School Board Weighs Delaying Classroom Reopening For Remote Learning

Connecticut’s largest teachers’ union wants a two-week delay to the start of the school season to expand remote learning. Now the Bridgeport Board of Education will conduct a special meeting Wednesday to weigh closing schools in “favor of remote learning until further notice.”

How this fits into the state’s call to return students to classrooms with social distancing regulations is unclear.



    1. Sir. We have over 2 million masks on hand along with 900 hand sanitizing stations, 4,000 face shields, 4,000 disposable gowns, and 70,000 packs of sanitizing wipes. This along with small class sizes and other mitigation protocols will ensure a safe as possible reopening.

        1. 1. Who you callin a hoe?

          2. Lol students and staff are expected to self monitor temp and stay home if not well. Over 4,000 thermometers have been provide to parents.

  1. Joseph, aren’t Bridgeport schools overcrowded and if so where are they going to find the room to make smaller class sizes? If they had the room to make smaller class sizes, why wasn’t that utilized prior to the COVID pandemic? Finally how many children, nieces, nephews or grandkids do you have in the Bridgeport school system?

  2. Copy pasted from 2 posts above lots of information there.

    I am the parent of a BPS student.

    “There will be 28 kids in my Class!”

    This was shouted at me publicly by a high school teacher and alsoposted on various Facebook pages. No. There will not be 28 kids in your class. Classes will be sorted in HS by A-L attending Monday and Tuesday, and M-Z on Thursday and Friday. This plan effectively cuts class size to 14 BEFORE accounting to the 46% of parents exercising their CHOICE to to keep their child home, effectively cutting the class in half again, so we are talking maybe 10 kids in a high school class. As far as K-8 with easier cohorting (keeping all students together all day) and having the teachers change classes, all student will attend each day in person school is in session. On off days all students will be learning remotely.

    1. Thanks Joseph that answers a lot. Joseph, how come conventional wisdom is saying that in-classroom is a lot better than classes online when never in the history of America have students taken classes online. What dynamic are they using to make that assumption?

      1. Can’t speak for conventional wisdom. But here’s my opinion as a supporter Of Public community schools.

        A computer cannot feed a child.

        A computer makes it hard to recognize signs of depression and mental illness.

        A compute makes it hard to diagnose a learning disability.

        A computer makes it hard to recognize and report child abuse.

        A computer cannot ensure a child’s safety while learning.

        A computer is an impediment to group work.

        A computer cannot teach socialization skills.

        The list goes on.

  3. Somewhere, a child is going to be exposed to Covid-19 at school, get sick, and die. We all pray that this will not happen, but we all know it will. Prematurely opening our schools when we have an alternative is playing a sinister game of Russian Roulette with our children. God help us if that child is a Bridgeport child.

    Although conventional wisdom and experience lead us to believe that in-school classes are better for children in just about every way, the safety of our children must supersede all. I don’t think there is anyone who would advocate for distance learning indefinitely, but there is no harm to delaying the opening of schools to in-person learning. Just look around at the schools across the nation that have already opened. Those same schools are just as fast shutting back down.

    Adults have decision-making power that children do not have. Adults can choose whether risks are worth taking. Children can not. Their very lives depend on the decisions that we as adults make. If I were making this decision and voted to push kids into the classroom now, and then one, two, fifty, got sick or died, I don’t know how I would be able to live with myself knowing there is a viable, temporary alternative.

    When I was on the Bridgeport Board of Ed, I had a paper sign that tented over my name plate. It said, ” If it’s not in the best interest of the children, I’m not interested”. I urge all to ask themselves how they would handle the grief of losing their own child as a result of rushing to push kids back into the classroom. Infections nationwide are trending downward. Give it some time. For the sake of the innocent.

    I pray God gives wisdom to the Bridgeport Board of Ed in its deliberations on this issue of such magnitude. It could be a matter of someone’s life or death.


    1. Weighed and measure. Also measured the risk of a parent coming home from work and finding their child dead of a suicide because his or her peer, nor their teachers recognized the signs.

      Also weighed is the student suffering at home of child abuse being subjected to his or her victimizer 24 hours a day, without the sharp eye of an adult to catch the signs. Over 151 referrals last year.

      Also weighed is the possible parent faced with the choice between keeping their jobs and leaving a young child home unsupervised only to find a shell of a home and two young children dead inside.

      Being a board member means being able to look at all sides of the equation, at all the possible death scenarios. Not only the ones that make the paper.

      So to everyone out their saying how many Covid deaths are acceptable, I say 0. I now ask them how many kids deaths are acceptable for keeping kids home? For me the answer is 0 as well.

      Opening in conjunction with a plan mitigates most risks and leaves the potential for zero deaths. I don’t have a plan to mitigate child abuse, teen suicides or parents forced to make
      The terrible choice to leave their children unsupervised.

      Parent choice is the only choice.

  4. Joseph, I don’t understand the logic of your statistics with respect to children contesting contracting the covid virus. There has been a 90% increase in Covid-19 cases in US children in the last four weeks. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports looked at children with COVID-19 who needed hospitalization. Hispanic children were hospitalized at a rate eight times higher than white kids, and Black children were hospitalized at a rate five times higher. The second report examined cases of a rare virus-associated syndrome in kids. It found that nearly three-quarters of the children with the syndrome were either Hispanic or Black, well above their representation in the general population.

    Joseph, now just what is the racial makeup of the Bridgeport School System? I appears as if you and the BBOE want to protect the children of Bridgeport from what might happen as opposed to what Will happen. I don’t envy any parent that has to choose between the health of their children or their financial health.

    1. Hello-
      1st I want to compliment Joe S. He has been willing to not only discuss this, but give his detailed thought process along with aggressively working to educate the public. Also – he is fighting to give the parents a voice / choice like almost all other surrounding communities. I know its part of the role, but I could not imagine being on the BOE having to decide for the entire school system what is best for all of the students / families.
      From what I’ve seen, the majority of families that responded to the Bpt plan, elected to send their child to school. I’m not going to judge their reasons why, because they likely vary. Currently a lower number chose at home learning.
      On the personal side – my son is going into fifth grade. Also – he is in not in BPT school system – but public one of the surrounding towns. My nephew is BPT Public school student. My son is black, me nephew is hispanic. I also have a sister who is assistant principal out of state (her schools are remote to start) and my brother is teacher in CT (I think they are doing Hybrid)
      My comments are based on the decision my wife and I faced. Our town selected Hybrid (with option for remote at least for the 1st semester). Hybrid is 2 days in school, 3 days remote. We struggled with the decision. At first the hybrid seemed fine, but the more we thought about it, the more concerned we became (for some of the reasons Don mentions about growing cases and the effect on blacks). Also – he would be coming home to me, and I have pre-existing conditions. We also thought of the teachers – some of whom are older.
      So we chose remote and we are extremely fortunate that right now my wife is not working and my office has me working from home until they deem it safe for us to return.
      I know that there are so many others (including my nephew’s parents) that have jobs they have to go – they are both essential workers.
      In regards to at home vs in school – no question in school is better. My son is a very good student, but my wife and I are not teachers. We do our best. The remote this fall is set up a little more interactive than the spring when this was all new, but its no substitute to the direct contact with the teacher in the classroom.
      In my town – based on communications we received – the at home option is going to be based on our continued COVID numbers. Meaning – if they trend low, the remote option may be lost after the first semester. They have made a lot of adjustments and prepared as best they could (PPE, spacing, procedures) so will see how it goes. Maybe they ultimately decide the spacing, etc. only works with the limited in school population.
      My main point is I at least I had the choice. If my situation was different I would have had to send him to school. Joe is fighting for the parents to have a choice – however difficult that choice is to make.

  5. Hardest, most agonizing decision I’ve ever made in my life. Agree or not I voted my conscience and what I believe is the best for children.

    I hope nobody here never has to make such an impossible choice. I’ve explained my rationale, some agreed and some disagreed. Now that it is done I’m gonna take a few and not think/talk about it for a few. Not the type of decisions I signed up to make but make them I must. I promised to attend every meeting possible and to weigh every matter carefully and I remain committed to do so. No matter how tough. Thanks for the venue to air my thoughts and the points and counterpoints all.

    And thank you Lennie Grimaldi for providing a platform for these in depth conversations.


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