Danbury Public School Reopening Plan – What You Need to Know

Danbury Public School officials breathed a sigh of relief as Gov. Ned Lamont stated on July 27 at a press conference that the state will not dictate the opening date of the school year or how instruction will be offered, leaving to local school districts a choice of classroom instruction, distance learning or a mix of the two.

By Tribuna Staff | Translated by Jamal Fox & Alisson Ziza

Danbury Public School officials breathed a sigh of relief as Gov. Ned Lamont stated on July 27 at a press conference that the state will not dictate the opening date of the school year or how instruction will be offered, leaving to local school districts a choice of classroom instruction, distance learning or a mix of the two.

The decision contradicts earlier statements the administration had made about schools reopening and appears to be an answer to the outcry of overcrowded school districts like Danbury, where it may not be possible to follow the social distancing guidelines recommended by the state.

As proposed in the draft of the Danbury plan, half of the students would attend school in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays, while the rest are educated via distance learning. These cohorts would trade places on Thursday and Fridays, and all students would attend remote learning on Wednesdays.

Parents would also have the option of having their children learn remotely one hundred percent of their time. In-person education for bilingual and special education students would be offered up to four days a week. If required by the state, the district says it is prepared to offer in-person education for all students.

“Our schools may look a little different in the fall and our procedures to ensure the health and safety of all in the building may feel strange, but we hope that returning to learning in the classroom will bring our students comfort,” said Dr. Sal V. Pascarella, Superintendent of Schools, in a statement. 

Here is a breakdown of Danbury Public Schools Learning Options:

In-Person Learning

  • Goal Model for Learning 
  • Infection risk: Minimal (or Virus Contained)
  • 100% in-person student attendance
  • In school 5 days per week
  • Based on the current lower levels of transmission of COVID-19, all students return to school in person as part of a full reopening.
  • Heightened health & safety protocols will be in place, which can be reduced or ramped up as appropriate throughout the year.

In-Person Modified Learning (Hybrid Model)

  • Alternate Model for Learning
  • Infection risk: Moderate (requires adjusted schedule due to space needs)
  • 50 percent in-person student attendance/alternating attendance
  • Based on a higher transmission risk of COVID 19, student numbers in the school are reduced by 50 percent. Students attend on A or B days. 
  • Distance learning takes place on days students are not in school.

Distance Learning 

  • Alternate Model for Learning
    • Infection risk: High (requires at-home learning due to recommendation of the Department of Public Health or the CSDE)
    • Zero percent in-person student attendance/all distance learning
    • Based on a widespread increase in transmission levels of COVID 19, learning takes place at home for all students as a result of school or district closure, as defined in consultation with the CDC guidelines and public health officials.


  • Parents have the option to choose a distance learning model called “Remote Learning Parallel Track,” available for some students to learn at home due to medical concern, illness, quarantine or parent preference, with support from the school. This track aids in a return to school at the appropriate point after illness, quarantine or when families decide to re-enter.  


“In order to smoothly re-enter school after an extended time out and begin participating in the traditional schedule, it is strongly encouraged for students and parents to engage in Remote Learning provided or some other plan approved by the Principal of the school. If parent’s choice is remote learning, we recommend that your child remains in that model for the duration of the semester,” according to the draft.

Parents should keep in mind if there is a surge of COVID-19, an increase in local cases or the occurrence of in-school cases, the learning models may need to be adjusted as a result. Learning models that include Hybrid Learning and/or Distance Learning will only be utilized by Danbury Schools. 

“We must continue to work together to ensure that ALL our students, whether in school, a hybrid learning environment or through remote learning are continuing to learn and develop to their highest potential. Be assured that our instruction will remain student-focused, flexible and take advantage of the strengths of our students, teachers, families and community,” according to the draft.

The district also stressed in its presentation of the reopening plan that they will rely on the cooperation of families, students and staff members to reopen and stay open. 

“Families play a critical role in supporting the new culture of health and safety that each of our schools will establish. Most importantly, families can help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 in our schools by checking their children daily for any COVID-19 symptoms and keeping them home from school if they are sick or have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19,” according to the draft. 

Families can also contribute by supporting the use of face coverings or masks in school and on the bus, arranging alternate transportation whenever possible, communicating concerns with teachers and school leaders, and continuing to follow state guidance on health and safety outside of school.

They also issued a set of student expectations that parent need to help their children comply with:

Stay home if you feel ill.

Students must stay home if they are feeling sick, have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19.

Morning health check by parents required.

In order to prevent transmission among the school population, parents are instructed to screen students before leaving for school. Check to ensure temperature is below 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit and observe for symptoms associated with COVID 19 outlined by public health officials.

Face coverings or masks required. 

Students must wear face coverings or masks that completely cover the nose and mouth while inside the school and on the bus, with exceptions only for those students for whom it is not safe to do so due to medical conditions. “Mask Breaks” will be provided during the day. Parents will be responsible for providing students with face coverings or masks. Schools will have backup disposable masks available for students who forget them. 

Social distancing required. 

Students must maintain social distancing to the greatest extent possible. Students are expected to practice social distancing when entering and exiting the building, in classrooms and moving throughout the school. Sharing of school supplies and materials will not be allowed.

Frequent hand washing or hand sanitizing expected.

Students must engage in frequent hand washing or sanitizing upon arrival, before and after meals, after bathroom use and after coughing or sneezing. 

Students may not change buses. 

Students will be expected to ride the same bus to school in the morning and the same bus to home in the afternoon every day. Face coverings or masks should be worn prior to entering the bus. Parents are strongly urged to drive their children to school each day.

To read Danbury Public Schools Reopening plan in its entirety type the link bellow in your web browser: