Following the urging of state leaders in the wake of coronavirus fears, Shelton schools have canceled all fields trips and other events scheduled for this month that would feature larger groups of people.

Interim school Superintendent Beth Smith alerted staff and parents of a list of cancellations on Wednesday, one day after Gov. Ned Lamont declared a state of emergency with at least two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Connecticut. As part of his declaration, Lamont urged the postponing of gatherings involving more than 100 people.

“I know it is disappointing,” said Smith, “especially since so many have worked so hard in preparing for these events and I want to thank those who have participated, but I need to proceed with the health and safety of our community in mind.”

Smith said she reached her decision after speaking with numerous agencies and colleagues and conferring with local health officials.

“I have decided that it is in the best interest of the health and safety of our students to communicate changes to some of our upcoming events,” said Smith, who made the announcement prior to attending a special assembly at Booth Hill School at which students were taught about the virus and how best to mitigate its spread.

Smith said that all parent- and student-led conferences in March will be rescheduled for a later date.

“We will continue to follow the posted half-days in March that are currently on the calendar,” said Smith.

Among the events that are being postponed are the winter percussion home show and band competitions; school dances; PTO bingo nights; Saturday SATs; any cultural and international evening gatherings; Invention Convention parent viewings; Spelling Bee evening events; grandparent’s days; Shelton Showcase planning events; and all out-of-state professional learning.

Sporting events were canceled Tuesday, March 10, by the CIAC, and robotics competitions are also canceled, as announced by NE FIRST Robotics Competition.

Smith also confirmed that all in-state and out-of-state field trips are canceled as well.

“Other school events will be modified, including practicing social distancing, ending earlier than in past years and limiting attendance,” said Smith. “Additional changes to school events could be forthcoming as more information is available. I thank everyone for your understanding and flexibility as we continue to navigate whatever lies ahead.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com