Hamden Public Schools Release First Draft of Fall Reopening Plan

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This week, Hamden Public Schools released its first draft of the district's reopening plan.

The draft is serving as an outline for what schools could look like in the fall.

The plan includes rolling back on the number of days that students are required in school. Elementary students would shift to a four-day school week for five and a half hours. Students would spend half of their day with a teacher to receive instructions and the other half distance learning in another part of the school.

School days are being reduced to give teachers more planning time at the end of each day and will have a full planning day while students are off.

The proposal also calls for all sixth graders to learn at Wintergreen Elementary to make space at other elementary schools.

Wintergreen Elementary School is the potential site where all 6th graders would learn for the upcoming school year.

Seventh through 12th graders would move to a two-day school week. Middle and high school students would primarily learn virtually.

Students would eat inside their classrooms with their meals either being delivered or picked up from the cafeteria.

The district is planning to have wellness counselors for both students and staff to help with social-emotional wellbeing.

The Board of Education is coordinating with First Student on transportation and bus schedules.

Sarah Morrill is a working parent with two Hamden Public School students and believes there should be more discussion about what the district is proposing for the fall.

"Honestly, I have more questions than answers just looking over the plan in terms of how things are going to be fleshed out," said Morrill. "There are still questions about what's going to have to happen with before and aftercare."

Morrill told NBC Connecticut that the process of balancing work and helping her two children with distance learning has been difficult.

"It's been a struggle trying to complete my work and trying to help my kids with virtual learning," said Morrill. "I do have concerns about teachers who not only have to teach but may have kids of their own to try and help as well."

Walter Morton is on Hamden's Board of Education and mentions that this is the first draft and adjustments are expected.

"At the moment, this is a plan that we have and it's still going to be tweaked a bit before it's sent to the state and then beyond," said Morton. "We don't have all the answers and also what we submit to the state for the end of the month is likely to change with more input from the community and school administrators."

Surveys will be sent out to staff and parents to determine which staff members and students will return to the school. Distance will still be available for students who wish to remain home.

The Board of Education is set to host a meeting on July 14 where the reopening plan will be discussed.

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