My second communication today is on graduation. We have received additional guidance from the state about graduation. I am attaching that memo for you. School superintendents also had a phone call this morning with Commissioner Cardona of the state’s Department of Education and Dr. Richard Melchreit of the Department of Health which provided further information.
These are the issues we need to address in planning for any graduation exercise
- State guidance on graduation is driven by Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 7X which you can find here - https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/04-2020/Governor-Lamont-Signs-Executive-Order-Providing-Residential-Rent-Protections). This order limits gathering to no more than 5 people, all of whom are following social distancing guidelines. This order is in effect through June.
- While we are seeing reductions in the number of virus-related illnesses there is great concern that any violation of this order will result in the creation of virus clusters. As public leaders we bear the responsibility to prevent this from happening.
- While we can still consider a more traditional graduation in the summer, or even in the fall, public health officials caution that social distancing requirements are very likely to remain in place for some time.
- Any events that the Fairfield Public Schools plans will need the approval of health and safety officials. Again, we are committed with our town and state officials to keeping everyone healthy.
With these concerns in mind Mr. Hatzis and Mr. Cavanna have agreed to review the options on the attached memo with members of their school communities and see if there are some other means to address graduation in June. They will be communicating with members of the senior class community to set up these discussions.
Each of us is working to balance the needs of our families and ourselves at this time. The need for celebrations and social connection remains strong while we know well the risks that ceding to those needs presents. The Fairfield Public Schools will also err on the side of safety and well-being. Our fundamental job is to protect and plan for the future.
Take care and stay well. I hope you can enjoy this beautiful weather.
Superintendent of Schools
Fairfield Public Schools