Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday officially canceled in-person schooling for Connecticut students for the rest of the 2019-20 academic year.
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School buildings, closed effective March 17 over fear of the spread of the coronavirus, will not reopen until fall.
Nayeli Peralta, a senior at Old Saybrook High, had been assigned a capstone project earlier in the school year.
“I have a project of getting to know the culture,” Peralta said in her native Spanish.
She was working on a picture guide designed to help English language learners understand how Americans celebrate holidays. With in-person classes canceled, she worries about whether it’ll be finished.
Peralta enrolled at Old Saybrook High around Thanksgiving -- after having lived in Ecuador for 18 years. Her father and her stepmother, Quiana, made it possible for Peralta to attend high school in America.
“It’s going to be difficult to not see the teachers,” Peralta said.
Now there’s no chance for her to experience traditional events American students enjoy during their senior year -- events her half brother and half sister rave about: senior skip day and a senior trip, for example.
Her stepmom said that’s a big regret.
“I just wish that she would be able to have all of those big, grand experiences like all of the other kids in my family have been able to have,” Quiana Peralta said.
Nayeli Peralta said she’ll miss what high school afforded her: “new experiences, making new friends and learning about the culture.”
As for what’s next, Peralta said she wants to be a nurse. She’ll likely start at Middlesex Community College in the fall. Her stepmom said Nayeli couldn’t apply to four-year programs because she wasn’t able to take an English language test required for college admission before the pandemic hit.