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School to Start Sept. 6

This article has been updated.

Update 9:50 p.m.

Citing electrical systems faring worse than originally assessed, the town , but rather next Tuesday.

Original Story

(Editor's Note: The following is a message from New Canaan Superintendent of Schools David Abbey.)

After a careful analysis of current conditions, I have made the decision to open schools, tomorrow, Thursday, September 1. Schools will open on a 90 minute delayed schedule. In coming to this decision, BOE Chairman Nick Williams and I have had ongoing and thorough discussions with members of the Town’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), Police and Fire Departments, the onsite representatives from CL&P, Public Works, the Highway Department and members of CERT, the New Canaan Emergency Response Team. Of course, I have also been planning and coordinating efforts with our district and school administrative team. Understanding that no undertaking is risk- free, particularly one that involves as many moving parts as a public school district, even under the best of circumstances, we believe that, with the additional resources that we are using as well as the planning that we have done, school should open safely. In the final analysis, I think that our students will be safer in school than out and about in the community.

It is hoped that the following basic information will be helpful.

1.       On Thursday, the first day, school will open on a 90 - minute delayed schedule with bus service provided.

2.       Students, K-12, will not receive homework for Thursday, Friday or throughout the weekend.

3.       Food service will be modified slightly in that we will not have the standard range of options. However, every cafeteria will have a hot lunch and sandwich options. No student will be denied breakfast or lunch because they do not have sufficient funds.

4.       The high school will serve breakfast.

5.       Kindergarten orientation will take place on Thursday with the following adjusted times – South 10:15-11:15 for session 1, Session 2 is 11:30 to 12:30, East and West – Session 1 is 11:00-12:00. Session 2 is 12:15-1:15.

6.       Police officers will be positioned to direct traffic at any location where there is a traffic light that is not working.

7.       CERT representatives will be strategically positioned to ensure safety at potential problem spots.

As I write this letter, West School is still without power; however, we anticipate that it will be turned on and the school will be ready for students and teachers on Thursday.

Several weeks ago, as I eagerly looked forward to another great school year, this was not the welcome back letter that I had envisioned writing. Unfortunately, it has been a frustrating and difficult time for all of us. At this point, however, with extra doses of flexibility and understanding, at school and from home, we are ready to start the school year, and look forward to providing another terrific experience for our students.

John Sheffield September 01, 2011 at 03:02 PM
RDE, I therefore stand corrected and I thank you for your efforts over the years. You mentioned in your earlier post the BOE and I referred to the Chairman having another job. You mentioned the BOE should resign. It is an elected position for which you could run next time. Thanks and may all be safe.
Sammy September 01, 2011 at 03:08 PM
John My response was regarding families with two working parents and the decision to reverse the school opening at 9pm (versus earlier in the day). The town's many volunteers have done a great job. However, the 9 pm school "reversal" was poorly timed (especially after the previous 1 pm announcement).
rde September 01, 2011 at 03:08 PM
And just to be clear, the employees and volunteers in this town, including those that have come in from elsewhere to help out, are doing a great job. But to that end, we need to let them continue doing so without adding additional layers of stress or potential safety issues by having school buses navigate around downed wires and the kids walk near those wires.
James C. September 01, 2011 at 03:35 PM
Dr. Abbey has shown time and time again that he is an idiot. This decision makes absolutely no sense. There are no safety issues with sending kids to school today. The only reason why Dr. Abbey changed his mind was because a few people decided to complain. Dr. Abbey, you should resign immediately. You are incompetent and are ruining this district.
pinny September 02, 2011 at 01:28 AM
James C., actually you are an idiot. Not to mention a sociopath, a jerk, and a downright loser. And James C., I know who you are . . . .

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