School districts work to fix remote learning issues after 5,000 students statewide have yet to log on

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GROTON, Conn. (WTNH)– News 8 has learned that about 5,000 students who signed up for remote learning statewide haven’t logged on once this school year.

In New Haven, 595 students did not log on during the week of October 5th.
That city and many other school districts like Groton are working to change that.

Three sided plastic barriers sit on every desk now in Groton public schools. That is what in class learning looks like now. 

Some students, however, have signed on for remote learning only and News 8 has learned about 5,000 of them statewide who have not logged on once this year.

“We certainly keep close track of that,” said Susan Austin, the assistant superintendent of schools in Groton. 

“The state actually asks us to fill out a weekly report called the Connecticut learning model and enrollment,” explained Austin.

Back in the spring, there were more than 125,000 students statewide who hadn’t logged on to remote learning so a spokesperson from the governor’s office pointed out the vast improvement with 5,000 now. 

Still local school districts are trying to make sure all students get connected.

“Is it a lack of access to the internet and we give out hot spots,” said Austin. “Is it something where the computer went down and they need an additional computer.”

Each Groton school has an attendance team in place, while New Haven has a Department of Youth and Family Engagement which is charged with reaching out to the students and their families. Norwich Free Academy also has support teams.

“It could be that parents are working and students have to take care of younger siblings, and they just need more time to get the work done and to connect,” said Austin.

Each student in the Groton school district gets their own Chromebook and tool kit which is basically a box full of supplies. Those are for both in class and at home learning.

Related: Fitch High School in Groton moves to full distance learning this week due to positive Covid case

Providing that equipment has made a big difference in this new school year. But with Fitch High School in Groton going to all remote learning for the next week more students may get disconnected.

“We do see that could cause some fluctuation,” said Austin. 

The high school’s attendance team is prepared to try to reconnect and reengage any disconnected student. 

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