In light of the potential risk of contracting COVID-19, Dr. Alan Addley, Superintendent of Darien Public Schools, said the decision as to whether or not schools would close would be made in close consultation with local and state health officials.

In a telephone conversation with The Darien Times Monday night, Addley further said if someone comes down with the virus in a Darien school, “I would have to refer that situation to health officials.”

In regard to implementing a distance learning system for students, Addley said that would happen if the school district had to close for a prolonged period of time.

“If we closed for two to three weeks, we would consider that,” he added.

If a remote learning plan were to be put into effect, Addley said the schools would have to tackle operational issues in ensuring it works well.

There would also be contractual issues of staff to work out.

He added that a remote learning plan would not be easy, and must be done thoughtfully, “with very careful consideration to all the variables and challenges.”

“You want to make sure you are meeting the needs of all our students,”Addley said.

In an email sent to District parents 9:30 p.m. Monday night, Addley said there will be a two-hour delayed opening Wednesday to provide staff with adequate time to plan and prepare for possible eLearning.

It seems like every day, there is another new development in regard to the spread of the coronavirus, and Darien schools have been on top of this, according to Addley.

“We are responding to this on a daily basis,” he said.

There has been no state of emergency yet called to the state of Connecticut, in regard to the coronavirus.

“We have to work very closely, in absence of any specific direction from the state,” he said.

“We are certainly living in interesting times,” Addley added. “I appreciate the staff’s and the community’s understanding and patience with this challenging issue.”

sfox@darientimes.com