As schools in New Canaan break for the Thanksgiving holiday, Public Schools Superintendent Bryan Luizzi says educators, parents, and students must remain flexible if the 2020-2021 school year is going to be a successful one for every child in the district.
“We have been making data-driven decisions from the start of the school year, and we will continue to do so as we move toward the Christmas break and into 2021,” Dr. Luizzi said during a brief interview on November 23rd.
New Canaan public schools remain open but every school has been touched by COVID-19. Students in kindergarten through 8th-grade are still attending classes on a full-time basis, while Saxe Middle School and New Canaan High School students are observing a hybrid schedule because of positive tests among students and staff.
A COVID-19 dashboard established by the district details just how many students and staff have either tested positive for the virus, or are in quarantine after being in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
As of Tuesday, November 24th, 16 students and 5 staff members in the district have confirmed cases of COVID-19 and are currently in isolation. There are 227 students and 14 staff members who are currently in quarantine because of contact with an infected student or staff member.
“We’re doing our absolute very best to keep our schools open,” Luizzi said, while noting that larger countywide or statewide mandates regarding the virus also factor into decisions made by the district.
Using a football analogy, Luizzi said the district is only starting the third quarter of a very different type of school year. “We’re very grateful to our parents, staff and students for helping us get to this point, but there’s a long way to go.”
One state mandate that has already affected many New Canaan High School students was the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s decision earlier this month to postpone all winter sports until at least January 19th, 2021. Other youth and club sports have also been paused as COVID-19 cases have spiked in the state.
At the high school level, wrestling, boys and girls basketball, boys swimming, boys and girls hockey, and boys and girls indoor track have been temporarily paused.