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State education commissioner says he’s planning for the worst

Education

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Around the state, education is happening.

State Education Commissioner Dr. Miguel Cardona spoke with News 8 via Zoom and answered the following big questions:

Will schools open again?

“We really have to plan for the worst. We have to plan for what it looks like if we were to come back later this year, but we are also having to plan for the remainder of the year.”

What about spring sports, graduation and prom for the Class of 2020?

“Obviously, we are going to do that when it is safe and that could mean in the summer and that could mean in the fall.”

How will students be graded this marking period? What about college admissions?

The education commissioner said if the state moves in a different direction than what families traditionally experience with grading in high schools, he will give guidance to districts by next week.

When will computers and books be distributed to those in need?

The state was given 60,000 laptop computers for in-need high school students by the Partnership for Connecticut and Scholastic textbooks have been donated by Indra and Raj Nooyi for some 185,000 pre-K to eighth-grade students.

Commissioner Cardona said once the materials get to Connecticut, the safe distribution will be done soon after.

Will staff secretaries, paraprofessionals, custodians, and cafeteria workers be paid?

Cardona said Governor Ned Lamont issued an Executive Order allowing contracts to be amended to accommodate school staff being paid during the pandemic.

“We want to make sure in this time of crisis, we can keep as many people whole as possible in terms of employment and in terms of getting a check in their bank account.”

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