Administration plans to reopen schools March 26

Dr.+David+Abbey+announces+via+email+that+WPS+will+be+closed+through+March+25.+In+the+meantime%2C+WPS+and+the+SDE+are+developing+a+mandatory+distance+learning+program+for+students.

Dr. David Abbey announces via email that WPS will be closed through March 25. In the meantime, WPS and the SDE are developing a mandatory distance learning program for students.

Charlotte Armstrong '21, Staff Writer

Westport Public Schools (WPS) are planning to reopen March 26, according to an email by Superintendent Dr. David Abbey on March 13.

“During this time we will be consulting with the WWHD to evaluate COVID-19 status and its potential risk to our students and educational community,” Abbey wrote.

WPS have been closed since March 12 along with cancellations of school activities and sports. This follows two confirmed COVID-19 cases in Westport as of March 13. Additionally,  12 Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

“I think that closing school was a good proactive measure to protect the students and the community and to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Daria Maya ’21said.

WPS is working with the Westport Weston Health District (WWHD) to navigate this pandemic. Currently, the WWHD is advising residents to voluntarily social isolate.

WPS will likely transition into a distance learning plan by March 17 or March 18.

“We have developed the distance learning plan in partnership with the WEA (teachers’ union) and we will be communicating more detailed information about the plan over the next few days,” Abbey wrote.

The district is waiting for approval from the State Department of Education on a waiver allowing distance learning programs to take place. If the waiver is approved, teachers will assign students mandatory schoolwork to complete and be evaluated during the school closure. As of now, WPS is planning on keeping the schools’ April vacation from April 6-10.

Gov. Lamont has banned social gatherings of more than 250 people, banning many concerts and other events. Several Westport departments and businesses are closed, including Town Hall, the Parks & Recreation Office, Westport Library and the Senior Center. 

For now, Abbey expresses gratitude for the school custodial staff.

“We are grateful for the dedication and hard work our custodians have contributed, from day one, with respect to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Abbey said in his email.