Connecticut plans to bring their students back in school full-time this coming fall.

Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner, Miguel Cardona, announced today (June 25) that this plan will be based upon the state's successful COVID-19 efforts, but it can change, should the health of our state change.

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According to a the Office of Gov. Ned Lamont, the State of Connecticut has been working with public health and medical experts, and they are preparing a number of steps that protect the health and safety of everyone in the school system.

“While we’ve made good strides to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Connecticut, the virus hasn’t gone away and we need to do what we can to keep students and staff safe while also doing our best to provide our young people with access to an education that prepares them for the future,” Lamont said. “Working with public health and medical experts, and with the support of our educators, we are preparing a number of steps that protect the health and safety of everyone who makes contact with our school system.”

So far, the plan is designed to have a "cohorting" system, which emphasizes keeping the same students in smaller groups based on their classroom or grade. Also, all staff and students will be expected to wear a mask that completely covers the nose and mouth while in the building, with certain exceptions either due to medical, or when a teacher is providing instruction.

Social distancing guidelines will be maximized, and school districts will be encouraged to reconfigure their building for available classroom space is such places like gymnasiums and auditoriums.

School transportation will still operate at close to capacity, but with important protocols including requiring everyone on the bus to wear a mask.

While they have determined it is an appropriate approach, they are prepared to changed these plans as needed due to the uncertainty of the upcoming months.

“This pandemic represents more than a virus, it represents an historic disruption to our school communities and created barriers to how we best deliver academic and non-academic supports in a way that is accessible, equitable, and meaningful,” said Commissioner Cardona. “Addressing the educational setbacks and the social-emotional toll caused by COVID-19 is best addressed by maximizing in-person instructional time. In developing this plan, we worked in close consultation with public health officials to prioritize the safety of our school communities and, just as intensively, engaged students, parents, and educators for their critical input. We stand with our districts, educators and families as we commit to making 2020-21 a year devoted to creativity, innovation, courage, and reimagining education together.”

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