coronavirus in connecticut

Amity Regional School District No. 5 Weighs Return to Full In-Person Learning

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Jennifer Byars, superintendent of Amity Regional School District Number 5, said she’s considering a full return to class for the 2,300 students in her district, possibly as early as next week.

It would advance the district’s COVID-19 reopening plan from hybrid to in-person.

“The hybrid learning plan will always be a part of our reopening because if the metrics suggest a change, we would have to go back to hybrid learning,” said Byars.

Nearly 900 parents have signed a petition to keep hybrid learning, saying they’re concerned about cases rising in the area and safety of students in the classroom.

NBC Connecticut reached out to leaders in the Parent Teacher Student Organization but haven’t heard back.

“Parents still have the option of, according to the state plan, to put their students into voluntary remote learning so in that case, we would have a group of students that would participate synchronously, but from a remote location,” said Byars.

She said the 2,300 students who are in the hybrid model have responded well to following social distancing and masking guidelines.

Byars said they began working with both the Town of Orange Health Department and the Quinnipiack Valley Health District at the beginning of the year. The goal was to eventually get back to in-person learning.

“They had given us some rules and suggestions at that time, which we have basically been following ever since, and so I feel that we made those adjustments,” said Byars.

Town of Orange Health Director Dr. Amir Mohammad told NBC Connecticut that he prefers a hybrid model. He said he’ll review the most recent community data with the school district next week.

Byars said a decision could be made by Election Day.

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