Connecticut Governor, Ned Lamont, a Democrat, has expressed concerns over matter of school reopening that confronts school districts across the United States regarding whether to reopen schools to in-person classroom or to commence with virtual classroom.
In an interview with Face the Nation on Sunday August 9, 2020, Lamont said that he feared there would be one-year loss of education if schools have to wait until coronavirus vaccine is developed before they reopen.
“I do not want a lost year. When everybody says, ‘Let’s not go back to school until it’s perfectly safe, until we have a vaccine, until 100% percent of the people are vaccinated,’ I worry that could be a lost year of education,” said Lamont.
Spread of coronavirus in March led to school closures across the country with most schools resorting to virtual learning for the remainder of the school year.
With many states now returning to schools, many districts are adopting hybrid models or resorting to commencing the first phase of the academic year virtually.
Meanwhile in June, Lamont disclosed that a framework would be introduced for all Connecticut students to enable them have full access to in-school, full-time instruction for the next academic year.
The governor also said last week that the state would help schools open safely during the pandemic promising that the state would make additional $160 million available to help school reopen.
However, after school closures across the state mid-March and the following extension for the rest of the school year, roughly 143,000 students did not participate in the virtual learning.
Speaking about the experience, Lamont said, “It’s a tragedy. We made it available to everybody we could, but again, requires parental supervision, requires a lot of effort to make sure everybody logs in.
“Right now, we’re going to have a telephone back up, better coordination, I think, with parents. But it’s by no means perfect.”
As the new academic year is way around the corner, governor Lamont said that there should be a backup plan in place for the state if districts were to go for virtual classroom again.
“We’ve bought 100,000 Chromebooks. We’re getting them installed in every kid’s home that doesn’t feel comfortable getting back to school,” said Lamont.
“The teachers’ homes, if they don’t feel comfortable getting back, expanded Wi-Fi so those kids can connect at least with their classmates over Zoom,” he added.