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Return to School Update

August 4, 2020

Dear Naugatuck Public School Community,

As you are aware, Naugatuck Public Schools submitted our  2020-2021 Return to School Plan to the CT State Department of Education.  This plan was written in alignment with the CSDE’s requirements and guidelines per Adapt, Advance, Achieve: CT’s Plan to Learn and Grow Together. Soon after, Governor Lamont and Commissioner Cardona announced district flexibility on reopening schools in the fall and issued additional guidance that stresses school density in addition to COVID-19 case prevalence in determining reopening plans. In light of this newfound flexibility, we developed Alternate Return to School Plans that are not yet included in the plan linked above.  

I write to you today to share our current plans for the reopening of school in September.  It’s important to remember, however, that all plans are fluid and can change at any time, including in the weeks leading up to the start of the school year.  

The reopening plans described below were developed for the month of September to address:
  • The transition back to school after the closure
  • Heat throughout the first month of school
  • Avoiding eating, to the extent possible, in school
  • Increasing mask-wearing stamina
  • Building the capacity of in-person and virtual learning in preparation for all plans
  • Maximizing and prioritizing in-person learning for our youngest students and those with specialized learning needs
  • The density/enrollment of our large schools

Return to School Plan for Students in Grades K-6 & Possibly 7-8 through October 2, 2020

As of August 4, 2020, students in our elementary and intermediate schools (and possibly middle school) will return to in-person learning, Monday through Friday, 5 days a week following an early dismissal schedule. Students will attend in-person in the morning, receive a bagged lunch to take home to eat, travel home, and participate in online learning from home in the afternoon.  
 

Return to School Plan for Students in Grades 9-12 & Possibly 7-8 through October 2, 2020

As of August 4, 2020, our high school (and possibly middle school) students will return to a hybrid model of in-person learning two days a week following an early dismissal schedule and three full days of online learning from home.  Students will attend in-person learning in the morning on either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday following an early dismissal schedule, will receive a bagged lunch to take home to eat, will travel home, and will participate in online learning from home in the afternoon. Students will participate in online learning from home on Fridays and the two days they are not participating in in-person learning.   

At the end of September, we will evaluate and determine the best model moving forward based on the COVID-19 transmission and prevalence data.  In addition, we will be monitoring data on an ongoing basis to determine if there is a need to change plans prior to the start of school. Class size and teacher workforce are two important data points that impact our ability to implement our return to school plans. Updated information regarding these important data points may be cause for K-6 students to begin in the Hybrid Plan for Students in Grades 9-12 described above or conversely may enable students in grades 9-12 to begin following the K-6 plan described above. We are still determining which of the aforementioned two plans our middle schoolers will follow in September. We will communicate with families regarding these decisions and any changes as soon as possible.  
 

Webinars for Parents and Staff

On Saturday, August 8, 2020, from 2-3 p.m. we will host a webinar for parents to review our return to school plans, garner feedback, and answer questions. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the website for parents who are unable to attend. More information regarding the webinar will be sent on Friday, August 7, 2020. We will host a separate webinar for staff members on Friday, August 7, 2020 at 11:00 a.m.

Before and After Care

We are currently working with Spark and the YMCA regarding opportunities on and off-site for before and after school care. Our goal is to have either a school-based or off-site option for parents for each of our K-6 schools. We hope to provide more information early next week.
 

Choosing Online Learning from Home or Returning to In-Person Learning

As you know, parents and guardians can choose to have their children participate in online learning from home. In order to prepare for the return to school, we ask that every parent and guardian complete the enrollment form linked below by August 11, 2020, to indicate your choice for the 2020-2021 school year. We have received many questions regarding switching from in-person to online from home and vice-versa once a family has indicated their choice. In order to run two concurrent models effectively, we ask that families who choose online learning from home commit to staying online for the trimester (K-8) or marking period (9-12).  

Update 8/17/20: The 2020-2021 Enrollment Form is no longer active. If you have not yet filled it out or need to change your response, please email your school principal or secretary.

Please know that every decision we are making is done with the health, safety, and well-being of our students and faculty in mind.

In partnership,

Christopher Montini
Superintendent of Schools