I’m writing with an update on both the state COVID-19 response and our advocacy efforts.
Updates from the State Capitol
Yesterday, Governor Lamont held a press conference with the Commissioner of Education Cardona to discuss the implications that COVID-19 will have on the upcoming school year. During this briefing, they announced that the state will release a detailed re-opening guidance document for public schools on Monday. Their presentation can be found here and the executive summary can be found here. The main points of the reopening include the following:
Districts should plan to have all students, in all districts, return to school for full-time in-person instruction this fall, and continued monitoring for potential COVID-19 spread will impact how this plan changes moving forward.
Cohorting: The state encourages “cohorting” or grouping students by the same class/group of students and teachers as much as possible (encouraged for K-8 and encouraged where feasible for high school) to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and contain it where necessary.
Social Distancing and Facilities: The state says districts should review building space and reconfigure available classroom space, such as gymnasiums and auditoriums, to maximize social distancing. This is consistent with public health guidelines in place at that time.
Transportation: Districts should plan for buses to operate close to capacity with heightened health and safety protocols, including requiring all students and operators to wear face coverings. Plans must be developed to activate increased social distancing protocols based upon community spread.
Face Coverings: The current state requirements for face coverings will be included in fall reopening. All staff and students must wear a protective face covering/mask completely covering the nose and mouth when inside the school, with limited exceptions (including when teachers are providing instruction).
Last Friday, June 19, 2020, the Appropriations Committee held an informal meeting to discuss education. To read a recap of this meeting, click here.
Time is running out to complete the 2020 US census! Please consider sharing this link with your school communities to help our state receive our fair share of funding!
Updates on our work
As we approach special session, our team is working tirelessly to defend against any cuts to the per-pupil line item. Please support us in advocating for this critical funding by clicking here.
Last week, Odyssey Community School held a socially distant graduation ceremony at the Mansfield Drive-In. To read more about this ceremony, click here. Also last week, State Representative Brandon McGee addressed Achievement First Hartford’s 2020 graduation ceremony via a video that our team sent to the school. If you are still in need of a keynote speaker for your graduation ceremony, please let us know; We would be happy to help! Congratulations to all 2020 graduates, your hard work has not gone unnoticed!
On July 1 our team will be hosting a virtual charter advocacy meeting. During this meeting, Hartford and Manchester’s charter champion advocates will meet with Representative Gibson to discuss the importance of restoring funding to our state’s charter schools.
Lastly, we encourage you to review the resources available to all charter schools on our Coronavirus Resources Page.
We will continue to provide you with important updates as we become aware of them. In the meantime, let us know how else we can support you.