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Posts tagged ‘school reopening’

Connecticut Releases Full School Reopening Guidelines

The state has released its full 50-page reopening guidelines that leave educators and parents with many questions and concerns.

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Teachers Respond to School Reopening Plan

Bridgeport music teacher Sheena Graham appeared on NBC Connecticut last night sharing her concerns about returning to school.

Teachers are concerned about a plan to return to school in the fall that doesn’t include testing or screening of staff and students, limits on class sizes, or provisions to ensure social distancing. Since the plan was released yesterday, many CEA members have been speaking out and sharing their concerns with Connecticut media outlets.

“There are so many precautions that have to be put in place that all depend on funding,” says Bridgeport music teacher and 2019 Connecticut teacher of the year Sheena Graham. “If they’re not able to be met, then I don’t think we’re able to open up the buildings again.”

Graham and Marlborough kindergarten teacher Amy Farrior expressed their concerns to NBC Connecticut. Farrior said, “I tear up when I think about keeping kindergarteners away from each other, away from me.”

U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes shared many of her former colleagues’ concerns in a Tweet last night to Governor Lamont. Read more

NEA Tele-Town Hall Looks at Ensuring Equity and Racial Justice in School Reopening

Students in classroom.Thousands of educators around the country last week joined a tele-town hall on education equity and safe school reopening. Organized by the National Education Association and moderated by award-winning reporter and C-SPAN host Jesse Holland, the event featured a live Q&A with NEA Vice President Becky Pringle and NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson.

“Despite a lack of coronavirus guidance and help at the federal level,” said Pringle, “our educators rose to the challenge and tried to build consistency for their students.” Noting that many experts anticipate a resurgence of COVID cases and the potential for school closures in the future, she added, “We are now pushing hard for the Senate to pass the HEROES Act in order to ensure access to technology and other resources for all students so that they don’t experience the interruption to learning that they did this spring.” Read more

School Reopening Plan to Be Shaped by Health, Education Priorities

How Connecticut returns to school in the fall is on the minds of educators and parents around the state, and the governor and State Department of Education expect to announce official reopening guidelines by July 6.

Yesterday, Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona shared some of the many factors the Department is taking into account as it develops those guidelines with nearly 800 CEA members who participated in a CEA webinar with Cardona and his Deputy Commissioners Charlene Russell-Tucker and Desi Nesmith.

The Department of Education is working with education stakeholders, the Department of Public Health, and the Governor’s Office to develop reopening guidelines, and the commissioner said there will be certain mandatory protocols when schools reopen.

Deputy Education Commissioner Desi Nesmith, CEA President Jeff Leake, Commissioner Miguel Cardona, CEA Executive Director Donald Williams, and Deputy Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker discussed guidelines for reopening schools.

“I do believe that when it comes to health and safety, we can’t have children at greater risk in one district than those in another. We’re working with health partners to develop those nonnegotiables,” Cardona said.  

Though certain measures will be required of all schools, the commissioner said that the Department recognizes one size doesn’t fit all, and that schools will need to adapt based on their unique circumstances. For example, he said that a high school with 150 students will need different requirements and procedures in place than one that educates more than 3,000 students. Read more

This Monday: Ask Commissioner Cardona

What will schools look like when they reopen? Will teachers and students be required to wear face masks? How will social distancing happen throughout the school day? Will distance learning continue? How can teachers in high-risk groups protect themselves?

You have a lot of questions, and we invite you to join a live webinar where State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona and members of his staff will listen to your questions and address your concerns.

Hosted by CEA President Jeff Leake, the webinar will take place on Monday, June 8 from 4 – 5:30 p.m. and will focus on health and safety procedures that must be in place when schools reopen.

>Register now.

CEA Members Discuss Ways to Enhance Equity for Students

State Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker.

Issues of equity are top of mind right now for educators watching the news and listening to their students’ worries and concern, and an online forum hosted by CEA’s Ethnic Minority Affairs Commission (EMAC) Tuesday gave teachers an opportunity to come together and discuss what was on their minds. 

“There is no doubt in anyone’s mind given the last months, let alone the last week, that equity does not exist in our Connecticut education system. We need to do something to change that,” said CEA President Jeff Leake.

“We can’t map out the entire route to equity today, but we will start that journey,” he continued. “This is about listening to all of you—we want your input.”

“We want to identify strategies, policies, and ideas to put Connecticut on the road to enhancing equity for all students,” said CEA EMAC Chair Sean Mosley, a Waterbury teacher. “Equity means giving all of our students the best shot at hitting a grand slam when it comes to educational achievement, no matter their ZIP code. We’ve seen the lack of consistent, effective models of distance learning in our districts and the lack of technology.”

The forum gave more than 250 CEA members a chance to hear from State Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker before moving into virtual breakout rooms for small group conversations. Read more