Lamont: Connecticut schools to remain closed for the rest of academic school year

Schools in Connecticut are to remain closed until the end of the academic school year, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Tuesday.
Lamont announced on Twitter that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he is ordering in-person classes at all K-12 public school facilities in Connecticut to remain canceled for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year and continue providing distance learning.
"We see a continuing increase in infections in many regions of the state, and this was no time to take that risk," he says.
Schools will also be required to continue providing meals to children under the school lunch and breakfast programs for consumption at home, as they have been throughout the emergency.
The CIAC has also officially canceled the spring sports season.
The state will also be giving out 60,000 free laptops, but the first round won't be given out until May 25.
Stratford School Superintendent Janet Robinson says the district has found creative ways around that problem.
"We were able to get Chromebooks, which are much less expensive," she says. "We were also able to get hot spots."
The governor says he is consulting with state and local education officials regarding whether summer school programming should commence as scheduled. He anticipates having guidance on that matter toward the end of this month.
Dr. Anne Dichele, the dean of Quinnipiac's Education School, says even with virtual classes students will have to play catch up this fall or even this summer.
"There may be a need for more small group tutorial kinds of situations, so we can bring people up to speed for those losses, and at the same time, continue with new courses," she says.
Connecticut's biggest teachers' union wants to see big changes this fall including staggering start times, smaller classroom sizes, PPE for everyone in school and new lunch and classroom seating formats.
Robinson says that all comes at a major cost, especially when it comes to school bus routes and added teacher hours.
Lamont says the state is looking at extra money for school systems, and that the federal government is also sending help.
New York and New Jersey have already announced the closure of their schools for the remainder of the school year.