February 24, 2021
Bringing all students back to school for full days has been our shared goal for nearly a year. Throughout this difficult time, we have worked with, and followed, the guidance of the health department. In recent weeks, concerns over student and staff emotional health have grown. At the same time, the positivity rate has declined. It is time for us to fully reopen so all students can attend school all day.
Elementary students will return in full on Monday, March 8.
Grade 6-12 students will return in full on Tuesday, March 9.
ECC/PK and WFC students will return to a five day week starting March 8.
March 8 will be a remote learning day for grade 6-12 students. This will allow middle and high school staff to finish setting up classrooms, the cafeteria, and additional lunch spaces.
All students with IEPs and 504 plans will return to their buildings with all other students on the dates above.
Our plans include lunch and necessitate distances of less than 6 feet in classrooms and lunchrooms. Our town health department has advised us that these shorter distances are now possible given the reduction in the positivity rates and our current mitigation strategies. In all our plans, adults will continue to remain 6 feet from students. K-12 students will sit in alternating seats for lunch and will be using trifold polycarbonate barriers while they are eating/drinking.
The Board of Education will be reviewing the reopening plan at a special meeting Thursday night at 7:30 pm. Building administrators are currently finalizing schedules and lunchroom seating arrangements and will share their plans at the school level.
The Remote Learning Academy will continue through the remainder of the school year. Other students can access their current classrooms through synchronous instruction if their needs warrant that support. K-5 RLA students will have the opportunity to return to in-person instruction beginning March 8. More information on this will be sent Friday, February 26. A date for RLA grades 6-8 students will be announced soon.
For many of you this news comes as a relief. For others, the increased number of students in classrooms and the halls may create anxiety. The CDC raises concerns about the spread of the coronavirus variants which we will track. As we have done all year, we will continue to follow the health data. While we plan for the coming weeks and months, we still operate week to week. We will continue to communicate with you as we learn more, and we have more information to share.
We look forward to welcoming your children back.
MikeMichael Cummings Superintendent of Schools Fairfield Public Schools