Waterford’s New Plans for In-Person Learning

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Paige Ferreira, Reporter

Throughout Connecticut, schools are combating the idea of in-person learning differently. As Covid cases are decreasing, schools want to get students back in school quicker. According to The Day, 53.3% of Connecticut public schools are fully in person. That is a very high amount, considering the amount of deaths in this country. However, Connecticut cases and regulations have been nothing but positive. According to the New York Times, Connecticut has had a 41% decrease of Covid-19 deaths. 

Currently, Waterford schools have a larger amount of case numbers compared to other Connecticut schools. As of February 18th, Clark Lane had a grand total of 65 cases, Great Neck 40, Oswegatchie at 55, Quaker Hill at 35, and Waterford High School at 91. According to this data, Waterford High School has the second highest number of cases in the state, behind NFA. 

However, Waterford is beginning to reopen their schools to full time in-person learning in the upcoming months. Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) Director, Stephan Mansfield points out that there are no large differences in cases in schools that are fully in person, compared to those in the hybrid schedule. 

On March 29 this process will begin at Waterford High School. Wednesdays, which are currently full-distance days, will change to a hybrid learning day. Cohorts will alternate each Wednesday as who will be in person each week. After April break, Waterford will begin full in-person learning.. 

Waterford’s superintendent, Thomas Giard emailed staff on March 2nd, with plans of the new schedules. Giard explained that at the last Special Board meeting they discussed opening the high school to this full time schedule. Working with the LLHD, Waterford created the schedule to open the high school fully in person after vacation. 

Students and families who wish to stay or begin full distance do have the option to do so. Families will have to fill out a distance learning form to make this happen. There will be no hybrid learning plans after this begins. Students will either be fully distanced or in person. “During hybrid, about 75% of our students were on Zoom on any given day. That paradigm now shifts in a full in-person model with about 75% of our students now in-person” Giard stated in the email. 

Although the school will be opening for full distance, it is important to keep COVID restrictions in mind. Please continue to wear masks, social distance, and wash your hands often!