by State Representative Phil Young (D)
120th Connecticut House District
Balancing education and the effects of in-person learning on public health has been a daunting and ongoing task during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as cases are on the rise as students and faculty return from their holiday break.
The State Department of Education (SDE), which is responsible for setting the rules for school attendance during this pandemic, has reiterated its position that remote learning can only be an option for schools in rare circumstances for students who:
· Must be in isolation due to close contact with a confirmed case
· Have live-in family members who have documented an unusual vulnerability to COVID-19
· Have a Planning and Placement Team that revised an Individualized Education Program based on a determination that instruction in the home provides a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment
· Attend a school district that has been affected by a legislative or gubernatorial emergency decision that requires school or district closures
These guidelines aim to keep schools open and prevent loss from remote learning so that schools meet the 180-day school year requirement. The guidelines direct any remote-learning decisions to adhere to recommendations from the SDE, Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control.
Addressing public health while providing students with a quality educational experience requires a commitment from everyone and I will keep you updated on any developments that impact our school districts.