NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - The City of New Haven has outlined its plans for the upcoming school year.

The Elm City's back to school plan is going to cost about $14 million, more than half of that will be covered by federal Cares Act money. 

This is a big undertaking, with plenty of moving parts, and of course, parents want to know how it's all going to work. 

Anita Coleman admits the upcoming school year is already on her mind. She has concerns over sending two of her boys back into the classroom. 

"Kids need to learn, they need to be able to interact with each other, they need to be able to play with each other, how are they going to do that with the coronavirus going on," Coleman said. 

On Tuesday night, hundreds of parents sat through a more than three-hour long Zoom call as New Haven unveiled its back to school plan. 

The city has three options, which are a full five-day week in-class learning and two alternative plans in case health data is trending in the wrong direction. A hybrid plan, which means part in school, part online and a remote plan where it's all distance learning. 

"I'm not nervous. We trust the Lord and they're happy to go back to school and they're ready to go back to school," said Sandra Anes. 

New Haven's plan highlights its cleaning routines, social distancing on the school bus and in the classrooms, and daily screenings to keep students and staff safe. 

"We're putting all of the pieces together, looking at training all of our staff, providing education for families, for children, for all of the school staff on those important pieces, hand hygiene, wearing masks, physical distancing," said Dr. Jennifer Vazquez, Director of Public Health Nursing. 

Local school districts must submit their plans to the state by Friday and with so much still up in the air from now until September, Coleman says it's easy to have one's confidence questioned. 

"I hope so, I really hope so because kids need to learn, they don't want to be stuck in the house all the time, they want to interact, they want to play. I don't know. Hopefully it goes good," Coleman said. 

New Haven will post a guide online for its families this week, detailing the different learning and transportation plans along with frequently asked questions. 

While the plan gets submitted to the state this week, the city's health department points out, this is a fluid situation. Guidelines from the CDC change frequently and there's always the potential for changes as the state gets closer to the start of the school year. 

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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