SHELTON — When the coronavirus pandemic subsides, the Shelton High Class of 2020 will be celebrated in some fashion, said interim Superintendent Beth Smith.

Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday that schools will not open until at least May 20. Whether schools do reopen or remain closed until the fall, Smith said, when it is deemed safe, there will be some type of commencement celebration for the graduating seniors.

“The students deserve that, and I look forward to celebrating with them in a safe manner when the time is right,” said Smith.

Smith said schools will continue distance learning, and decisions regarding grading, exams and community service will be forthcoming.

“Our dedicated staff and teachers’ passion and creativity will continue to afford students with the opportunity to complete the year successfully,” said Smith. “The health and wellbeing of our students, staff, parents and the community are our top priority.”

Smith said school activities, such as performances and dances, may be considered in the future “if it is safe to do so.”

Smith urged parents to regularly check the Shelton public school website and Facebook pages for updates.

“Please continue to practice social distancing and stay safe,” said Smith. “We will continue to face the future with strength and determination and come out stronger when this is over."

Lamont had originally stated that schools will remain closed until April 20.

“I can tell you that we had the schools closed until April 20 and I regret to say that we’re going to announce within a day or so that they will stay closed for at least another month, May 20,” Lamont said on a conference call with small business owners Thursday.

While many people would like to return to business as usual and a semblance of normalcy as soon as possible, the coronavirus threat will linger, the governor said.

“What we’re trying to do is just to find how we can make the workplace safer, how much big social interaction there has to be and how we can make sure we limit that amount of social action going forward,” Lamont said.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com