Dr. Alan Addley, Superintendent Darien Public Schools, gives the following message:

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Since last week’s communication, the District continues to be vigilant in monitoring the status and potential risk of COVID-19 for our students and staff and we continue to collaborate regularly with our Medical Advisor, Dr. Timothy Kenefick, the Director of the Darien Health Department, Mr. David Knauf, the First Selectman’s office and other town and state officials to ensure we are following all recommendations.

At this time, Federal and/or State officials have not directed school closures in Connecticut. Should it become necessary to consider closing one or more schools, the decision will be made in coordination with the local health officials, the State Department of Public Health and State Department of Education.

As you may be aware, the latest publications from health officials and the Connecticut State Department of Education include suggestions to prepare for potential school closures and planning alternate arrangements for continuing education from a distance. Over the past week, the District has actively been developing a Darien Public Schools eLearning Plan. Understandably, there are logistics associated in providing remote learning in the event COVID19 disrupts the school calendar, but we are excited and ready to share this plan with you early week.

Should it be necessary, it will be an exciting learning experience for both the staff and students. Next week, you will receive details of the eLearning Plan directly from your child’s principal. The plan will include a day of practicing digital learning in the school setting under the supervision and guidance of teachers.

In the event that we need to close school, we are excited to roll out an eLearning Plan for all our students to maintain continuity of learning and connection to the school community during a period of no school. In implementing an eLearning Plan we need to assess our students’ ability to access any digital learning from home. Kindly complete this very brief survey by the end of day on March 9, 2020. Complete one survey for each of your children. This information will help guide our planning to ensure that we are prepared for a variety of scenarios. Here is the link to the survey: https://tinyurl.com/DPSdigitalsurvey If you have any questions regarding the technology, please contact Dr. Joan McGettigan, Director of Instructional Technology at jmcgettigan@darienps.org.

Additionally, you will be receiving a communication later today from our Director of Nursing Services, Alicia Casucci, regarding our current practices related to cleaning and hygiene; attendance and exclusion for illness; and travel advisories and quarantine.

As always, the health and safety of our students and staff remain our highest priority.

Thank you for your understanding as we navigate this period of uncertainty. Have an enjoyable and healthy weekend!

Dr. Alan Addley, Superintendent Darien Public Schools