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School buses
Yehyun Kim / CTMirror.org

 

More than a dozen schools in Connecticut have gone remote in recent days as COVID-19 outbreaks flared up. Public health officials and school administrators spent the summer trying to craft plans that would avoid shutdowns and keep students in school as long as possible. Other schools seem set on staying open even if their plans don’t end up working out. 

Waterbury Public Schools school buses
Franke Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A new report from Connecticut’s Child Advocate finds staff at Waterbury Public Schools have called the police hundreds of times on elementary and middle school students experiencing mental health crises.

Some of these children were as young as five years old.

With Limited Mental Health Staff, Waterbury Calls Police On School Children Under 12

Sep 1, 2020
Frankie Graziano / WNPR

Maria was having a hard time calming down at her elementary school in Waterbury. On a December day just before holiday break in 2018, she was hitting and kicking staff and knocking books off the bookcase. She had recently entered foster care, and this was her third behavioral episode in three weeks.

So the school staff called 9-1-1, telling the dispatcher there was a “four-year-old female out of control.”

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

After a protracted back-and-forth with state health officials, Connecticut’s governing body of high school sports will go ahead with a fall season.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The pandemic is raising questions about what’s best for children as they head into a new school year, as many schools continue to finalize plans for this fall and parents make individual decisions for their families.

Megan Goslin, a clinical psychologist and research scientist at Yale’s Child Study Center, said it’s a difficult time for everyone. 

CPTV

Whether students return to the classroom or learn online, how should parents and schools weigh concerns around health and equity?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

How does a national teacher of the year - turned Congresswoman - view school reopening plans in Connecticut? This hour, we talk with Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, who represents Connecticut’s Fifth District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The freshman lawmaker is nearing the end of her first term in Congress.

Hayes is a member of the House Education and Labor Committee--we ask her to weigh in what measures need to be in place for students and teachers to return to school safely.

Empty desks in a classroom
Don Harder / Creative Commons

The school year starts soon, and teachers and parents still ask: How will schools open safely?
This hour, we talk with Jeff Leake, the president of the state’s largest teachers union, the Connecticut Education Association.
The union says the state should only open school buildings if CDC and other safety guidelines are met. Some teachers worry that crowded classrooms won’t have sufficient measures to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.
And if schools become fully remote, how can districts ensure that all students are able to access online learning? We, hear from a Columbia University researcher who is helping districts plan ahead for the possibility of returning to fully-remote education.
Are you a teacher or a parent? What fears or concerns do you have for this upcoming school year?

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

Students from state high schools will have a shot at athletic competition this fall.

Earlier this year, the state governing body of high school sports stopped play because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But now, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has a plan for Connecticut student-athletes to play in games starting Sept. 24 -- with pandemic-friendly adjustments.

Governor Ned Lamont
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

The school year may have just ended, but plans are taking shape for the return of students inside schools this fall. Gov. Ned Lamont announced the plans Thursday, noting that several COVID-19 trends are holding steady in Connecticut while the virus continues to spread in other parts of the country.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

Glastonbury High School seniors are receiving their diplomas now, even though the governor has paved the way for group graduation ceremonies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

The federal government has sided with a group of Connecticut athletes who have sued the state’s governing body of high school sports over the inclusion of transgender athletes in girls events.

ccarlstead / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s schools will stay closed for the rest of the academic year. This hour, we talk about what two more months of distance learning will look like and what needs to happen before students return to school in the fall. State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona and Jeff Leake, the president of Connecticut’s largest teacher’s union, join us.

Later: as we approach the end of the Governor’s closure order, what might re-opening the state look like? We hear from a TIME Magazine reporter about the steps scientists and public health officials say the country must take in order to reopen and return to a “new normal.”

Hartford High School
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday officially canceled in-person schooling for Connecticut students for the rest of the 2019-20 academic year.

Lamont Gets Bipartisan Support From Fairfield County Mayors On COVID-19 Response

Apr 14, 2020
NEW HAVEN, CT - April 1, 2020: Gov. Ned Lamont tours a mobile field hospital with other officials at Southern Connecticut State University as the state enters what could be the worst month of the pandemic as COVID-19 spreads across Connecticut.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

As Connecticut’s death toll from COVID-19 jumped by another 69 fatalities Tuesday, two Fairfield County mayors voiced strong bipartisan support for Gov. Ned Lamont’s handling of the crisis and urged caution about reopening the state too quickly.

Lamont, Northeast Governors Promise To Cautiously Ease COVID-19 Restrictions

Apr 13, 2020
Hospital staff thank local fire, police, and EMS.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

The Democratic governors of a half dozen northeastern states outlined a regional approach Monday to devising a plan for the careful easing of COVID-19 restrictions, warning  that changes will come slowly and be guided by public health experts, not politicians or business interests.

Lars Klintwall Malmqvist / Wikipedia

I’ve been a producer here at Connecticut Public since 2007, and since then, our team that’s reported on some really difficult times. And now? We’re all trying to make sense of this unprecedented era of Covid-19.

After we all started working from home, I kept seeing these painful stories of layoffs and panic. But there were also stories about the Helpers who are trying to make sense of all this, who are trying to ease the pain.

That’s who you’ll hear from on this show. Every week, you’ll hear from people who are struggling in the chaos of this virus, people who are helping get us through each day, and, because they have a much needed perspective, you’ll hear from children.

 Yale University
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Universities across the state that have shifted their semesters completely online due to the coronavirus pandemic are working to figure out whether they’ll provide refunds to students who’ve paid for expenses like on-campus housing and meal plans. 

Connecticut Virus Deaths Rising, And Lamont Expects Schools To Remain Closed Until Fall

Mar 24, 2020
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Connecticut jumped by more than 200 cases overnight, while officials Tuesday confirmed a new hotspot at a Ridgefield senior living center and announced the virus has infiltrated the state’s main psychiatric hospital.

school closing coronavirus
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

COVID-19 school closures mean uncertainty for students who usually rely on the lunch period for a guaranteed meal.

NIAID / Wikimedia Commons

Governor Lamont has declared a public health emergency and thousands of residents, including school children, are staying home.

This hour, we discuss the latest in hospital protocols and talk about who can, and cannot, get tested for coronavirus. We hear how colleges, universities, and local school districts are responding to the crisis.

Gov. Lamont Closes Schools, Joining 22 Other States

Mar 15, 2020
Governor Ned Lamont
Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public

Gov. Ned Lamont on Sunday ordered all public schools closed through the end of March in his latest attempt to slow the spread of the potentially fatal coronavirus.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Hundreds of people packed into the Legislative Office Building in Hartford Wednesday ahead of a public hearing on a bill that would change the state’s childhood vaccinations laws.

Connecticut children can attend public school by either complying with required vaccinations or by obtaining an exemption from vaccination based on religious or medical reasons. A proposed bill would eliminate the religious exemption. 

Ryan Pascal, a 17-year-old student at Palos Verdes High School near Los Angeles, says when her school holds active shooter drills, it's "chaos." The first time it happened, not long after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in 2018, rumors started flying over Snapchat and text that the school was really under attack.

"We had some students trying to stack up desks to blockade the door. We had some students sort of joking around because they weren't sure how to handle this. There are other students who are very, very afraid."

Mike Mozart / Flickr

How often do you buy new clothing?

Stores like H&M and Forever 21 sell new styles at low prices, making it easy to constantly update your wardrobe. But, this hour: the environmental and social costs of "fast fashion". 

From unsafe garment factories to pollution in rivers, we hear about impacts of the fashion industry from journalist Jasmin Malik Chua.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Sheff v. O’Neill, the landmark desegregation case in Connecticut, has shaped school systems in the greater Hartford region for decades. The state of Connecticut has announced it reached a settlement with the plaintiffs. This hour, we hear more from CT Mirror education reporter Jacqueline Rabe Thomas.

Gillian Flaccus / AP

At 6:30 a.m. in January on a residential street in West Hartford, it was 18 degrees outside and quiet. Most houses disappeared into the pitch-black darkness, making the lights coming from inside Anna Shusterman’s home especially bright.

“Hey, Max!” Shusterman yelled up the stairs from the kitchen.

Pixabay.com

More than 4 million people, around 1 out of 5 undergrads, are raising children today. That’s according to the U.S. Department of Education. These student parents tend to have higher GPAs than traditional students. They’re often older, single, and women of color. But more than half of them leave school without getting a degree. 

rashida s. mar b. / Flickr Creative Commons

The stereotypes around homeschooling have existed for decades. Since the modern homeschooling movement began in the late 20th century, those who favored this educational approach have largely been perceived as white, anti-establishment, radically Christian, and ultra-conservative.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has named Maloney High School junior Haley Lespier its winner of the 2019 Michael H. Savage Spirit of Sport Award.

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