NORWALK — The district announced Thursday it would close schools for an additional two weeks, due to the state’s escalating coronavirus outbreak.

“As we navigate as a school district, state and nation through the COVID-19 pandemic, our district and the state overall have had to make difficult decisions based on what is best for our students, staff and community,” a message to parents and the school community stated.

Norwalk schools’ spring break was scheduled for the week of April 6. The additional two-week shutdown would take them through that week to April 10, which is Good Friday. Students are expected to continue distance learning during the originally scheduled break, “to provide consistency and learning momentum,” according to the message.

Superintendent of Schools Steven J. Adamowski said at a Tuesday Board of Education meeting that he was personally hoping to resume instruction after April break, but said there was a chance schools could be closed longer.

The district implemented the distance learning model for all its students beginning March 16, for a two-week period that was to end March 27. Before closing, school buildings’additional Chromebook laptops were given to middle and high school students, and 10-day instructional packets were distributed to elementary school students, to complement online learning.

The district has not said whether an additional instructional packet would be distributed for elementary school students, but signaled more information would be available on their April distance learning plan later Friday.

In its first week of distance learning, during which time students get daily instruction from 8 a.m. to noon, the district is reporting a 96 percent participation rate. During the same period, the district is reporting nearly 12,700 meals delivered to Norwalk students, who can pick up free breakfast and lunch at their regular bus stops, on a two-hour delay schedule.

“Teachers, administrators, staff and students have done a wonderful job responding to these challenging times,” the message states. “Thank you for your support and cooperation.”

This story will be updated.; @justinjpapp1; 203-842-2586