HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - A governor's task force met on Monday morning to take on the question of when students could return to school in the midst of coronavirus concerns.
While a decision on that has yet to be determined, Monday's round table discussion by the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group focused on broad things group members wanted to see happen before schools could reopen.
The full meeting can be found here:
Those things included a continued decline in hospitalizations, adequate testing and contact tracing.
Student safety was also an emphasis during the discussion.
"Clearly there's a huge desire for us to feel a return to something like normal, but I also think that many people are viewing the reopening with trepidation," said Mathew Cartter, state epidemiologist.
In addition to health officials, the conversation included education officials and teachers.
They all agreed that schools would likely look different when they first reopen.
Teachers said social distancing would mean smaller class sizes and fewer children on a bus at any time.
It's likely different school districts could see different plans to reopen. The same could also be true for colleges and universities.
"Though they're just a few miles away, Southern Connecticut State University might have significantly different needs than Yale, which might have significantly different needs than Gateway Community College," said Mark Ojakian, president, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities.
That means a need to plan for a number of scenarios.
Distance learning can be improved by helping all students have access to technology. Support would also have to be improved for students with special needs.
When students can come back, the group said there needs to be resources to identify learning gaps and to support students' emotional health.
As for sports, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference said they would likely be one of the last pieces to fall into place.
Officials said the focus should be on education first.
"High school sports are academic-based, meaning that we first must focus on a return to school and a successful resocialization to our curriculum and education," said Glenn Lungarini, CIAC executive director.
When it comes to graduations, education commissioner Miguel Cardona said he will have guidance soon on how schools can proceed.
Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage of coronavirus outbreak.