New Britain

New Britain High School Can't Go Remote Over Student Behavioral Issues: Mayor

NBC Universal, Inc.

New Britain High School students will be back in school Thursday, despite the district's announcement that they would learn remotely for the remainder of the week, according to Mayor Erin Stewart.

The mayor posted an update to her original Facebook post that had criticized the decision to go remote due to issues with student behavior.

"UPDATE: NBHS will be back in school TOMORROW," Stewart wrote in the Facebook post.

New Britain High School principal Damon Pearce sent a letter to parents on Wednesday and said students will be back in-person Thursday.

The school will be operating on an early dismissal schedule on Thursday and Friday to help have time to implement a support plan for improving the climate at the high school, he added. Students will return to a regular school schedule on Monday.

In a letter sent to parents on Wednesday, Pearce said the NBHS team used today's remote learning to address some of the significant student needs that were being observed at the high school and added they now have a clear plan in place for the days ahead.

Mayor Stewart also said she would be meeting with "key stakeholders" of the school district Wednesday afternoon.

The Connecticut Department of Education told the New Britain School District they cannot close the school, according to Mayor Stewart's Office.

Parents who are interested in more details about the climate at the high school are encouraged to participate in the Superintendent's Town Hall on Wednesday night at 6 p.m.

The news of students returning to in-person learning comes a day after Pearce sent an email to the school community.

In the letter, Pearce said the transition back to in-person learning has been difficult for some students, and that this remote learning period will give teachers and administrators time to identify students who are struggling.

"There are some students who have not been able to adjust according to the high expectations we hold at the high school. Because of this, we are hitting the refresh button and restarting the beginning of the school year," Pearce wrote in the letter.

Stewart said she was told by the school district that the decision was made due to issues with controlling student behavior, including incidents of fighting and vandalism.

According to the school's original plan, students were expected to log in during the regular class time. Students in certain programs, including KEY, Pathways, IDEA, and Emerging Vocations, would continue in person to establish routines. Transportation would still be provided for these students.

All afterschool activities were also expected to continue as scheduled.

"We assure you that our expectation for all students is to contribute to a safe environment every day so that all students have opportunities to learn. We want to make that clear, which is why we are going through this refresh and reintegration. However, we cannot do this without the support of our families. We ask you to continue to talk to your children about acceptable and appropriate behavior in school," Pearce wrote in the letter yesterday.

The initial decision did not sit well with Mayor Stewart.

"I’m disappointed in this decision, it’s not fair to the majority of students who behave respectfully and want to be in school to learn," Mayor Stewart said in a Facebook post. "Everyone has a 'solution', but what it comes down to is the fact that there are no consequences for bad behavior, and this is the end result."

To read the full letter from school officials, click here.

Contact Us