Governor extends school closure for remainder of year

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Gov. Phil Scott told schools to remain closed through the end of the school year.

The governor originally ordered pre-K through 12th grade schools closed from March 18 to April 6, but he has not extended the order through the end of the current school year.

Schools are now required to implement remote learning plans for the remainder of the school year.

The announcement on Thursday was made in consultation with the Vermont Departmennt of Health and the Agency of Education to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

To minimize disruption to students' learning, the Governor's order directs school districts to come up with plans for distance learning by April 13.

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"The education of our students and the bonding and learning experiences they have at schools are tremendously important, so I fully appreciate the impact and difficulty of this decision," Scott said. "I also recognize it will be challenging for some schools to implement remote learning through the end of the year. But I'm encouraged by the creativity I've seen from administrators, educators and parents already, which is why I know, together, they can rise to the occasion."

Governor Scott also noted that some school districts have also set up creative and critically needed programs to offer onsite care for their students whose parents are working on the frontlines in this response.

"These educators and staff who are finding ways to support these families have been critical to our COVID-19 response efforts and I am so proud and appreciative of their hard work, creative can-do attitude and their willingness to step up in this moment of service," Scott said. "These educators, and the staff supporting them, represent the very best of our public education system."

The Agency of Education will provide technical guidance to districts on how to implement continuity of learning plans by the end of the week, specifically looking to address challenges around equitable access to learning opportunities, Free and Appropriate Public Education for students with disabilities, continuation of school meals, and school attendance and school calendar requirements.

The Department for Children and Families will also provide updated reimbursement provisions for providers who are not currently offering services and for providers who are delivering child care through this health crisis.


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