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NaugatuckHigh School

Letter from the superintendent about school re-opening

Dear Naugatuck Public School Community,

It is an honor and a privilege to begin serving Naugatuck’s students and families as the Superintendent of Schools. I have been fortunate to grow up, attend school, and for the last 21 years, work in this special community as a teacher and administrator.

Despite the unique circumstances, we find ourselves in, our mission and vision as a school district remain the same - to ensure that each and every student in each and
every class develops into the Vision of the Graduate through engagement in rigorous academic experiences with social and emotional support, care, and guidance.

I look forward to working with the dedicated and caring faculty, staff, and Board of Education who are committed to working tirelessly to make the aforementioned mission and vision a reality for all of our students - whether we are back in our schools, learning online from home, or a combination of both. As we prepare for the 2020-2021 school year, we would like to share the state guidelines for reopening and ask that you take a short survey to let us know your intentions for the return to school.

On June 29, 2020, the CT State Department of Education released the Guidelines for Returning to School for the 2020-2021 school year (click the link to see the guidelines in full). The NPS leadership team is busy working on developing several plans for the return to school. We’ve established a Return to School Committee composed of administrators, teachers, and parents to help develop the plans. Our plans will include:

  • A plan for all students to return to classroom learning in school buildings at the start of the school year;
  • A plan for improved distance learning for all students in the event that it becomes necessary to close school buildings again;
  • A plan for improved distance learning for any students who choose to continue to learn online from home at the start of the school year;
  • A hybrid plan where students participate in a combination of online learning at home and in-person learning in schools.
The CT Guidelines currently allow for school districts to plan for the return of all students to in-person classroom learning every day. The guidelines are based on Connecticut's current COVID-19 data. The sacrifices that people in Naugatuck and throughout the state have made, the serious approach towards physical distancing, and the selfless commitment to wearing masks have helped to flatten the curve and lower the rates of infection. However, it is important to note that the way that education is provided this year depends on the infection data. If an outbreak occurs, we must be prepared to quickly transition to distance learning or a hybrid approach. As we develop our plans for a healthy and safe return to school, we must continue to take COVID-19 seriously so that we can increase our chances of staying in school while doing our part to stop the spread.

We are still in the beginning stages of the development of our return to school plans. We will communicate and share our plans with you as they are developed over the course of the next few weeks. In the meantime, we’ve included the state guidelines for your review and share with you the following aspects of our plan based on the
guidelines:

  1. Cohorting - Students in our elementary and intermediate schools will stay as a group, or cohort, while in school with the same group of students and teacher. Each team will function as independently as possible. We are currently working to determine the extent to which we are able to place students in cohorts for grades 7-12.
  2. Face Coverings - All staff and students will be expected to wear a protective face covering or face mask that completely covers the nose and mouth when inside the school building, with a few exceptions for health reasons. We will plan for “mask breaks” throughout the day. When possible, classes may utilize outdoor spaces for learning which may provide opportunities for students and staff, if physically distanced appropriately, to remove their masks.
  3. Social Distancing - NPS will consider the public health guidelines while maximizing physical distancing for students and staff in one place at the same time. Classroom desks and tables will be separated to provide for as much space as is feasible within the school building.
  4. Transportation - At this point, the guidelines allow for buses to operate close to capacity with heightened health and safety protocols, including requiring all students and operators to wear face coverings.
  5. Increased cleaning and sanitizing - Cleaning and sanitizing schedules have been developed in accordance with recommendations from the CDC and the Department of Public Health. Cleaning logs have been developed to ensure cleaning protocols are completed with fidelity.
  6. Choice - Currently, parents and guardians can choose for their children to return to classroom learning in school buildings or for their children to learn online from home. 

In working to develop our plans prior to July 24, we can better design our programs by knowing how many students will participate. We ask that all parents and guardians take this survey by July 17 to help us develop our return to school plans. Your responses are not final. Families will have an opportunity to read our plans in full to make an informed decision in early August. In the meantime, it is important that you share your thoughts with us now so that we can plan accordingly.

We realize that many things are left unanswered and you likely have many questions. Please know that every decision we are making is done with the health, safety, and well-being of our students and faculty in mind.

2020-2021 School Year Survey

In partnership,
Christopher Montini
Superintendent of Schools