While there are no plans to close Shelton schools at this time, interim Superintendent Beth Smith says the schools will be following an early release schedule Monday, March 16, to prepare for that possibility.

Smith said sending students home early will allow staff to prepare “meaningful learning opportunities for our students in the event school needs to close for an extended period of time.

“These plans will include both paper and digital means so that there is not a large gap in learning while students are at home and to provide them with meaningful activities to decrease their downtime,” added Smith.

Smith said, while an early release can be disruptive to families, this move is necessary to prepare for what may happen in the days ahead.

“If a decision is made to close schools, it will be done based on consultation with our local health director,” said Smith.

Under advisement by the state Department of Education, all districts are encouraged to add any closure days to any scheduled vacations or to the end of June to meet the state requirement of 180 school days; therefore, in the event school is closed for two weeks, those days will be made up during the April break and added on to the end of the school year in June.

“If the closure extends beyond two weeks, and we are unable to meet the statutory 180 school day requirement, we will work with the Connecticut State Department of Education on a resolution,” added Smith.

State Rep. Jason Perillo (R-113) said that waivers for remote learning are available.

“A waiver permits schools to educate students at home while not adding additional days beyond the statutorily required 180,” said Perillo. “New Canaan just received one and my office is prepared to assist Shelton schools with whatever they request.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com