New Canaan Public Schools will resume no sooner than April 20, district officials said late Wednesday.
Originally planned for two weeks, the e-learning program launched last Friday as the COVID-19 emergency took hold—a system that parents, while grateful for educators’ efforts, have found cumbersome in some ways—will be modified “to ensure that it will be sustainable for our students, staff, and families, and that it will be responsive to whatever lies ahead,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said in an email to parents.
“These adjustments at each level permit us to adapt to the few challenges that have arisen while capitalizing on some wonderful opportunities that have appeared,” the email said.
It wasn’t immediately clear what the changes would involve, though they’ll take hold Monday, Luizzi said. Principals are to contact public schools parents about them.
The news comes as state officials waive a requirement that districts hold 180 school days amid growing concerns about the spread of the virus. Connecticut cases are increasing a rapid rate—up from 68 Tuesday to 96 Wednesday, according to the state Department of Public Health, with more than 70% of cases in Fairfield County. In New Canaan, emergency management and police officials are urging residents to comply with social distancing guidelines and restrictions on gatherings. On Friday, drive-thru testing will be offered locally to New Canaanites who have scheduled an appointment, officials say.
Luizzi said in his email that the district has received “wonderful feedback and suggestions from our families this past week, and we are confident that these adjustments will improve the experience for everyone.”
“We have several guiding principles and goals for our distance learning program. One is to engage students in meaningful and relevant work so they can continue learning and progressing. Another is to keep our students connected to our schools and each other through the shared experiences of distance learning. And a third is to provide continuity and consistency for our students to help them remain healthy in all domains of their life. We will best meet and exceed our goals by adjusting our program now to ensure it remains vibrant and engaging throughout the weeks ahead.”
- Here’s the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 homepage. Here’s the virus-related page on the Connecticut Department of Public Health website.
- Here’s a link to a page on the town’s website that includes information on COVID-19 and a link to sign up for New Canaan’s emergency outcall system.
- Here is the world’s most updated list of what is open and closed in New Canaan.
- Here’s a link to the New Canaan Office of Emergency Management Facebook page.
- Here’s a landing page with information from New Canaan Public Schools on COVID-19, here’s the district’s main page for E-Learning.
[Editor’s Note: During the town emergency due to COVID-19, NewCanaanite.com is publishing a daily Q&A with a local business navigating major changes in the community.]