Late Monday, Governor John Carney ordered all Delaware district and charter schools to remain closed through at least May 15 to fight the spread of coronavirus.
In a letter to families, educators and school leaders, Carney tasked school districts with implementing remote learning while saying the school calendar will have to be adjusted to accommodate this unusual set of circumstances. Carney said the school year cannot extend beyond the end of June.
The Carney administration has also submitted a waiver to the U.S. Department of Education requesting Delaware be exempt from state testing this year to focus efforts on student instruction.
Meals for children will continue through the school closure. Spring sports would also be pushed out, taking place between May 15th and June 30th.
On March 13, after significant discussion with superintendents and charter school leaders, Carney ordered public schools to close through this Friday, March 27. The two-week period was intended to help school leaders and educators plan for what came next.
“We have spent a significant portion of the last week discussing plans for remote instruction, the delivery of meals, and other social services. This is an unusual time – but children still deserve access to a quality education, and families rely on the social services we deliver in our schools every day. We’ll continue to work directly with school leaders on these important issues.”
Carney’s letter outlined the following guidance and actions:
- Districts and charters are providing students with ongoing access to meals.
- Districts and charters will work with their staffs to create remote instruction plans so students can continue to learn during the crisis. The Department of Education also has a list of learning activities.
- The school calendar will likely be adjusted to go beyond its originally scheduled end.
- The state hopes to provide students with instruction, wraparound services, extracurriculars and sports experiences once school resumes.
- Delaware submitted a waiver to the U.S. Department of Education requesting the state be exempt from assessment and accountability requirements for the 2019-20 school year. While we strongly believe in measuring results, we want to use any remaining time in this year’s school calendar for student instruction.
The governor’s decision on the schools comes as the state’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases continued to rise, with now 87 total in the state since March 11. This includes 31 additional cases since yesterday. Of the Delawareans diagnosed with COVID-19, 58 are from New Castle County, nine are from Kent County, and 20 are from Sussex County.
Of these cases, 44 are male and 43 are female. The individuals range in age from 1 to 90. Seven individuals are currently hospitalized; three are critically ill. The source of exposure for many of these positive cases is unknown, which indicates community spread of the virus is occurring in the state.
Read a letter that Governor Carney sent Monday night to families, educators, and school leaders.
Click here for a list of school meal sites.
Click here the Delaware Department of Education’s list of remote learning activities and other resources.