Dear WPS Community,
Waterbury Public Schools has established a Long-term Reopening Committee to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year. Committee members have been engrossed in the planning process for several weeks, collaborating with stakeholders, as we plan for a safe re-entry into our schools.
On June 25, the state Department of Education released a preliminary plan for the school year, which proposes a return to in-person instruction with the understanding that plans may be modified depending on health data and trends. A few hours ago, the department’s full report, which is detailed here, was released.
We understand that many of you have real concerns and questions about the new school year. As we continue to plan over the next several weeks, we assure you that we are committed to providing the highest level of instruction and educational opportunities that will meet the needs of our students in a safe and healthy learning environment. We are focused on keeping the learning process moving forward regardless of what the 2020-2021 school year may bring. We will share the various reopening options in a timely manner, including distance learning opportunities as we seek to understand the needs of our students, families and staff. A rudimentary version of the options will be presented to the Board of Education at the workshop this Thursday, July 2 at 5:30 p.m.
In order to accomplish the detailed planning process for the next school year, we will seek input from the Superintendent’s Student Advisory and a Superintendent’s Parent Advisory and have established a number of subcommittees to focus on the various layers of the plan.
Technology Subcommittee- Will oversee inventory, infrastructure, computer order process, distribution and accountability
Teaching and Learning Subcommittee- Will oversee distance learning, professional development, staffing considerations and restructuring
Health and Safety Subcommittee- Will oversee health, welfare and safety protocols for short-term, mid-term and long-term reopening of schools
As your input is critical to the planning process, we ask that you participate in a survey that will be released this Wednesday, July 1. We will also be asking you to engage in an online platform called Thoughtexchange. Please expect to receive more information about the exchange next week. Both will be extremely valuable to us as we plan for the school year. I will also be holding virtual town halls in July and August. Please continue to check the District website frequently for a schedule of dates and times.
There has never been a time in education that has presented educators with such a complex challenge, yet this is an opportunity to create, collaborate and adopt new and invigorating opportunities for our children. Please accept the invitation to be a part of the best possible solution by actively participating as we navigate this opportunity to move our district forward while ensuring the safety of our students, staff and community.
We thank you for your continued support.
Dr. Verna D. Ruffin, Superintendent of Schools