Darien schools will go remote thanks to post-Spring Break quarantines, superintendent says

Darien's Board of Education building at 35 Leroy Avenue

Darien's Board of Education building at 35 Leroy Avenue

Board of Ed /

DARIEN — The town’s schools will go remote the week after spring break after a survey revealed too many staff members will require to be quarantined due to travel plans over the vacation, the superintendent said.

Superintendent Alan Addley said the results of the survey showed the number of staff members needing to quarantine would results in a shortage to hold in-person classes the week of April 19.

The results of a similar family survey are expected Friday.

“The purpose of the staff survey was to determine how many staff would be traveling, and the purpose of the family survey was to anticipate and plan for the number of students who will need remote learning on the Monday after the spring recess,” Addley said.

“As we await the final submissions of the family surveys, it is clear from the staff feedback that we will not be able to provide class coverage for the number of teachers and support staff that will need to quarantine the week after the spring recess,” he said.

Though staff members have received both doses of the COVID vaccine, they will not be considered fully vaccinated until April 17 — 14 days after the second shot, Addley said.

Addley also pointed out the district is going into spring break with “rising COVID infection rates in the schools, town, state and across the country.”

Addley said the rising trends coincide with the spring break recess and planned domestic and international travel plans of families and staff.

The exception in the remote learning plan are the special education DLC programs at Hindley and Ox Ridge elementary schools. The DLC programs will be in person from April 19 to April 23. Lunch and transportation will be provided.

Sports will continue the week of April 19-23 except for students who need to quarantine due to travel.

“As we have done throughout this pandemic, protecting the health and safety of our schools has always been our top priority,” Addley said in his message to families.

As cases continue to increase, Addley said, now “is not the time to change course from following the recommendations of federal, state and local health professionals.”

Addley said after the week of April 19, requests for remote learning due to travel plans will not be approved.

The Darien Health Department will conduct contact tracing for any reported cases. School families should continue to report positive cases to the schools’ reporting line at 203-656-7440.

Darien Schools have been fully in person since mid-March, but some were closed on Monday due to staff illnesses related to the teachers’ second vaccine dose last Saturday.