On Monday Governor Lamont held a phone conference for state and local leaders requesting all events for more than 100 people be cancelled or rescheduled.
On Wednesday communications director Sasha Houlihan responded to an email asking about the annual Community Service Awards ceremony scheduled for 5:00pm on Wednesday in the Greenwich High School performing arts center to say the event is postponed to a later date.
The annual community service awards were the brainchild of former superintendent Ernest Fleishman.
In an email Tuesday updating families on COVID-19 Greenwich Schools superintendent Dr. Toni Jones gave the heads up that events greater than 100 people would possibly be cancelled.
Jones referred to “a delicate balance” of taking precautionary measures while maintaining a sense of normalcy for staff and students.
Earlier on Tuesday Dr. Jones and Athletic Director Gus Lindine announced that all CIAC winter games were cancelled.
“Our heart goes out to our GHS student athletes and coaching staff of Girls Basketball, Boys Ice Hockey, Girls Ice Hockey, and Boys Swimming who were all state championship contenders,” Jones and Lindine wrote Tuesday afternoon.
The school district’s facilities team continues to be proactive about cleaning high-touch areas including door knobs and, including the use of additional hours to deep clean buildings to further prevent the spread of germs. Buses are wiped down daily. Staff continuously remind students to wash their hands. Student desks are being wiped down each evening.
The district already had scheduled an early release on Wednesday for Staff Professional Development, and Jones said the district will use that time as a preparation session for all teachers and staff to plan for potential distance learning needs.
“We are evaluating our current status one day and one week at a time. There are not expected cancellations of events for April, May, or June at this time.” – Dr. Toni Jones, Greenwich Schools Superintendent
“Should we be instructed or choose to close schools and want to pursue distance learning, we need to apply for a waiver to the State,” Jones wrote. “We are in the process of preparing for this type of application, should we need to pursue it.”
Jones said that if distance learning is implemented, families could anticipate 180-190 minutes of planned activity for K-5, and content-specific activities from each of the classes enrolled from 6th-12th grade teachers.
“It would be important to provide our teachers time within each day for planning, responding to students and families, and working remotely with colleagues to share ideas and plans,” she added.
The superintendent said that for elementary students, adult assistance would be needed to guide students. However, there are digital platforms that would be utilized to provide 20 minutes of independent mathematics or literacy, along with non-digital activities like word study, reading, drawing, and writing.
“A child’s teacher would be preparing the materials so children would be familiar with what they are being asked to do. A schedule would be available that would be easy for a parent to see how much time should be spent on an activity, and a recommended sequence of activities for their children. Teachers would remain online and available during their usual teacher hours. The next day’s information would be posted on or around 3:00pm for all families.” – Dr. Toni Jones on possible implementation of “distance learning”
If the district implements distance learning, a technical helpline would remain open and staffed to answer questions and to assist families and students who are having technical difficulty with their device, logging on, or have general questions about digital applications.
GHS was not scheduled to host an SAT session in March. Any cancellations would be the decision of the testing site where Greenwich High School students are registered.
Jones said a school closure of any length could impact the GHS graduation date.”However it is important to note, that the impact of scheduling would be similar to a year where the district experienced numerous snow day outages, which would require us to be in school late until June.”
To disinfect a child’s iPad or Chromebook parents are advised to use a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.
“You may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Don’t use bleach,” Jones said. “Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents.”
This article about cleaning your Apple products, specifies that the use of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes is allowed. Clorox Disinfecting Wipes are also on the EPA’s list of products that “have qualified for use against the coronavirus.”
Jones said the district recommends these wipes for cleaning iPads as well as for cleaning the hard, nonporous surfaces of computer equipment such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces.