Waterbury schools will not resume its hybrid learning model on January 19 as originally planned, according to school superintendent Verna Ruffin.
The decision was made due to the current rise in COVID-19 cases.
"I have made the decision to continue virtual learning until we feel that a safe return to in-person learning is possible," Ruffin said in a letter to parents on Thursday.
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All students will continue to follow their same start and end times and schools will be in session Monday through Friday.
“I am disappointed that we’re not returning. I want parents to know that this is not something I take lightly," Ruffin said.
“I feel like they don’t get the hands-on. It’s just hard. They’re looking at a computer screen versus being in front of teacher," said Alisha Jirau, a parent from Waterbury.
The union representing teachers is on board with the superintendent's decision.
“For me, the closer I can get with the date between vaccination in teachers arms and the date for return of in-person student teaching the better off I think everyone will be, and the healthier and safer everyone will be,” said Kevin Egan, president of the Waterbury Teachers Association.
Ruffin said she would reassess a date to return to the hybrid model and provide an update on January 29.
"I have no doubt that we are all committed to seeing our children flourish again in school. I know my entire staff will continue to work tirelessly towards a hybrid model return as soon as it is safe," Ruffin said.