HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Governor Ned Lamont outlined a broad plan for reopening schools on Thursday.
The goal for students and teachers is go back full-time for in-class learning for the fall school year.
One big change for students and teacher is they will have to wear masks while in school.
Experts say there could be changes to the rules if there is a decrease in coronavirus numbers.
In two months, students will likely be back in the classroom. With COVID-19, there will be social distancing, mandatory mask-wearing, and grade separation.
“Maybe they can come up with something that shelters them a little more or postpone it for a little while. I’m not sure what the answer is, but I’m a little apprehensive for the kids. It’s a little scary for everyone,” said Kathleen Riley.
Lamont mentioned a broad plan in his daily news briefing on Thursday, saying many students will be separated by grad and urged not to interact with students outside of their group.
Social distancing will force schools to convert spaces like gyms or auditoriums and that could have an impact on sports and theatre.
Students will be asked to wash their hands when entering a room and students will be required to wear masks.
The Connecticut Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers Connecticut says the governor’s plan is, “… short on specifics and doesn’t address some of the most pressing issues associated with reopening our buildings this fall. The new plan raises many concerns and leaves dozens of unanswered questions regarding how schools will operate in a COVID-19 world.”
Deputy Director of the Connecticut Association of the Board of Education, Patrice McCarthy says there are challenges.
“Cleaning and disinfecting on a daily basis, making sure students are kept physically apart is unreasonable and making sure students are wearing masks all the time. Those are going to be critical protocol of the health and safety of everyone in the schools,” McCarthy said.
As there are still two months until the start of the new school year, changes are likely.
“Change is going to be constant and hopefully that’s change in a positive direction so some of the protocols can be reduced, but we also have to be prepared to put some stringent protocols in place or even to switch to a hybrid learning model, some distance learning, some in classroom,” McCarthy said.
A 50-page document will be released on Monday out lining the full plan.
McCarthy also suggests talking to students about the importance of wearing a mask and what they can expect when heading back to school this year.