Connecticut students have been staying home from school for weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic, taking part in distance learning, and the governor says the reopening of classes has been delayed until May 20.
On March 10, Gov. Ned Lamont issued declarations of public health and civil preparedness because of COVID-19 and later cancelled in-person classes from March 17 to March 31.
On March 24, the governor extended the cancellation of classes at all public school to April 20.
Lamont said earlier this week that the cancellation of in-person classses would be extended past then, but he did not say for how long.
“You saw some of our modeling the other day that does suggest that we’ll be at the back end of the pandemic, but we still have infections going on into June, so that makes you wonder exactly how and when we could open the school year this year,” Gov. Ned Lamont said.
Access to Laptops
The Partnership for Connecticut, which works to provide access to educational and career opportunities for teens and young adults, is buying laptops for 60,000 laptops for Connecticut high school students.
Documents from that meeting say that program eligibility is limited to the high schools across the 33 Alliance Districts that serve significant populations of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
Partnership CEO Mary Anne Schmitt Carey said 15,000 laptops are scheduled to arrive in May; 30,000 in June; and 15,000 in July.
"The Governor’s Learn from Home Task Force is already working on a process for distributing the devices to students in Alliance Districts based on highest need first,” Schmitt Carey said.
Cardona reassured graduating students that they will get to celebrate their achievements.
"To the wonderful class of 2020; you will have a graduation. You deserve it, you worked hard for it and you are going to get it," State Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona said.
Cardona said he and state educators have been receiving direct input from high school students.
"Students, you will get your moment. If necessary, it will be postponed until it is safe. But you deserve your moment your moment for your years of hard work and you will get it," Cardona said.
"Your health and safety is our top priority," Cardona said. "Please remain hopeful."
How Does CT Come Out of Stay at Home Order?
The governor’s executive order directing Connecticut residents to "Stay Safe, Stay Home" orders all nonessential businesses statewide to prohibit in-person functions until April 22, unless modified.
"I don't want anybody to take their eye off the ball, we're going to have this stay at home order for sometime and we're going to be strict about social distancing," Lamont said.
Once the coronavirus pandemic is on the downcurve, the state will look at using antibody testing among younger residents to see who might have immunity.
"They can be the first ones to get back to work," the governor said. "We'll do this in a safe and thoughtful way."