Parents Sad But Supportive of School Closures

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Parents say they’re disappointed students won’t head back to classrooms this year, but they add it was the right decision for their children.

“I think they just would all be so excited to see one another, and it would be difficult to have them not hug each other,” said Sarah Morrill, parent to a kindergartner and third-grader at Dunbar Hill Elementary School in Hamden.

Morrill is also president of the school’s PTA. She says some things might have been tough to figure out if students went back to the classrooms this year.

“It would be a little difficult to make sure students are seated 6 feet apart, and not engaging with one another at lunch or at recess,” said Morrill.

Now that schools are physically closed until at least this fall, it gives more time for parents, students and staff to finalize plans for safely returning to class. It is also a relief that there's more clarity around the path forward.

“I think it was the best decision given the information we have right now with the virus,” said Morrill.

Hamden middle school parent Christine Hanks agrees. She says the decision is tough.

“I’ve been looking on Facebook and I think a lot of people are feeling sad about this,” said Hanks.

Hanks is the co-president of Hamden Middle School’s PTA. She says a lot of people were hesitant to send their students back to the classroom this year, especially with the year almost over. Returning at the end of May would include more back and forth with the Memorial Day holiday followed by the school year ending on June 9.

One student also feeling down about not returning is Hanks’ daughter, who’s finishing up seventh grade away from friends and teachers. There’s one thing mom keeps in her mind.

“Her health is more important at this point than making relationships,” said Hanks.

She says her daughter does stay in touch with school classmates she’ll see next year. Hanks is thinking about those who won’t return.

“They’re supposed to be selecting courses and doing all those special end of the year events,” said Hanks.

 For now, Morrill says it’s just about making it to the finish line while staying at home.

“We just try to be patient and keep everyone engaged and spirits up. I know it’s hard and it’s frustrating for everybody.”

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