Hartford Public Schools Shared an Update on the Return of Remote Students to In-Person Learning

Hartford Public Schools Shared an Update on the Return of Remote Students to In-Person Learning

(March 26, 2021, Hartford, CT) — At noon on Friday, March 26, Hartford Public Schools and City of Hartford officials discussed the return of remote-only students to full-time in-person learning on Monday, March 29.

At Dwight Bellizzi Dual Language Academy in Hartford, Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, discussed the transition of remote-only learners back to full-time in-person learning, five days per week. Superintendent Torres-Rodriguez was joined by Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, Hartford Health and Human Services Director Liany Arroyo, and Bellizzi Principal Tony Davila. 

Families that have health and safety concerns about COVID-19 or other circumstances that prevent their student from returning in-person on Monday can continue with remote learning. 

The opportunity for remote learners to return in-person was made in consultation with the Hartford Health Department and aligns with state guidance. All HPS teachers and staff who wanted the COVID-19 vaccine have received their first dose through a partnership with Saint Francis Hospital, and they are scheduled to receive their second dose this week Thursday and Friday, or next week. That includes a total of 2,193 educators, staff, and school-based partners. 

“We firmly believe in the benefits of in-person learning and we are now happy to offer the opportunity for our remote students to return to in-person beginning Monday. Those benefits include equitable access to academic and social-emotional support, and deeper connections with their peers and caring adults to improve their well-being,” said Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez. “In addition to the academic and social-emotional benefits for our students, we know this opportunity supports many of our families in balancing work and childcare more easily, and getting life back to normal.”

Schools are considered to be safe environments. The mass vaccinations of staff, along with the continuation of our robust health and safety protocols, are key steps in returning staff and students back to the environment where we know our students learn best, the classroom.” 

Earlier this month, HPS distributed a survey to remote-only families to finalize class schedules, teacher assignments, and understand how the district and schools can best support returning students. School staff continue the outreach to remote-only families to better understand if families have health concerns for their child or in their household, or other extenuating circumstances that would prevent them from returning to school on March 29. 

As more students transition back to in-person learning, HPS will continue to enforce all existing health and safety measures to reduce the risk of spreading the virus in our schools:

  • Masks are required for all in-person PreK-12 students and staff. Face shields are available upon request
  • Washing and sanitizing hands frequently
  • Physical distancing of 6 feet to the extent possible, per CDC and state guidelines. We know that 6 feet cannot be maintained in all classrooms at all times
  • Six feet of distancing in cafeterias 
  • Daily cleaning and disinfecting of school buildings
  • Optimized ventilation systems
  • PPE supplies are readily available in all schools for students and staff
  • Buses will be cleaned after each trip and at the end of each day. Windows will be open. Eligible students have been contacted with bus schedules

In preparation for the return of remote students to in-person, our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been updated to reflect the latest guidance and posted on our website.

HPS hosted a virtual Town Hall for families on March 23. The recording and presentation are available, in English and in Spanish, on the district website.

If families have any questions they should call their child’s school directly.