BETHLEHEM-WOODBURY — The Region 14 school district has now placed detailed information regarding its school reopening plans on the district’s website at https://www.ctreg14.org/.
The district was asked to submit plans to the state for three possible scenarios: a full return to school, a return to distance learning or a hybrid model between the two. At this moment, the district is anticipating a full return to school.
Noting the district always puts children first, School Superintendent Joseph Olzacki, Ph.D., has placed a special pop-up message on the website which encourages parents to “engage in a dialogue about school reopening in hopes that you will anonymously share your thoughts and ideas” using the platform “Thoughtexchange.” The pop-up includes a link for parents to use.
A revised school calendar is scheduled to be voted on at the Monday, August 3, Board of Education meeting. That revised calendar shows the first day of school as Tuesday, September 8, with convocation for teachers on August 31, followed by professional development days on September 1-4. The tentative last day of school is Wednesday, June 16.
Prior to school opening, all staff will participate in a standardized, mandatory training on the health and safety protocols specific to Covid-19.
Mark Harutunian has been named the district’s official Covid-19 liaison. He will be responsible for answering questions or concerns parents, staff and students may have about the health and safety requirements for Covid-19 in addition to assuring the district remains in compliance with state and local requirements.
Prior to school opening, parents will be asked to complete a survey similar to one they completed in June regarding transportation.
The district is encouraging parents to drive their students to and from school each day. Students drivers at Nonnewaug will be able to apply for a parking permits as they have in the past.
Bus transportation will be offered, with buses operating up to full capacity with students wearing masks under “low transmission” risk status. Should the risk status elevate to moderate, students would sit in every other seat while wearing masks. In both cases, seats will be assigned.
It is currently assumed that athletic activities will be offered, but the situation remains fluid and may change. Woodbury Middle School athletes will begin practice after the start of school.
Football practice at Nonnewaug is tentatively scheduled to begin August 17, with other sports beginning August 27.
Special precautions will be taken for students with special needs. Classrooms and office spaces have been arranged to allow for social distancing. Exceptions to the mandatory mask policy will be reviewed on an individual basis.
Students unable to attend school due to a documented medical exemption will receive distance learning instruction.
Any student who needs additional support during the return to school will have access to support staff including school counselors, social workers and school psychologists.