COVID-19 learning update

A COVID-19 learning update from Dr. Alexandra Estrella
Posted on 01/05/2021

As 2021 begins, Norwalk Public Schools is planning ahead for the next phase of teaching and learning during COVID. While the roll out of a coronavirus vaccine is promising news, we know that there is still a long way to go before we truly turn the corner on the virus. In the meantime, Norwalk Public Schools remains committed to delivering in-person instruction where possible, while keeping our health and safety protocols in mind.

Para leer este mensaje en español, haga clic aquí. 

Revised Quarantine Guidance

Based on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Connecticut State Department of Public Health, the required quarantine time will be reduced to 10 days for anyone who has been in contact with a confirmed positive case of COVID-19. This is a change from the 14 days of quarantine that has been in place since the beginning of the school year.  Other school districts are also making this change based on this new CDC guidance. 

In consultation with the Norwalk Health Department, the district will not allow an option to reduce quarantine time with a negative test.

Change to Remote Working Protocol

Beginning January 11 all employees not directed to quarantine will report to their work location when a school moves to full remote learning. Previously, employees have been given the option to work remotely or in-person when their school has moved to remote learning.

This change will benefit all students by:

·       Allowing students with moderate or severe disabilities, and multi-language learners with moderate to high needs, to remain in school full time if not directly impacted by a quarantine.

·       Supporting consistent instruction for all students by reducing the transitions personnel need to make.

·       Giving students the reassurance of seeing a familiar classroom location.

·       Signaling to students that school is still “in session,” even if they are learning from home.

·       Addressing privacy and other concerns that teachers and staff have raised about teaching from home.

·       Reducing tech issues from potential problems with home Internet and Wi-Fi.

·       Providing easier access to administrators and building tech support as needed.

 If a positive case is confirmed, the district Facilities team will continue to deep clean and thoroughly sanitize classrooms and other areas as needed, before staff and students return to the building. 

Second Semester Expansion of In-Person Learning for Eligible MS and HS

After reviewing attendance levels at our middle and high schools, we recognize that sufficient space is available at these buildings to safely accommodate additional students in full-time, in-person learning. As a result, effective February 1, NPS plans to expand the availability of five-day-a-week, in-person instruction for middle and high school students who have been most negatively impacted by remote learning. Students who are failing two or more subjects in the first semester will be eligible. Individual outreach will be made from the schools to eligible students, should a change in the model of instruction be indicated for a specific student. More information will be available later this month.

The past few months have confirmed our ability to adapt and grow as a district, traits that we will likely need for the remainder of this school year, and beyond. Students and staff have demonstrated incredible resilience, adapting to a learning environment that is different from anything we have ever experienced. We truly appreciate the caring and commitment shown to students each day by our staff, and look forward to continued successes in the New Year.

Dr. Alexandra Estrella

Superintendent of Schools