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Waterbury closes entire school district amid coronavirus outbreak

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The list of districts now closing down schools continues to grow and Governor Lamont has now waived requirements regarding the length of the school year to make it easier for schools to close. Waterbury is just the latest large district to take advantage of that.

Until yesterday, schools were closing because of students or staff possibly having contact with someone who had coronavirus, but Wilby High School has no such concerns, and yet it will be closed on Friday anyway.

RELATED: LIST: CT public schools, colleges, close, move to remote learning due to coronavirus outbreak

Waterbury is just the latest large district to decide to close all of its schools out of what administrators keep calling an abundance of caution. Governor Ned Lamont made that call easier for school administrators by waiving the state’s 180-day rule. Schools usually have to be open 180 days a year to get state funding.

With that waived, Waterbury joined Hartford, Stratford and New Haven in closing down all schools indefinitely. New Haven’s superintendent says they are working on at home learning plans with the awareness that not every family has a computer and internet access.

Another concern about low-income students is food. Many of them rely on school breakfast and lunch for their daily nutritional needs. The city of Hartford is already promising grab and go food options at locations around the city for qualified students.

But the biggest problem for families across the board is going to be child care. So many single parents, and families where both parents work, will face tough choices about who will look after the kids all day. Especially as these schools are likely to remain closed for not days, but weeks.

RELATED: Yale-New Haven Hospital implements immediate change to visiting hours based on coronavirus precaution

The governor has asked employers to be flexible about time off for child care as we all try to adjust to all these changes.

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