June 4, 2021 Update

June 4, 2021 Update
Posted on 06/04/2021

Good Afternoon EGPS Staff and Families!

Happy June to one and all! 

I want to provide you with some important information as we look to the future.

Reopening Plan for ‘21-’22 

Every district receiving federal grant funding due to COVID-19 is required to have a reopening plan for the upcoming school year publicly available online by June 23, 2021. The components of the reopening plan, referred to as the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan, are very similar to the components addressed in our 2020-21 Proposed Plan for Learning, which include health and safety strategies, continuity of services for academics, and social / emotional learning. https://www.eastgranby.k12.ct.us/files/1815/9555/0014/20200720_-_EGPS_Reopening_Presentaton.pdf. Unlike Connecticut, where we have been in-person, many states did not open for in-person learning at all this year. Therefore, the process of reopening for those states looks very similar to where we were a year ago. 

We are still crafting the reopening plan, but at this point, we will open the way we are closing this year, with a few known changes. The first change is that we will be in school five days a week. The requirement that school districts provide temporary remote learning opportunities will no longer be in place after this school year. The CSDE document on this topic states, “There is no current requirement under Connecticut or federal law that after the period of emergency this school year, school districts are mandated to provide all students voluntary daily access to remote learning at the unilateral request of the student/family. At this time, DPH and CSDE do not anticipate the need to mandate, due to public health necessity, that all school districts provide an option for students and their families to opt-in to a voluntary remote option after this school year.” (CSDE April 27, 2021)

To that point, East Granby Public Schools will be looking forward to welcoming all of our students back for in-person learning for the ‘21-’22 school year!

Secondly, we are and will be awaiting future guidelines from the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Connecticut State Dept. of Education (CSDE) regarding many of the areas to address in the reopening plan including mask wearing, social distancing, cohorts and quarantine mandates. When we do receive updated information, the plan and our practices will be adjusted accordingly. In order to remain in compliance and have a plan publicly available by June 23rd, we need to write protocols with the guidelines available to us now. 

Thirdly, there is the requirement for public comment. All stakeholders are invited to submit thoughts, comments, suggestions, pros and cons of our current teaching and learning environment. Please recognize that we might not be able to implement all suggestions, but we will take all perspectives into account as we finalize the plan. There will be an opportunity for public comment regarding in-person learning planning at the June 14, 2021 Board of Education meeting. Additionally, anyone is welcome to submit thoughts through our established email dedicated to COVID-19 topics: [email protected]

Free Lunch

The Federal Government has extended the free lunch program for another school year. I am working with Granby on a way to continue this option for all of our students. You are welcome to also comment using the above email address if you would be likely to participate in the lunch program. I will be posting temporary job positions to support lunch distribution and tallying in each of the schools. Filling these positions will be essential in order to continue with the free lunch program. 

With all that being said, I want to turn back to present day and thank all of you, staff, students, families, for every single thing you have done throughout this school year. It is only because of you, and your willingness to comply with our health and safety measures that we have been in-school learning for the year. We have been trending in a promising direction where the virus is concerned and it is my hope that continues. There was a positive individual from the high school identified yesterday; other than that, we have gone eight straight weeks with two cases involving school staff and/or students. 

This year was not lost. Thanks to our wonderful teachers and staff, students learned, laughed, and grew! Much was accomplished over the course of the ‘20-’21 school year. Due to very few virus numbers, there have been and will continue to be several end of year activities in all schools, culminating with Graduation 2021 on June 15th! 

Last Day of School for Students: Monday, June 14, 2021. Early Dismissal. 

Wishing you a wonderful summer!

Missy Bavaro-Grande, EGPS Superintendent

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