December 4, 2020

Elementary Reopening 2020


August 5, 2020


Dear Hartford’s Elementary School Families, 

As we approach the start of the school year, Hartford School District’s elementary schools are working in district and school teams to develop a model for education that is physically safe, supportive of each child’s social and emotional needs, and academically rigorous.  The following outline for hybrid in-person schooling at the Hartford School District’s three elementary schools is based on current guidelines and best practices at the time of this document’s dissemination.  The Dothan Brook School, Ottauquechee School, and White River School will provide families with more detailed information in the upcoming weeks about how this plan will be enacted at each location.  

Even with the best planning, it is challenging to predict what school will look like on September 8th.  Please note that changes to guidelines, in addition to COVID-19 numbers in the community, may force us to revise our opening plan as the start of the school year approaches. This may include switching to remote learning. If this were to happen, we will give families as much time as possible to plan.  We fully recognize that these are challenging times for everyone.

The Hartford School District believes that opening for in-person learning is crucial for elementary school students. The hybrid model is designed to balance health and safety concerns with the importance of face-to-face instruction for young children. Hartford’s teachers did an excellent job creating a remote schooling program last spring and if we are forced to move to full-time remote learning this year, we will provide the highest quality program possible.  In fact, we will use a number of our preservice days prior to September 8th to develop this program.  However, at the elementary level, face-to-face instruction is the most effective way to teach and reinforce crucial social & emotional skills and foundational academic concepts.  This stance is supported by the Center for Disease Control, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Vermont Agency of Education.  

With that said, the district recognizes that many families may opt for full time remote learning starting in September due to medical risks or personal preference.  We respect your choice and hope to work with you to provide a rigorous remote learning environment for every family who chooses this option.  Please see below for more information.  For planning purposes, all students must declare their intention for in-person or remote learning by August 10th.  To do so, please use the Intent to Return registration form.  

Moving forward, you will start to receive regular updates from your school’s principal.  These are complicated times and we recognize that we cannot answer all of your questions through digital communications.  If you have specific questions, comments or concerns, reach out to your building administrator.  We are happy to hear from you.


Sincerely,


Cathy Newton
Director of Elementary School Curriculum
Hartford School District 

Rick Dustin-Eichler
Principal Dothan Brook School

Amelia Donahy 
Principal Ottauquechee School

Doug Kussius
Principal White River School