Greenwich Schools COVID-19 Update: School Days Could Be Made Up Over April Break

On Thursday evening, Greenwich Schools Superintendent Dr.Toni Jones issued an update to families saying that on Friday, March 13, schools will be closed with no instruction, similar to the process for snow days.

Schools will continue to be closed all of next week (through Friday, March 20), and may be closed for an additional extended period depending on how this situation evolves.

“We are awaiting approval and guidance from the CT State Department of Education for our request to utilize distance learning. GPS understands that many students, especially at GHS, are concerned about opportunities to complete school work for Advanced Placement exams, grade point average increases, and a multitude of other concerns. 

“We are aware of these concerns and are working to address them.” – Greenwich Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones

Elementary School buildings will have administrators onsite on Friday, March 13, in front foyers from 12:00pm to 3:00pm, to distribute student devices to K-1 parents or guardians so that children will have access at home. Bring photo ID for device pickup. Musical instruments and/or student medications will be available for pick-up during this same time.

To prevent the spread of germs, beginning on Saturday, March 14, district buildings will be completely closed to the public, including the Board of Education (Havemeyer) building. There will be Facilities, Maintenance and Custodial Staff onsite in buildings for cleaning and ongoing maintenance purposes, and Emergency Response Team will be onsite at Havemeyer, but all other building use will cease. There are no activities, performances, or athletic events at any school sites during the closure.

Food Service:
Greenwich Schools are committed to providing meals next week to our students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. As such, brown bagged lunches will available daily, which will be delivered to several sites around town.

Friday the district will be providing all necessary details to eligible families, including a schedule of when meals will be delivered. Meal service will begin Monday, March 16. A light breakfast will also be delivered at the same time for the following morning.

Additionally, Neighbor to Neighbor is willing to help any families who may need support with groceries at this time. Families should reach out to their Principal and they will connect families directly to Neighbor to Neighbor who can assist with food distribution, including transportation to pick-up food.

Special Education:
Preschool Parents and Guardians:
In the event that the district moves to distance learning during the closure of schools, the Preschool Program has prepared daily activities for children.  A materials bag has also been prepared by teachers and will be available to pick up at respective schools on Friday, March 13 between 12:00-3:00pm.  It is not mandatory to have the materials for any preschool distance learning plans. Activities were chosen to allow families to use items that are available in most homes.

Extended Closure and Potential Impact on Spring Break/School Calendar:
As families all have likely seen on local and national news, this situation is evolving by the minute and the district is preparing for extended closures, should that be deemed necessary.

As such, there is a potential that school days could be made up over April break. Since the state has declared a State of Emergency most airlines and other travel vendors are offering travel insurance. Jones said the district wants to be transparent that given these circumstances, students could be in school during what was previously scheduled as Spring Break. Depending on the length of school closure, a final decision would be made by the Board of Education.

Technical Support:
If parents need technical support with their student’s device or district apps, please open a support ticket by sending an email to: [email protected].

The Board of Education’s Havemeyer phone line (203-625-7400) will be open for emergency calls between 9:00am and 4:00pm Monday through Friday during this challenging time. Please reserve phone calls for critical issues given the high volume of communications required to keep our families, staff, and community well informed. Technical issues should be emailed to the address above.