Toby Goldfarb '23
As of Nov. 16, Bedford/Coleytown (Westport’s temporarily combined middle school) is fully remote until Nov. 30 due to staffing shortages because teachers were quarantined.
“After the high school closing, there has been a lack of available teachers in the system,” Emma Madoff ’23 said. “Also, the middle school closing limits exposure for families with students from multiple Westport Public Schools, like myself.”
Initially, the middle school intended to continue the hybrid schedule after the brief two day hiatus despite the extended closure at Staples High School. The plan for the middle school was to borrow substitute teachers from Staples to fill in for the teachers in quarantine. However, when the district was made aware of 17 additional cases from this past weekend alone, the demand for substitute teachers outgrew the supply.
“To put things in greater perspective, Bedford/Coleytown Middle School now has 3 full teams of teachers along with 9 encore teachers in quarantine,” Westport Superintendent Thomas Scarice said in an email. “As a result, nearly 350 students had to move to distance learning.”
While this closure was not completely unexpected, it was a relief to some Staples students with siblings in middle school. Since Westport was classified as a code red town, many members of the community have become more worried about exposure.
“I definitely feel more comfortable with the middle school remote because I didn’t want to risk potential exposure from my sister,” Alexa Lunney ’23 said. “The closure was inevitable but I think that the district made the right decision.”