In light of the fact that many pediatric practices are delaying well visits, required health forms for students who are newly enrolled and those entering 6th or 7th grade and 9th or 10th grade are under review. The State Department of Education and the State Department of Public Health are working on a plan to address this issue for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. More information will follow when it becomes available.
Bus Driver Appreciation Day is April 28, 2020. We know that many families have developed positive relationships with their drivers. If you would like to have your child make a card for his or her driver, we have coordinated with Student Transportation of America to collect cards and send them to the drivers. If you don’t know your driver’s name, you can email our transportation liaison, Fran Williams at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cards should be addressed as follows:
Driver Name and Bus Number
130 School Road
Wilton, CT 06897
The impact of COVID-19 on the school budget is a topic we will explore in the weeks and months to come. We anticipate additional unexpected costs in areas like special education and technology once we return to school. You can anticipate more information about the budgetary implications of this situation in future updates and Board of Education meetings.
There will be a Tri-Board meeting on Thursday, April 9, beginning at 6:00 p.m. The focus will be on the changes and possible impacts of Governor Lamont’s executive orders as they relate to budgets and property taxes and costs associated with COVID-19. Here is a link to the meeting. If this link is not working, please visit the town website, select the Tri-Board meeting from the left side menu, and follow the links to the livestream. The meeting will also be accessible on channel 79.
Wilton Public School employees have not been laid off as a result of COVID-19. We value our staff and believe that we need our trusted employees to do this important work during our school closure. We are also honoring our contractual agreements with our four bargaining units: teachers, administrators, custodians, and paraprofessionals/secretaries/clerks. In addition to those groups, we have recalled our furloughed building substitutes, cafeteria aides, and before and after-school childcare providers. These groups were included in Governor Lamont’s recent executive order to recall essential staff who would be needed immediately upon schools being reopened. Currently, we are engaging all of these groups in a variety of important tasks, including eLearning, classroom support, administrative work, and online learning. Our recently recalled staff members were notified today of the recall, and we are working on assigning projects and professional learning modules to them.
Our school bus drivers are valued members of our school community, and we appreciate all that they do to keep our children safe. While we hold our drivers in high regard, it is important for you to know that our drivers are employed by Student Transportation of America (STA), and decisions about their employment are made by STA. We learned that shortly after the closure, STA laid off their drivers. As we consider the remainder of our annual contract with STA, we are working to come to a reasonable agreement that allows us to fulfill our fiduciary responsibility to the town and provides STA with the support needed to maintain their employees. We hope to resolve this renegotiation quickly and amicably.
We would like to thank all who participated in the family survey on eLearning. The survey is now closed. We are disaggregating results so they may be interpreted. We will provide you with an update on how your feedback will impact our eLearning program as we move forward.
If your contact information changes please follow this two-step process:
Please note that some messages are only sent via email. The phone and text features are generally used for emergency alerts and shorter messages.
All school facilities (both indoor and outdoor) are closed. The town has posted large signs on our campuses noting that these facilities are closed. Our campus supervisory staff will be patrolling our parking lots and fields to ensure that people are not assembling on them.
Thank you for doing your part to follow Governor Lamont’s “stay safe, stay home” order by ensuring that members of your household are not congregating on school fields or outdoor facilities.
We recognize that even though our schools are closed, many families continue to plan for next year, particularly those whose children are joining us from private schools and those whose children are entering kindergarten. Please follow the links below to begin the registration process. If you have questions, please contact Erika Cross at email@example.com or Traci De Angelis at firstname.lastname@example.org
2020-2021 Registration - All other grades
The changes we've experienced over the past few weeks have required a great deal of adjustment for everyone. In an effort to monitor how distance learning is working for families and to solicit your feedback on how we can best support you, we will be scheduling opportunities for parents to engage in question and answer sessions with each of the principals.
All parents, staff, and interested community members will be invited to participate. We will notify you about the dates and times of these sessions in an upcoming update. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to our principals via email with any questions you may currently have.
Update 3/23/2020: Today, Governor Lamont announced that Connecticut schools will be closed at least through April 20, 2020. As such, April break (originally scheduled for April 10-17) is cancelled and will not be rescheduled.
Based on today’s announcements from Commissioner Cardona, our school calendar may not be as impacted by our closure as we originally anticipated. As we all know, the situation with COVID-19 requires us to adjust our approach regularly. We are practicing flexibility in our thinking and appreciate your understanding and patience as we develop, implement, and alter our plans on an ongoing basis.
Know that if we do need to make up school days, we will consider all options available to us to 1) follow a school schedule that will present as few disruptions as possible, and 2) consider how and if we can preserve longer, necessary break periods like summer vacation. While it is premature for us to commit to a plan for April, June, or August, please know that we are considering all options related to our school schedule, and we will communicate them to you as soon as we are able to do so.
As noted above, it is too soon for us to predict how our school closures will affect high school graduation. We recognize that graduation is a milestone event of great significance not just to students, but to their families and extended families as well. When we have more information to share about graduation, we will do so.
esterday evening (March/16th/2020), Connecticut Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona notified all
Connecticut superintendents that waivers for the 180 school day requirement have been
eliminated. This decision was based on CDC and US Department of Education guidance to
address this extraordinary situation. Dr. Cardona’s letter included the following statements:
“Now we may all focus our efforts on providing students in Connecticut with continuing
educational opportunities to the greatest extent possible … districts should engage immediately
in providing educational opportunities for students and may end the school year at their
regularly scheduled end date.”
As we noted yesterday, it is premature for us to commit to a schedule regarding April break,
school graduation, and any potential changes to the start of the 2020-2021 school year. We
want you to know, however, that Commissioner Cardona’s elimination of the waiver application
requirement, in addition to Governor Lamont’s waiver of the 180 on-site schooling requirement,
make it much more likely that we can end our school year closer to our originally anticipated
mid-June timeline. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
Earlier this afternoon, we learned that parents of one or more Wilton Public Schools students were in direct contact with an individual who is believed to be presumptive positive for COVID-19. Under the direction of Health Director Barrington Bogle, and out of an abundance of caution, schools have been closed until further notice. This closure may be for a few days or longer as we work in coordination with local and state agencies to assess the situation and plan for next steps.
We understand that this information will likely cause concern among members of our school community. The first question for many is, “What additional information can you give us about the school/s these students attend or the activities in which they and their family members have participated?” At this time, we do not have information that we are able to share, as the Wilton Health Department is currently conducting its investigation of the matter and following its protocols to confirm whatever can be confirmed at this time, and what potential risks there are to the school community and the community at large. Rest assured that when we have additional information to disseminate about this situation, we will do so. In the meantime, out of an abundance of caution, we will be closed to perform deep cleaning in our school facilities. This cleaning will include a thorough disinfection of all classrooms, bathrooms, group spaces, common spaces, and hard surfaces.
As an additional precautionary measure, we have been advised to instruct families to:
Keep your children home
Take your child’s temperature twice daily (once in the morning and once in the evening)
Contact your physician if your child has a fever, is coughing, or experiences difficulty breathing.
As you know, the Wilton Public Schools are closed until further notice; this closure is in effect out of an abundance of caution. Barrington Bogle, Wilton’s Director of Health, is working with local and state agencies to investigate the potential contact that parents of Wilton Public Schools students had with an individual who is presumptive positive for COVID-19. Schools and district offices remain closed while our custodial staff performs deep cleaning in our buildings. Accordingly, all building events are postponed until further notice. We will provide you with an update tomorrow about the week ahead.
Based on guidance from Wilton’s Department of Health, schools remain closed until further
notice. As of today, we can confirm that we will remain closed at least until March 20. We will
provide information about potential closures beyond March 20 next week.
We have been notified that parents of one or more Wilton Public School students have had direct contact with a potentially presumptive positive COVID-19 patient. Out of an abundance of caution, Wilton’s Health Director has ordered the following:
Please have children stay home, check temperature two times per day, and call your personal physician if there is a fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
Lynne Vanderslice, First Selectwoman
Dr. Kevin Smith, Superintendent of Schools
Barrington Bogle, Health Director
As you know from our correspondence yesterday, Governor Lamont’s waiver and communications from the CT State Department of Education still require schools to make up missed days until June 30. Currently, we are treating our school closures in the same way we would treat weather-related closures, which means that we expect to make up closures of up to two weeks at the end of the school year. We ask staff and families to be prepared to be in school until the end of June should we face an extended closure. We have not made any decisions about whether a closure longer than two weeks would impact this year’s April break. We recognize the short timeline we have to make any decisions regarding April and will communicate information about the break as soon as we are able to do so.
ate on the afternoon of 3/10/20, we learned that Governor Ned Lamont declared civil preparedness and public health emergencies.
Information below comes directly from a press release on Connecticut’s Official State Website: https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/03-2020/Governor-Lamont-Coronavirus-Update-March-10-2020-3PM
“Governor Lamont declares civil preparedness and public health emergencies
This afternoon, Governor Lamont signed declarations invoking both a civil preparedness emergency and a public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The emergency declarations provide the governor with the authority to take specific, swift actions determined necessary to protect the safety and health of residents in the state, including the temporary suspension of certain state laws and regulations. The Office of the Governor is compiling and evaluating specific recommendations from agencies and municipalities about statutes or regulations that should be suspended or modified and the governor may issue related orders in the near future.”
We are in the process of assessing what impact these declarations have on our school district and will communicate any changes to school schedules accordingly.
We do not receive information about COVID-19 cases directly from hospitals or the CT State Department of Health. Our information comes directly from the Wilton Health Department, and the only confirmation that we have received is that we should keep schools open. District staff do not know the presumptive positive person’s name, address, occupation, marital status, etc. We recognize that a lack of information can be frustrating, particularly in times of uncertainty, but we are not withholding information from you. We have shared what we know for certain, which is that we have been advised to keep schools open. In addition, it is important to note that these processes are overseen by state and local agencies, and based on the information available to them at this time, we do not have reason to believe that holding school currently poses a risk to our students or staff. If we had reason to believe there was such a risk, we would be taking additional precautions including the possible closure of one or more schools.
Recently, Governor Ned Lamont issued an executive order extending budget deadlines by 30 days. On Monday, March 16, the Wilton Board of Selectmen voted to postpone meeting dates for the 2020-2021 budget. The public hearing meetings on the budget which were scheduled for this month have been cancelled. Currently, the meetings for April 6 and 7 are still scheduled. We will let you know the status of those meetings as the dates draw near.
Currently, we are not aware of any adjustments to state requirements regarding health forms for students entering certain grades at the start of the school year. We will keep you updated as we learn more about how and if these requirements are going to be impacted by the