Hartford Public Schools are in a position to move forward with its plan to offer in-person learning to those families who want in when schools reopen in September, said Mayor Luke Bronin at a news conference on Tuesday.
Based on the positivity rate for COVID-19 testing in the city and the county, the public school system is in the "yellow" range, which allows for PreK through ninth grade to be able to learn in person five days a week with an option for remote learning, according to Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez. Students in grades 10 through 12 would operate in a hybrid model coming to school two days a week with alternating schedules, the superintendent said.
"It is a fluid planning process," Torres Rodriguez said. "We are working urgently to make sure we do so safely and we want to make sure that our families and our staff are part of our process as well, and making sure that we all are safe while, as the mayor said, allowing opportunities for our families and our students to have access to in-person learning."
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Hartford Public Schools delayed the start of school until Tuesday, Sept. 8 to allow for more preparation. Students were originally supposed to return to school at the end of August. The city instituted a staggered start to the school year, beginning on September 8, when the youngest students will begin returning to school to see what learning this year will look like.
"We're in a position where we believe that we can safely offer the option of in-person school to our kids," Bronin said. "I want to stress that it's an option. Families, parents, kids have the choice to either go remote or come in person."
About 54% of parents have opted to move forward with distance learning while 32% of parents have opted for in-person learning, with some families still having not responded to a survey, according to Torres-Rodriguez.
Parents are being asked to wait until the end of a quarter before changing between the type of learning for their child to insure continuity and consistency, the superintendent said.
Students were sent home in March to learn remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.