reopening schools

New Haven School Board Aims for Remote-Only Learning to Start Fall

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The New Haven Board of Education voted in favor of an all remote learning plan for the fall at a virtual meeting Wednesday night, a decision that will now petition to the state in hopes of moving forward.

Superintendent Iline Tracey had originally presented a hybrid plan that featured two days in school and two days virtual, with the last day being a flex day.

Board member Larry Conaway made a motion to start school remotely for the first 10 weeks, and introduce a hybrid model in the second marking period. This, he said, would give them the change to look at optional testing, transportation, and more teacher and paraprofessional training.

Board President Darnell Goldson strongly opposed reopening in person, criticizing the state's call for in-person learning and saying to make a decision to reopen now would be rushed and with incomplete plans.

"I'm going to support what the teachers and what the families that have approached me have said, and that is keep us safe," Goldson said.

Community members have expressed concerns about reopening the district as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the country.

After discussion Wednesday night, the board voted in favor of all remote learning.

Not all supported the measure - Mayor Justin Elicker was one vote against the all-remote plan.

The superintendent will now petition the state Department of Education for approval.

The state originally pushed for all districts to begin in-school classes this fall, but later acquiesced that the task may be impossible for some, especially crowded districts like New Haven and Danbury.

Gov. Ned Lamont on Thursday announced $266 million in funding to help school districts reopen safely. Most of these funds will come from Connecticut's COVID-19 relief fund.

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