Dear West Hartford Families,
By now, you have received communication from your school’s principal regarding the resumption of school (be it in another form) on this coming Monday, March 23, 2020. I do not know when our physical buildings will reopen to welcome our staff and students again; that decision is with the governor, for now. We will be in session, in some form or another, until mid-June, and the official last day of school will be announced in the coming days. Our “virtual” schools that open Monday will have the same wonderful educators who, I can tell you from numerous google conversations this week, are thrilled to be able to reconnect with you and your children so soon. I believe that the dedication, planning and positive spirit of so many will make the best out of an immensely difficult situation.
I know that this has been a long week for all of us. We are all worried about the health and safety of loved ones, nervous for our friends and family members that have lost their jobs, and fearful of what might be in front of us. To get through this time, I have adopted a today’s problem vs. items to think about tomorrow strategy so that we could focus on what is essential, right now, and get to work. I want to share with you how much has been done in just five days this week because you should know just how many people have worked tirelessly in support of our community. .
We have delivered over 5,000 meals to our children, and the numbers have risen at each of our Grab and Go sites as the week has gone on. We have loaned out over 1300 chrome books over the past two days to families so that they have the essential tools for this new style of learning. Finally, yesterday and today over 1000 staff members have gone through intensive professional development on distance learning, and are ready to go on Monday morning to do all that we can to meet the needs of your children.
I am more proud tonight to be the superintendent of West Hartford Public Schools than I ever have been. There are simply too many people to thank who have gone above and beyond over the past ten days, but I would be remiss if I did not share a few, for they are often unsung heroes. Thank you to our custodial staff for cleaning, disinfecting and scrubbing our buildings thoroughly. Thank you to our IT staff, who broke town computer carts, and prepared thousands of devices to go out to our kids. Thanks to our nutrition services staff, and many volunteers, who ensured our children would be fed. Thanks to our nurses, who took care of so many as they always do, and tracked down question after question to ensure our health. Now, I hope that we can help you to return to just a bit of normalcy, or at least our new normal.
My executive team, our principals and administrators, and our teachers and staff are ready. We know that as we get things up and running, they will not always go perfectly. With that said, our platform, and our plan, will be followed by districts across our state and our country as they hear about it. In a time of despair, I hope that the West Hartford Public Schools can provide some hope to our community, as an example of what can happen when we pull together. Thank you for your trust, your patience, and your continued partnership. We are all in this together.
- Category: Latest News
- Category: Latest News
The following message was sent tonight via the Emergency Notification System by Mayor Shari Cantor:
Good evening, this is Mayor Shari Cantor.
I am calling you tonight to announce that pursuant to my recent emergency declaration regarding the global pandemic of Covid-19, the Town Manager has issued an executive order prohibiting social and recreational gatherings of more than ten people. The order will take effect tomorrow, Friday, March 20, 2020 and will be enforced by the West Hartford Police Department. We join several other Connecticut towns in taking this important action.
This is a serious and difficult step but our number one priority is to protect the health and safety of all West Hartford residents and it will save lives. This executive order follows the most current CDC directive and addresses social and recreational activities, that include but are not limited to: community, civic, and sporting events; plays or live performances; and religious, spiritual, or worship gatherings. The emergency order runs through April 30, 2020, but may be modified at any time.
We must do everything in our power to slow the community spread of Covid-19. This means that we must minimize direct contact with others. As social beings this is so incredibly challenging but it is essential at this difficult time. We need to stop congregating in groups of more than ten and practice social distancing.
Earlier today, Town officials sent a letter urging parents and caregivers to make sure that all school-age youths are home each evening by 8:00PM. While it seems that children, adolescents and young adults are less likely to get sick from COVID-19, they can be carriers, infecting those who are most vulnerable.
We need your help enforcing the 8PM rule at this critical stage of the virus. Children should not be allowed to participate in playdates, sleep-overs, team sports, house parties and other group activities that would greatly expand their risk of spreading this virus.
The number of confirmed cases in Connecticut is rising exponentially. We have to take every precaution available to us to slow the spread and prevent the health system from becoming overwhelmed. I call on the members of the West Hartford community to do everything we can to assist us in this effort.
This is serious and real. Social distancing saves lives.
West Hartford is strongly positioned to weather this historic crisis, but we cannot do it without the assistance of all or our residents. Each and every one of us has been forced to make incredible sacrifices and, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your cooperation.
Remember, we are all in this together. Thank you for listening. Stay healthy. Be well.
- Category: Latest News
March 19, 2020
Dear West Hartford residents,
Your town leaders have been working tirelessly to protect each and every one you, both young and old alike.
Like many other communities worldwide, we have changed the way we are doing business and have put into place new guidelines aimed at preventing the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus.
As a way of encouraging social distancing, West Hartford officials are urging all parents and caregivers to make sure that all school-age youths are home each evening by 8:00PM. While it seems that children, adolescents and young adults are less likely to get sick from COVID-19, they can be carriers, infecting those who are most vulnerable.
We need your help enforcing the 8PM rule at this critical stage of the virus.
Everyone should avoid groups that draw 10 or more people and to avoid places that attract a lot of people. And children should not be allowed to participate in playdates, sleep-overs, team sports, house parties and other group activities that would greatly expand their risk of spreading this virus.
Instead, enjoy the springtime weather by playing outdoor games with your kids in your yard, hiking the region’s outdoor trails, or staying inside to play a game or watch a movie. And, please always remember to wash your hands frequently.
Tell your kids: #ThinkBeyondYourself and join us as we #FlattenTheCurve and keep this virus from spiking and overwhelming our community and health care system. We have children of our own, and recognize how difficult this is. But together we can make a difference that will save lives.
Shari Cantor Matt Hart Tom Moore Vernon Riddick, Jr.
Mayor Town Manager Superintendent Chief of Police
Greg Priest, Fire Chief & Aimee Krauss
Emergency Management Director Acting Director, Health District
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