CONNECTICUT - With outdoor and indoor dining in full swing and retail back open for business, Connecticut is well into Phase 2 of their reopening plans, but eyes are already turning to the fall.
Governor Ned Lamont has announced that all school buildings in the state will reopen in September with a five-day normal school day and week with a long list of mandatory guidelines. This makes Connecticut the first state in the tri-state area to present a formal school reopening plan.
“Our kids have not been in the classroom for months now,” Lamont said.
Part of the state’s plan is to require face coverings that go over the nose and mouth for all students and staff, regardless of grade level. The schools also must promote enhanced cleaning and disinfecting.
In classrooms, desks will be spaced apart and in both classrooms and buses, cohorting in groups will be strongly encouraged for grades K through 8 and when possible in grades 9 through 12 to help with social distancing and to keep track of each student.
While there is always a risk of a second spike of COVID-19, Connecticut’s Education Commissioner unveiled a Ramping Up, Ramping Down plan on Thursday which could start with reducing the number of kids inside a classroom, and if need be, a return to remote learning.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says he will announce his school plans by Friday, while students in New York are still wondering what their academic world will look like after Labor Day.
Officials say that they understand the mask mandate will be difficult for children, so they plan on implementing mask breaks during the school day. Students who are medically fragile will be exempt, but all others, even kindergarteners, must wear a mask.