As several Fairfield County school districts have closed amid coronavirus concerns, a group of superintendents is pushing for the state to credit their e-learning lessons toward the 180-day requirement.

New Canaan, Darien, Westport, Wilton, Weston and Greenwich school districts announced prolonged closures on Wednesday as the state’s third coronavirus case was confirmed and a potential large exposure was discovered stemming from a private party in Westport.

In anticipation of the closures, 14 area superintendents signed a letter this week to Gov. Ned Lamont and Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona to get credit for e-learning toward the mandated 180-day school year.

New Canaan Superintendent Bryan Luizzi, as president of the Southern Fairfield County Superintendents Association, penned the letter because he said he did not receive enough direction on a call with Lamont and Cardona hours before he addressed the New Canaan Board of Education on Monday.

SIGN UP: Get the latest Connecticut coronavirus news delivered directly to your inbox

“Today the Department of Education gave some guidance for districts to follow,” Luizzi said. “The guidance in my estimation was vague and non committal, not helpful enough for districts that have to work through what we are working through.”

“The guidance issued by the state in advance, in my opinion, needs to be strong and clear and show leadership,” Luizzi told the school board.

He would like e-learning, which entails distance learning on the internet, to be handled similar to the way it is dealt with in New Jersey.

“Given the urgent need to stop community spread through non-pharmaceutical interventions such as school closures, we are writing to urge you to take a next, necessary step to protect our children and our schools,” Luizzi wrote in the letter sent Tuesday. “As the leaders of Connecticut and of our Department of Education, we implore you to follow New Jersey's lead by making swift and decisive action on behalf of Connecticut's children. Specifically, we urge you to publish guidance, similar to our neighbors in NJ.”

The letter was signed by 13 other superintendents, including Michael Testani, of Bridgeport, Charles Dumais, of Cooperative Education Services, Alan Addley of Darien, Thomas McMorran of Easton/Redding/ Region 9, Mike Cummings of Fairfield, Toni Jones of Greenwich, Joseph Kobza of Monroe, Steven Adamowski of Norwalk, Beth Smith of Shelton, Janet Robinson of Stratford, William McKersie of Weston, David Abbey of Westport and Kevin Smith of Wilton.

“Our teachers and staff have been strong partners in these efforts on behalf of children; however, they are also asking important questions about the 180-day requirement and whether the expectations we are placing on them to provide substantive home instruction to every child, in all classrooms, covering the entire program, will be credited as days of instruction for our students and staff,” the letter reads.

In the letter Luizzi quoted New Jersey’s decision, which in part read: “Any day in which students are impacted by a public health-related closure have access to home instruction services provided consistent with the guidance in this memo will count as a day in which the board of education has provided public school facilities toward its compliance with the180-day requirement.”

Luizzi wrote that administrators worked in close partnership with local unions, coordinated efforts district-wide with a focus on equity and access to programs, and considered special education students.

Schools are also developing plans to provide meals to students who are identified through the free and reduced lunch program, and are ensuring all students and families have the resources necessary to access the home instruction program.

“What we are doing now is identifying the families who may be in need of additional resources, primarily technology, but other things too,” Luizzi said. “There can be other things that families may need. Our social workers psychologists, principals, our teachers are working together to identify who those folks might be,” it would be confidential.

In the event of a prolonged closure, “I would work with our health director locally to figure out: Do we use our white vans to transport the equipment to the homes? Do we spend the day bringing them whatever they need in order to get them up and running? Things like that are all possibilities. We are figuring out the best way to distribute resources to families. We are confident in the event it happens we can solve those problems,” Luizzi said.