PLYMOUTH – Superintendent of Schools Martin Semmel plans to survey parents about school returning in the fall and base his plan for reopening the district on their feedback.
Semmel said that Plymouth had been working on a plan to reopen schools even before Gov. Ned Lamont announced his guidelins on Monday. He said that he has received a “great deal of input” from parents, but hopes to receive more as the process moves forward.
“We want to know if parents plan to let their child come back in the fall,” he said. “The governor’s guidelines say that parents need to be provided with the option to have their children temporarily out of school and doing learning from home. We also need to know how many parents are planning on using our transportation and how many will be transporting their children on their own.”
Semmel said that he is in the process of creating an official survey, which he said will have specific questions for parents to answer. He will also be creating a channel for providing the district with “more generalized feedback.”
Semmel added that the governor’s guidelines suggest “reduced population programs” – which means having fewer students in each classroom. Plymouth will be establishing a district re-opening committee to discuss how to do this. Semmel said that his goal, however, is to have all elementary school students in the school for as long as possible with reduced class sizes.
“We’ll be looking into using the auditorium, the cafeteria – you name it,” he said. “We will use utilize the larger spaces in our buildings to help us out in doing this.”
Semmel urged parents to remain “flexible and adaptable” throughout the process of reopening.
“The state is staying fluid,” he said. “We are in communication with the Department of Public Health and we may, over the course of the year, need to move to a different form of plan. Be aware that things may be changing as we go.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.