Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi on Thursday outlined an updated re-entry plan for seventh- through twelfth-graders that will see all New Canaan Public Schools students back to full-time in-person learning within two weeks. Under the revised phased plan, grade 7 will switch from the hybrid in-person and remote learning schedule they’ve been in since school started to a full in-person learning option Oct. 12, followed by grades 12 (Oct. 13), 8 (Oct. 15), 11 (Oct.
The superintendent of schools said Tuesday that New Canaan will continue following state public health guidance as winter sports such as basketball and ice hockey near, and only small-group conditioning and non-contact drills are recommended indoors. The Connecticut Department of Public Health has said that “high-risk sports” that also include wrestling, lacrosse, competitive cheer and dance should not be played beyond those activities, Dr. Bryan Luizzi said during a special meeting of the Board of Education. “It also recommends that indoor moderate-risk sports should only be played if they could be considered low-risk with mitigation strategies,” Luizzi said during the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School and viewable on the district’s YouTube channel. An example of such a strategy is volleyball, where the wearing of masks moves it from high- to moderate-risk, under DPH findings. “Indoor moderate risk sports such as basketball and hockey that don’t have similar mitigation strategies available, like the masks, are in that case DPH recommends only small-group conditioning and non-contact indoors,” he said.
As has been done successfully at the elementary level, district officials said Wednesday that they plan to bring Saxe Middle School students back to full in-person learning in phases starting next week. Under a plan discussed at a meeting of the Board of Education Reopen Committee and backed by its members, all fifth-graders would return to Saxe on Tuesday, with the sixth grade starting full in-person learning the following Monday, Oct. 5. The approach will help faculty and staff “work through some complexity of that with the arrival, with dismissal, with lunches, with outdoors spaces, with all of what it takes, and even furniture arrangements, things like that,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said the meeting, held via videoconference.
“And our custodial crew has to work even harder when all the students are back in, because there’s more students in the space, more things to clean and disinfect each night and all of that. So look at fifth grade on Tuesday and then following Monday bring back in the sixth grade.
New Canaan High School’s athletic director is working with counterparts through the FCIAC to develop a 7-on-7 football league that’s in line with state health recommendations, the superintendent of schools said Monday night. The non-contact intramural league could include “linemen’s challenge type activities and even linemen 7-on-7 kinds of things,” Dr. Bryan Luizzi told members of the Board of Education during their regular meeting, held in the Wagner Room at NCHS and broadcast on YouTube. “That is aligned with DPH recommendations, because the 7-on-7 that is non-contact brings it from a ‘high risk’ activity to a ‘moderate risk’ activity,” he said. “Which is the same as some of the other sports we are playing now, with the mitigation strategies—like volleyball with the masks, for instance. So the league would use our district coaches, have teams of approximately 15 players and they would play against each other in the beginning, and even against other schools.
New Canaan’s highest elected official said Tuesday that the town now is seeing a “handful of young positive cases.”
Those cases include “one under 10 years old,” according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan.
“Our bubble has burst,” he said during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen, held via videoconference.
“The superintendent has notified parents that we have a handful of young positive COVID cases, one under 10 years old,” Moynihan said. “And I think we have a couple of out-of-town—at least one, maybe two out-of-town college kids. And I suppose it was inevitable, as the superintendent said, because other school districts are beginning to have some positive cases with school-age children. We are still doing contact tracing. We want to try and make sure we understand as much as we can these new cases.”
The comments come on the heels of emails sent to the New Canaan Public Schools community Sunday and Monday by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi saying that two separate cases of COVID-19 had been identified among members of New Canaan High School.