Superintendent Gives Update about COVID-19, School Plans at Press Conference
On Tuesday, October 6, Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez was joined by Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, and Hartford Health Director Liany Arroyo to provide the community with an update about the growing number of Coronavirus cases in Hartford. The Superintendent also shared details about the district’s likely shift to a hybrid learning model in response to changing local health metrics.
At Hartford City Hall, the officials spoke about the uptick in cases in the city of Hartford, as well as in Hartford County. While a primary indicator for the district’s Return to Learn plans has been the County data, the city numbers may be an early warning sign. The 7-day rolling average of new cases in Hartford has reached 11.9.
The Superintendent explained that this rise in cases could lead the district to shift from the “Yellow” status to “Orange” on our Operational Decision Meter. That would mean we would transition to a learning model in which PreK-9th grade students would follow a hybrid schedule and 10-12th graders would engage in fully online learning. At minimum, the district would give families a week’s notice before shifting to a different model, she said. If the shift is made, it would be on October 19.
Dr. Torres-Rodriguez said the district has seen 32 positive cases, including 22 students and 10 staff members. They have not identified transmission within schools, she said, and found that most cases are in K-8 schools, with some coming from students in the same family.
The Superintendent also stated that if the shift to hybrid is made, the district would help support families and teachers through the transition. HPS staff have already been distributing devices to students to ensure that each learner has a Chromebook or iPad. Additionally, there will be expanded opportunities for tutoring as well as supports like learning kits for online students.
All of the officials reminded residents to continue to follow health guidelines to keep everyone safe: wear masks, stay physically distanced, avoid large crowds, wash hands, and keep students home if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
An update about the potential shift to Orange status will be provided to families early next week, on October 12.
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