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City of Waterbury to hold discussion on diversity in public schools as 2020-2021 school year guidelines released


WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The City of Waterbury is holding a town hall today to discuss diversity in its public schools. This comes after the state announced a 50-page plan on how to get kids back into the classroom by the fall season.

The American Academy of Pediatrics supported in-school learning when looking at risk factors both inside and outside of schools.

RELATED: State Dept. of Education releases guidelines for 2020-2021 school year; parents can choose online learning

The plan is called Adapt, Advance, Achieve, and is grounded in six guiding principles that are:

  1. Safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff.
  2. Allowing all students the opportunity to return into classrooms full time starting in the fall.
  3. Monitoring the school populations and, when necessary, potentially canceling classes in the future to appropriately contain COVID-19 spread.
  4. Emphasizing equity, access, and support to the students and communities.
  5. Fostering strong two-way communication with partners such as families, educators and staff.
  6. Factoring the challenges to the physical safety and social-emotional well-being of our students when they are not in school.

Of course, the main focus is keeping staff and students safe. Just last week, the governor laid out the framework of a statewide plan to get students back into the classrooms for the upcoming academic year.

Now, the 50-page plan is out and Commissioner Miguel Cardona went on to say that how the overall plan looks could differ from one district to another and that they’ll be listening to the districts to share best practices there.

“We know that this plan is going to be guided mostly by our health data in the state of Connecticut. We’re working closely with the Department of Public Health to make sure our plan is responsive to the needs in Connecticut,” Miguel Cardona, State Education Commissioner.

Another focus- special education: “The impact of distance learning on our students with special needs is one that we take very seriously.  And we want to make sure that we can provide the best opportunity for them to return to school. And we recognize that with special needs students we have different levels of accommodations.”

In the meantime, he says the option to continue remote learning will still be available for families.

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