November 12, 2020
Dear Waterbury Public Schools Community,
Recently, Governor Ned Lamont issued a COVID-19 community alert for several cities, including the City of Waterbury, due to the significant and continuing rise in coronavirus transmission. Based on the available health data, and in collaboration with Mayor Neil M. O’Leary and the City of Waterbury Department of Public Health, I have made the following decisions in the interest of the health and safety of our school community while balancing the needs of our families.
The average in-person attendance at the three levels, as of Friday, November 6, is: 12.5% at the high schools (excluding Waterbury Arts Magnet School), 15% at the middle schools and 29% at the elementary schools and Pre-K through 8 schools. The Bucks Hill Annex is averaging an in-person attendance of 67%. ● Students at North End, Wallace and West Side Middle Schools and Crosby, Kennedy, Wilby and Waterbury Career Academy High Schools will transition from our current hybrid learning model to FULL distance learning on Monday, November 30, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday. In-person classes for these students will resume on Tuesday, January 19.
Please understand that the date of return for our middle and high school students will rely heavily on local health trends and the guidance we receive from the city’s Department of Public Health. ● Students at Waterbury Arts Magnet Middle and High School will continue with our current hybrid learning model. ● Students at our elementary schools and Pre-K through 8 schools will continue with our current hybrid learning model. These schools will continue in the hybrid model due to the increased level of support our younger students require.
Finally, ALL students in Bilingual classrooms/programs, Pre-K and the Special Education programs listed below will also continue in the hybrid model. We believe It is critical they continue to be in a learning environment conducive to their learning style and needs. ○ Autism (CBL/ABA)- Generali ES, Bucks Hill ES, North End MS and Wilby HS ○ BDLC- Bunker Hill ES, Wilson ES and all comprehensive middle and high schools ○ Enlightenment ○ Essential Skills- Carrington ES, Reed ES, North End MS and Wilby HS ○ SCOPE- Gilmartin ES, Wallace MS, West Side MS and North End MS ○ State Street ○ School to Work Transition Academy- Wilby HS ALL students will follow their same daily start and end times and will be in session Monday through Friday.
Staff will continue to report to their respective buildings.
Our Food Service Department will continue to provide “grab and go” breakfast and lunch for our virtual students. Beginning Monday, November 30, the following schools sites will continue to be open for pick-up of meals Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: ● 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
I have made this decision in the best interest of our students and staff. A review of the city’s health data will be conducted on an ongoing basis. I believe this is the best decision for the health and safety of our school community. I appreciate all of your efforts, individually and collectively, in keeping our school buildings safe. While the district has overwhelming evidence that COVID-19 is not being spread within our schools, the recent uptick in city cases is concerning. While our protocols regarding masks and social distancing have been successful, we must remain vigilant.
Please continue to practice the effective mitigation strategies we have been following in our schools, in community and private settings as well. Our staff is prepared for this transition and will continue to support students in their learning. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s Principal. As always, the safety and well-being of our students, staff and families is our highest priority. Thank you for your patience, understanding and support through this challenging time. We are stronger together. Stay safe.
Dr. Verna D. Ruffin Superintendent of Schools