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All East Lyme students to return five days a week starting April 5

East Lyme — East Lyme High School students are slated to return to four days a week of in-person school starting March 22, Superintendent Jeffrey Newton announced Monday in a letter to parents and guardians. He said the phased-in plan comes as COVID-19 cases continue to decrease in the region, and the school district worked with its medical adviser and Ledge Light Health District.

He said all students, including high school and kindergarten through eighth grade students, will return to school five days a week beginning April 5. The school district has been operating under a hybrid learning model this year.

Newton's announcement comes as school districts across the region develop plans to begin returning students to more days of in-person instruction.

Newton provided the following schedule for a phased-in approach to in-person learning:

Kindergarten and first grade students returned to four days a week of in-person learning starting Monday; second grade, fifth grade and sixth grade students will return to four days a week of in-person learning starting March 15; third grade, fourth grade, seventh grade and eighth grade students will return to four days a week of in-person learning starting March 29; and high school students will return to four days a week of in-person learning starting March 22. Under the four-day a week plan, Wednesdays will continue as a remote learning day.

Then, students in all grade levels will go to school five days a week starting April 5.

Newton said all high school parents are asked to fill out a survey by noon on Wednesday to help provide information to the district for the reopening.

“Please know that there are many logistical requirements and building adjustments that need to occur prior to all HS (high school) students returning,” he explained in the letter. “We are currently working with HS administration to address ongoing mitigation requirements and additional PPE requirements across the HS building. They (administration) will be reporting out in further school communications, and we remain focused on safety for all through this process.”

He said students have the option to learn virtually for the rest of the school year, though any student learning remotely "is welcome and encouraged to return to full in-person learning at any time."

k.drelich@theday.com

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