District to Return to Full In-Person Learning

Stamford Public Schools has confirmed plans for a return to in-person instruction five days a week for its students.

Stamford Public Schools has confirmed plans for a return to in-person instruction five days a week for its students.

Sofia Sarak, Editor-in-Chief

Stamford Public Schools (SPS) Superintendent Dr. Tamu Lucero has confirmed that the district is planning to return students to in-person instruction, five days a week, by the end of the current school year.

In her “Weekly Message” to the district, Lucero said that it is “due to continued reductions in COVID-19 positivity rates in Stamford” that this return back to school is possible. The district gained approval from the office of the Mayor, the State Department of Health, and the Stamford Department of Health before making the decision.

As of now, the district is planning to return all hybrid elementary school students back to full-time learning on March 8 and hybrid middle schools the following week, March 15. There is currently no definite date for when hybrid high school students will be allowed to return to school full time. Distance Learning and Teaching Academy students will remain in full distance learning.

Lucero stated that due to the increase of students in classes, children will be less than six feet apart from each other in classrooms; it is possible that the World Health Organization’s recommended social distance of 3 feet apart – rather than the 6 feet the CDC recommends – will be followed. Nevertheless, masks, sanitation, and social distancing whenever possible will still be enforced. 

Some Stamford High teachers are skeptical of a possible return back to school. English teacher Matthew Kimmel expressed his concern.

“I don’t like it. I would be concerned for my health, my family’s health, and my amazing students’ health,” he said.

“Fifteen to thirty kids [in a classroom] feels like it could be crammed,” Spanish teacher Matthew Gladstone said. 

Others, like Social Studies teacher Jeremy White, are optimistic. White says that schools are some of the “safest places in terms of large gatherings.” He stated that the rapid decrease in COVID cases, the dissemination of vaccines, and the population’s proximity to herd immunity are all reasons for students to return to school full-time.

“A return to everyday activities is more beneficial than hybrid,” White said.

Math teacher Diane Burns is in agreement, saying that a return to full in-person learning “could help students.”

Lucero stated that the Stamford Department of Health is ready to make immediate adjustments to the education policy if needed. More school-specific information will be released to students, teachers, and parents in the following weeks.

 

This article was written by Sofia Sarak, with additional reporting by Shaina Bond, Cameron Cahoon, Paige Cahoon, Claire Cody, Allie Findeisen, and Lenna Kouzoujian.

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