Closure sprouts questions over make-up days

The Westport Public School administration clarified scheduling plans in an email to parents on Wednesday March 11.  This follows Westport Public Schools’ indefinite closure as concerns surge over the COVID-19 pandemic.

“[I]f districts were to decide to close schools for up to two weeks, they would be required to make-up lost days by adding days to the school calendar and/or changing vacation days to school days,” the email by Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Anthony Buono wrote.  “Adding back lost school days would enable the district to meet its obligations concerning state and federal laws, including those associated with special education services.  Any closure beyond two weeks would require further consultation with the Connecticut State Department of Education.”

The email went on to describe non-graded and encouraged rather than required “activities” that would be provided if school is to close beyond a few days.  Furthermore, special education and related services will be accessed via learning materials sent home from classroom teachers.

Lenora LoFrisco ’21 is concerned about missing out on moments she finds vital as a result of the Coronavirus.

“I’m really worried that I might lose April break and have to be in school until July,” LoFrisco said.  “I want to be able to enjoy my last summer before senior year to its fullest extent rather than being stuck in school when the weather is perfect.”

Athletics and other extracurricular activities have also been canceled until further notice. The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has canceled all remaining state tournament games due to concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, ending many winter sport seasons. Additionally, Staples Players’ spring show, “Seussical,” has been postponed until late April.

“Obviously, this is a difficult decision,” Principal Stafford W. Thomas Jr. said in an email following the postponement. “There was truly no other choice.”