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Summer schools, camps impacted by new coronavirus-related executive order from Gov. Lamont


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Governor Ned Lamont issued another coronavirus related executive order on Monday night, this time impacting camps and summer schools.

According to the order, the operations of day camps, that were not operating as of May 5, 2020, are not to begin operating until June 22, 2020. The Commissioner of Early Childhood will issue guidance on the safe operation of day camps, which are to “comply with the limitations on child group sizes and enhance health procedure requirements placed on child care programs.”

All resident (overnight) camps are now prohibited to open under this executive order.

Which means Hartford County 4-H camp is closed. The last time the popular overnight camp closed was World War 2.

“The Hartford County 4-H Camp summer season is 98% of our revenue stream,” said Jenn Paragone of Hartford County 4-H, “and not opening is a financial burden. The lives of your children and our staff’s health and safety are more important.”

To help keep the ‘Camp Spirit’ alive, Hartford 4-H staff is planning the possibility of offering virtual
camp experiences, during various times throughout the summer.

The State Departments of Public Health and Early Childhood Education will be releasing more guidelines soon. For now, group sizes are limited to 10-children in one space, more than 30 children in a program need a waiver, staff and students will be subject to health screenings like a daily temperature check and symptom check.

RELATED: Summer camps set to open at the end of June with strict guidelines from Reopen CT Advisory Group

The same will apply to summer school programs.

When it comes to summer school, all programs operated by local or regional boards of education will not begin until July 6, 2020. The Commissioner of Education will issue guidance on the limited operation of summer school programs that are permitted to engage in-person classes. Any private schools and non-public schools that hold summer school are encouraged to follow the same schedule and guidance.

State Education Commissioner Dr. Miguel Cardona is still planning: “Number one, how do we re-enter our buildings? What expectations [do] we have for students and staff in terms of face protection – what social distancing measures?”

The New Haven public schools have a credit retrieval program for seniors who need to graduate.
And early childhood grants to honor. Superintendent Iline Tracey is waiting for state guidance. “If we are going to have, say ten to a classroom,…then you are going to need more school sites and more teachers,” she explained.

This means, more costs that the district did not plan for. Not to mention the cost of deep cleaning the buildings.

“We have to make sure we have a real solid plan that takes into consideration the health of our staff and the health of our students,” Dr. Tracey said.

Connecticut Education Association – the union that represents teachers – is skeptical about summer school.

“It might be a way to deal with how can we do this with a smaller number of students every single day,” said Jeff Leake President of CEA.

I’ve been in schools in late June early September where the temperature is 90-degrees and, to be honest, not a whole bunch of learning goes on.

– Jeff Leake, President CEA

The Education Commissioner has been given the authority by the Governor to make summer school safer. Executive order #43 allows the Commissioner to change regulations.

Additionally, this Monday’s executive order extends the prohibition of large gatherings, as well as restrictions on off-track betting, indoor fitness, and movie theaters to June 20.

It also offers further clarification when it comes to the May 20 reopening of certain businesses and restaurants, as well as how mixed drinks are permitted for takeout delivery.

To read the full executive order click here.

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