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Board Discusses Remote Learning, Graduation Options

Board Discusses Remote Learning, Graduation Options

The Cheshire Board of Education held a virtual meeting on March 26 in order to give Cheshire residents an update as to how remote learning has been going, as well as information on how the District is responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

“It has been a herculean effort to get this District from traditional brick and mortar learning to remote learning in a few days, and we expect for there to be some challenges, but overall we’ve done, and continue to do, a very impressive job,” said Board of Education Chair Tony Perugini.

The meeting began with a report from Superintendent of Schools Jeff Solan, who thanked District staff for their hard work and support. Solan also reiterated his belief that it’s important to keep April break intact for Cheshire students and staff.

“Although schools are going to remain closed until at least April 20, we are still going to keep spring break intact,” he began. “We know a lot of other districts are contemplating whether or not to keep it, but we feel it is necessary to give our students a break from remote learning.”

Solan also touched on the fact that, as of now, the status of Cheshire High School’s proms and commencements is still up in the air.

“Next week we will have more information about how prom and commencement will be affected,” he said. “We are looking into options to have graduation done remotely, and are speaking with vendors to see if it is at all possible to hold Prom in June. I understand that these aren’t ideal situations, but this is what we have to work with.”

Solan mentioned that it may be possible to live stream graduation, although he is unsure about the logistics at this time.

Assistant Superintendent Marlene Silano provided the Board with the results of a survey that was sent to Cheshire families asking for feedback on the effectiveness of the online learning initiatives.

“The overall response from families is very positive. Most families feel that they are receiving the appropriate amount of support and communication from their child’s teachers, and they feel as if the work that has been given was appropriate given the circumstances.”

While Silano did mention that there are some challenges to remote learning, like the lack of individualized instruction; overall the students in the district are succeeding with the remote learning provided. 

After Silano’s report, Cheshire School Districts Chief Operating Officer Vin Masciana gave an update as to how the Dodd free meal service is going, which feed over 600 families who signed up for the meals within the first week.

“We have been able to get funds from the USDA in order to continue this program and have breakfast and lunch available to our students. This is the first time Cheshire has ever done anything like this, and we’ve been very successful,” he said.

With questions regarding the Cheshire Board of Education’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, email cpscovid19@cheshire.k12.ct.us.


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