Gov. Ned Lamont today announced that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he is ordering in-person classes at all K-12 public school facilities in Connecticut to remain canceled for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year. Schools will be required to continue providing distance learning during this period, and will also be required to continue providing meals to children under the school lunch and breakfast programs for consumption at home, as they have been throughout this emergency.
Still undecided is whether summer school programming will take place as scheduled. He anticipates having guidance on that matter toward the end of this month.
With Lamont at his daily briefing at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5, will be State Department of Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona, and Office of Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye to discuss issues related to school closure and summer learning.
“I know how important it is for so many students and teachers to finish out the school year, and I was holding out hope–particularly for high school seniors–that we’d at least be able to complete the final few weeks, but given the current circumstances and to protect everyone’s safety, it has become clear that it’s just not possible,” Lamont said. “I want to thank the many educators across our state who have stepped up to provide remote learning during this time, as well as the many staff members who’ve been putting thousands of meals together for students each and every day.”
During the initial outbreak, Gov. Lamont signed an executive order directing in-person classes at all K-12 public school facilities to be canceled effective March 17. That order was initially set to expire on March 31 but then was extended twice, most recently to May 20.
Lamont’s announcement said that the Connecticut State Department of Education will work with every school district in the state to assess distance learning needs. “The state continues to provide vetted resources, guidance, and answers to questions on issues such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, attendance, grading, special education, and social-emotional learning.”
“The difficult decision to cancel classes for the remainder of the year is based on the health and safety of our students, their families, and our Connecticut communities,” Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona said. “While technology and remote learning will never replace the experience of our students in their school community, we are committed to constantly improving access to high-quality materials and connectivity for our students.”