Danbury Public Schools’ Reopening Plan: A Family Partnership
Danbury Public School’s Reopening Plan was submitted to the CT Department of Education on Friday, July 24. The plan, as required by the state, outlined three different proposals for returning to school: everyone back in classrooms, a hybrid model and distance learning.
Danbury Public School’s Reopening Plan was submitted to the CT Department of Education on Friday, July 24. The plan, as required by the state, outlined three different proposals for returning to school: everyone back in classrooms, a hybrid model and distance learning. The DPS Reopening Committee worked over the last three months to develop a plan that would meet the state’s requirements, as well as protect and educate Danbury students. The approval process from the state is unclear but all of the teachers and administrators have not given up on our students. Students need to continue to read, have family discussions and use community resources to ready themselves for the reopening on Tuesday, September 1.
The start of the school year is being moved back three days in order to give teachers and staff extra days of training to prepare for the students’ comeback. Our schools will look different when we return. Classroom areas have been reconfigured to meet the new standards for maintaining social distance. Hallways will use directional signs and students and teachers will be wearing masks. Handwashing, and the use of hand sanitizer, will become an hourly practice. We know students will adjust to the new classrooms but yearn for new social connections. Teachers will be re-strategizing their teaching methods. No longer will students be grouped in small groups sitting shoulder to shoulder to get their work done. Instead, small work groups will be redefined by teachers. Children will still be learning, just using different ways to do so. Mask breaks and use of outside areas will become prominent in learning. Meals will be more grab and go or eaten in the classroom.
Family-school partnerships will become more important than ever. DPS maintains a priority focus on health and safety because we know that students who are healthy can learn. Never before has the phrase “family-school partnerships” created such a strong interdependence. As we venture forward in returning students to schools, we need your cooperation and diligence in keeping the phrase “Healthy Students, Healthy Schools” intact. The Reopening Plan underscores the need for cooperation between homes and schools to ensure students’ healthy and safe return home every day. Teachers have reflected on how important the conversations they had with families in the spring were. DPS wants this communication to continue, and has implemented the use of the new Family-School Reopening Agreement. The agreement outlines what items schools and families need to do before school opens and while school is open. Ensuring the students are getting appropriate medical care and immunizations is critical to ensure health. Additionally, while school custodians deep clean schools, it is necessary for families to assess their child’s health. DPS’s Nursing Services will send home a letter with the Agreement that outlines daily requirements to keep everyone healthy.
The Agreement will be important to keep student learning on track. Moreover, daily reading, and using the internet resource lists on the DPS website or the CT SDE Learning Hub, are all avenues to help prepare your child academically for their return. We can, together, reopen schools, in whatever form will be used, to keep our students learning and healthy. We are in this together and look forward to your continued partnership with DPS.
Anne E. Mead, Ed. D., is the administrator for the Early Childhood Education and Extended Learning Programs of the Danbury Public Schools. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact her at 203-830-6508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.