The Connecticut Department of Education has issued guidelines that Connecticut school districts will not have to offer a distance learning option to families next fall.
Education Department officials said they do not plan to have to force school districts to offer this option after this school year.
“I really hope that our schools are open, that you bring your child back to school. Maybe we have a vaccine for the kids at this point. We found out at the worst of the pandemic, say eight months ago, that our schools were open and safe to operate. So it’s priority 1, 2 and 3 for me, ”Governor Ned Lamont said at a press conference on Thursday.
This school year, there was a mandate in place that required school districts to offer the distance option to students at the “unilateral request of the student / family”. The requirement, under “Adapt, move forward, achieve: Connecticut’s plan to learn and grow together” and “Addendum 1, temporarily opting for voluntary distance learning due to COVID-19”, will no longer be in place afterwards. this school year, according to officials.
“The rapid shift to fully distance learning or a hybrid model was demanded during the emergency as it was a necessary public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The educational community has made immense progress and demonstrated great resilience in implementing this emergency situation which departs from the traditional approach to education, ”the guide reads.
Officials cited the importance of face-to-face learning in their guidance, saying that “access to face-to-face learning opportunities is a priority, especially given the importance of the socio-emotional environment provided by interactions between students and adults during the school day ”.
The education ministry said it was important to learn lessons from the disruption caused by the pandemic rather than “going back” to what education was like before COVID-19.
“If you still don’t want to send your kids to school, we’ll find what’s online and available to help you find alternatives,” Lamont said.
The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education responded to the news with a statement:
“We recognize the importance of in-person learning for the social, emotional and academic needs of students. It is good news that state officials do not anticipate that a virtual learning requirement will be necessary when the 2021-2022 school year begins. “