Wilton students return to school for new ‘normal’

WILTON — Thousands of local children returned to school on Monday with the opening day sights that mirrored some of those from last August — mask mandates for students and staff and a focus on keeping ample distancing inside classrooms.

Despite the similarities in mitigation strategies, the district has made adjustments to make this academic year feel more “normal.” One measure the district is taking this year is to hold some classes, like music, back in their designated classrooms.

Wilton Public Schools will also not offer a remote learning option this year. Lessons will be taught in-person throughout the year with the exception of students isolating at home after a positive COVID-19 case or individual cases of medical fragility within a student’s household. In those cases, students will still be able to access their coursework through Schoology, an online management system.

Students did file in to the buildings once again clad in masks on Monday, and they will continue to do so until at least Oct. 1.

Gov. Ned Lamont’s mask mandate for students and staff remains in effect until at least Sept. 30.

“We will see where the updated guidance takes us after,” Superintendent of Schools Kevin Smith said last week.

Additional mitigation strategies will include proper air ventilation throughout each school building, three feet of social distancing space, continuing to utilize hand sanitizing stations and regularly disinfecting common areas and employing contract tracing protocols.

Smith also said that through dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for at least some part of the past two school years, the district is hoping that this year will be more “normal” for its student body.