Dear Waterbury Public Schools Community,
Last week, I shared with you the district’s learning plan following the Thanksgiving holiday. While we were hopeful that our schools would remain in our current hybrid learning model through this week and the early part of next week, it has become increasingly challenging. Based on the rise in coronavirus transmission in the city, and in collaboration with Mayor Neil M. O’Leary, the City of Waterbury Department of Public Health and the Board of Education, I have made the decision to transition ALL students to virtual learning effective tomorrow, Tuesday, November 17, through Monday, January 18. ALL students will follow their same daily start and end times and will be in session Monday through Friday.
The current hybrid learning model for students will resume on Tuesday, January 19. Please understand that the date of return will rely heavily on local health trends and the guidance we receive from the city’s Department of Public Health. While safeguarding the importance of student access to in-person schooling, social-emotional and nutritional needs is paramount, the health and safety of our students and staff continues to be our highest priority.
Staff will continue to report to their respective buildings and be available to support students and collaborate with their colleagues while following appropriate mitigation strategies, such as social distancing and mask protocols.
Students who have been learning in-person will have an opportunity to retrieve their belongings from their school building between Wednesday, November 18 through Tuesday, November 24. Your child’s Principal will share details regarding a retrieval schedule.
Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, November 17, the Food Service Department will provide “grab and go” breakfast and lunch at ALL school sites from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The following school sites will continue to offer an afternoon pick-up (1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.) through Tuesday, November 24:
- Carrington Elementary School: 24 Kenmore Avenue
- Chase Elementary School: 40 Woodtick Road
- Crosby High School: 300 Pierpont Road
- Driggs Elementary School: 77 Woodlawn Terrace
- Gilmartin Elementary School: 94 Spring Lake Road
- Kennedy High School: 422 Highland Avenue
- Reed Elementary School: 33 Griggs Street
- Waterbury Arts Magnet School: 16 South Elm Street
- Waterbury Career Academy: 175 Birch Street
- Wilby High School: 568 Bucks Hill Road
If you or a family member are in need of internet service to prepare for your child to learn virtually, Comcast has donated pre-paid vouchers for internet service and/or hotspots as a part of its Internet Essentials Program and more than 2,000 vouchers are still available. The vouchers offer 12 months of paid Internet Essentials service to any family member that is not a current Comcast Internet customer. Families may be eligible for Internet Essentials if they:
- Live in an area where Comcast Internet Service is available.
- Have not had Comcast Internet Service in the last 90 days.
- Households who owe money to Comcast may still qualify if approved by 12/31/20.
If you qualify and are interested in applying for the program, please contact your child’s Principal. Qualifying families will receive a voucher code (one per household). Upon receipt of the code, please apply online at InternetEssentials.com or over the phone by calling 1-855-8-INTERNET. If you do not qualify for this program or live in an area not serviced by Comcast, the district has a few hundred mobile hotspots available on a first come basis. Again, please inquire with your child’s Principal if you are interested.
As we approach Thanksgiving and embrace the season of gratitude and hope, it is my hope that we will, through our collective efforts, return to a sense of normalcy sometime in the new year. I have no doubt that we are all committed to seeing our children flourish again in school. I know my entire staff will continue to work tirelessly towards a hybrid model return in January and a full in-person return, hopefully, in the spring.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we navigate through this together. Stay safe.
Verna D. Ruffin, Superintendent