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Connecticut Education Association releases safe learning plan for reopening schools

Education

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Education Association (CEA) has released its safe learning plan for returning to school this academic year.

Concerns and even confusion seem to surround the reopening of schools in Connecticut. 

“Whatever occurs here doesn’t just affect a single educator it affects their whole family,” said Bridgeport teacher Ana Batista.

“No one seems to have the right answer,” said Jim McGovern.

News 8 caught up with him and his two grandchildren at a Waterford park.

“We want schools to remain open when they do reopen. Not to contribute to a resurgence of the virus,” said Don Williams, executive director of the Connecticut Education Association or CEA, which released its safe learning plan Tuesday.

It wants opening of schools delayed if CDC guidelines cannot be met and it wants a guarantee of state funding for COVID-19 expenses. 

“In California, they’re saying that that would cost about $300 a student for the entire school year,” said Williams. 

The CEA also wants the state to recognize and address all risks to students and staff and understand that moving the economy forward depends on safety of schools not just reopening of them. 

It wants distance or remote learning and staggered schedules for any in-class learning.

“It reduces density,” said Williams. “That’s perhaps the key one.”

Finally it wants COVID-19 testing for all students and staff which may help contain any spread.

The one thing most can agree on is having hundreds of students in one cafeteria all at one time is not a good idea. So an alternative may be having students eat lunch in their classroom. 

But that poses a challenge for staff who may have to provide lunches to all those different classrooms.

“Health is the most important factor in all of this,” said Batista.

She has taught gifted and talented students at the Cesar Batalla School in Bridgeport.

“They’re going to three feet apart,” said Batista. “Many staff members are concerned because every place they hear about and read about is six feet.”

The CEA is hoping to help shape the state’s guidelines all districts may have to follow. 

To read the full CEA report, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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