Message from Danbury Public School Superintendent
Dear Families, Staff, and Members of the Danbury Public School Community: As you know, our goal has been to continuously increase the number of in-person learning opportunities for our students as safety conditions allow.
Dear Families, Staff, and Members of the Danbury Public School Community:
As you know, our goal has been to continuously increase the number of in-person learning opportunities for our students as safety conditions allow. We (cabinet and administrators) have been evaluating our ability to increase our in-person learning K-12. Recently, the District expanded in-person learning by adding alternating Wednesdays and extended to a nearly full school day for the students in grades K-5. During the last few months, we continued to review the possibility of a full in-person return this year with our medical and school leadership team. In meeting with our medical advisors, they have stated their support of returning students to schools; however, a major concern remains regarding classroom capacity, even applying the recent 3-foot CDC social distancing guidance. When any mitigation strategy is reduced, the result is an increased risk for COVID exposure and possible transmission. Danbury remains in the Red Zone, with increasingly high community spread. This has resulted in school exposures requiring an increased number of quarantines in recent weeks. Therefore, we will remain in the current hybrid learning model for the remainder of the school year. We believe another change in our teaching model at this time would lead to disruptions in learning, numerous teacher changes and increased medical concerns. For these reasons, the current structure is the best course of action for our students for the remainder of the school year.
We will continue planning for summer school and the next school year. As we look to next year, we can be somewhat encouraged by the fact that staff and students 16 and over will have had the opportunity to be vaccinated. However, at this time, students age 15 and under are not currently expected to be eligible for vaccination. In light of this disparity, it is imperative that we have a model that can return every student to full in-person learning next year.
It is our intention to open school as planned on Monday, April 19, following spring break. Keeping our schools open while keeping our community safe requires an ongoing partnership between the district, teachers, families and civic leaders. The district has concerns regarding travel that may occur during spring break, especially to destinations with fewer restrictions and mitigation strategies than Connecticut has. Please take the appropriate measures to protect yourselves, your families and our school community outside of school and consider these recommendations.
We have the opportunity to continue our meal home delivery during the holiday break. Please sign up via the link on the DPS website
While we anticipate attendance and staffing challenges following the spring break holiday, your continued support in abiding by these safety precautions is imperative in keeping our schools open and maintaining the safety of our students and staff.
Dr. Sal V. Pascarella, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
March 31, 2021