said!! The effort and hard work is above and beyond and deeply appreciated by all!! Bravo to the leader, Dr. Luizzi. Our New Canaan children are so lucky to have such a dedicated district. THANK YOU!!!

  4. It has been fantastic having our kids back in school after so long – a HUGE and continuing thanks to everyone who made/make this possible. You can see the difference every day on the kids, and we really look forward to 5 days per week of in person school.
    My sense is our elected groups BOS, BOE and TC among others may still be meeting primarily via Zoom. If I am right (and I am not sure that I am), perhaps now is the time to learn from the schools, and review how to meet in person (social distancing and masking of course) either fully or hybrid still using Zoom for some of the participants / residents – just like the kids in school. We all need to return to some sense of normalcy for our public institutions, with safety an integral part of this.

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