Milford schools

Milford Schools Preview Class Changes for Fall – NBC Connecticut


“There are academic posters, there are learning tools on the walls,” said Dr Anna Cutaia, superintendent of Milford Public Schools. She showed a classroom at Meadowside Elementary School, explaining what it will look like this fall in the era of COVID-19.

“Our teachers go out of their way to make our classrooms as warm and inviting as they always have been,” said Cutaia. “So the biggest difference you’ll see is the way we distribute our furniture. “

There will no longer be group seats in the kindergarten classes. Instead, 16 students will be seated in rows six feet apart. But visually, much of the room remains the same and that’s one of the goals: a tiny bit of normalcy.

“It’s not the physical layout of a room that makes a classroom, it’s really the community of the classroom,” said Gail Krois, principal of Meadowside Elementary School.

Teachers have plexiglass around their desks where masks are not required. Students will, however, be required to wear masks at their desks.

Cutaia said they are turning all available space in school buildings into classrooms, including conference rooms and reading rooms.

Outside of classrooms, hallways are clearly marked with stickers and special directional markers to keep six feet apart.

“Some hallways will be one-way streets, as you encounter in traffic, and some hallways are two-way streets,” Cutaia said.

The school district has scheduled hand washing, hand sanitizing, and special bathroom and mask breaks. Kindergarten to Grade 10 students will remain in class cohorts. As for the juniors and seniors, they work on plans for the elective courses.

There are 5,400 students at Milford and about 80% plan to return this fall. That leaves around 900 opting for distance learning.

“There will be a Chromebook or a camera in the classroom so students can connect and be a part of this classroom environment, this community,” Cutaia said.

All of that, the plexiglass, the PPE, and the 800 new desks cost money. The school district has received money from the state and they are hoping for more.

“It’s definitely not included in what we planned, for the 20-21 school year, so these are costs that will go beyond what we planned,” Cutaia said.

Upon the return of the students, the district won two socio-emotional learning scholarships totaling $ 20,000 to help students emotionally adjust to any changes.

“Our program includes shared readings aloud, shared activities and really that awareness so that children can advocate for themselves what they need,” Krois said.

The school district said it was finalizing the plan to get the kids home – students will have assigned seats on the bus. The first on the bus will load all the way to the back and the bus will fill up towards the front. The last on board will be up front, and they will be the first to return home.

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