Reopening Communication #3

August 7, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians:

I hope you are well and thank you for understanding the complexities associated with reopening school in the fall.  Since March 13, 2020, your life and that of your children have been disrupted in unimaginable ways. You have made major changes in your life with each one a sacrifice.  Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to reopening schools safely. Planning guidance changes frequently and at times from one day to the next.  It is because of this rapidly changing environment that we have been providing information to you we believe will stand the test of time. Our planning process has always been anchored to the health and safety for students and the staff. 

As part of the planning process we reviewed the results of the parent survey and the feedback from the reopening@branfordschools.orgemail.  Based on the parental input and the flexibility recently granted to local school districts, we are modifying the elementary hybrid model so it is not a 1/2 day model. The final adjustments to the elementary hybrid model are being finalized and specifics about the hybrid model will be announced next week so families can finalize their fall schedule.  The District's final plan will reflect this change.  

We have received numerous requests to view the template we submitted to CSDE.  You can view the document by clicking on here. Please note this is a working document.  Since our submission to CSDE, we informed you that our intention was to reopen either in a hybrid model or remote model.  As of today, we plan to reopen in a hybrid model, with some students returning in September followed by additional students at a future date if determined appropriate based on the status of the virus in our community.  This decision will be made in consultation with public health officials.  You will receive more information about the specifics of our hybrid model next week along with a presentation on August 18, 2020, followed by a BOE Town Hall on August 19, 2020, moderated by the BOE Chair and State Representative Comey.  

For your planning, last night the BOE amended the 2020 - 2021 school calendar. The first day for students is now September 9, 2020.  As part of the reopening plan, staff will participate in a variety of professional development and protocol training prior to the first day with students.  The revised calendar will be posted to the District website on Monday, August 10, 2020. 

Lastly, if you plan to travel out of state please please adhere to Connecticut's travel guidelines, by doing so, we do our part to keep our families and each other safe.  Thank you for your partnership during this extraordinary time.  I wish you a peaceful and enjoyable weekend!

Warm regards.

Hamlet Hernandez

Superintendent of Schools