2020-2021 Instruction Model Status:
Thomaston Public Schools is utilizing a 
full, in-person model on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with Wednesdays being remote learning days.*  Details related to the full, in-person plan are found here.  School-based schedule information is found below:

The Thomaston Board of Education voted to change from in-person instruction to remote instruction beginning on Monday, November 30, 2020 with students returning to in-person instruction on Tuesday, January 19, 2021; this change was made in response to the high spread level of COVID-19 in the Town of Thomaston.  A remote instruction schedule will be utilized during this remote instruction period and whenever in-person learning is changed to remote learning due to an intermittent school closure (for contact tracing closures, weather closures, etc.).  Please see the specific school schedule below: *The Connecticut State Department of Education considers this model to be a hybrid model since in-person instruction is not occurring every school day (i.e., remote learning on Wednesdays for all students).
Synchronized Learning Code of Conduct for Students:
All students are expected to abide by Thomaston Board of Education Policies and Parent-Student Handbook rules related to the acceptable use of technology.  With instruction now including live, synchronized learning, students must abide by the aforementioned policies and rules AND the Thomaston Public Schools Synchronous Learning Code of Conduct for Students.

In-Person Student Illness:  If an in-person student presents symptoms similar to the symptoms for COVID-19, the student will be placed in the school's isolation room and parents will be contacted for immediate pick up from school. 

In order to return to school, parents have two options:

  • Submit to the School Nurse a COVID-19 Return to School Protocols form stating an alternate diagnosis (click here for the form) and, if a COVID-19 test was performed, a copy of the test results must be included.

OR

  • Submit to the School Nurse a signed/dated note with the doctor's letterhead on it, stating an alternate diagnosis and, if a COVID-19 test was performed, a copy of the test results must be included.

Return to In-Person Instruction Form:
The Return to In-Person Instruction Form is ONLY for students who are CURRENTLY:

1.  ENROLLED in Thomaston Public Schools,
2.  PARTICIPATING IN DISTANCE LEARNING through Thomaston Public Schools, and
3.  Wanting to CHANGE THEIR STATUS TO IN-PERSON instruction.

If your child meets the characteristics listed above, you can complete and submit this form for the purpose of returning your child to in-person instruction.  After submitting this form, you will receive a "return date" from your child's school which shall serve as the first day of in-person instruction for your child.

SUBMITTING THE RETURN TO IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION FORM DOES NOT MEAN YOUR CHILD CAN RETURN TO IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION IMMEDIATELY.

DO NOT SEND your child back to in-person instruction until you receive a specific “return date” for your child’s return.  Sending your child(ren) back to in-person instruction before receiving this specific “return date” may cause unnecessary anxiety for your child as staff may not have received notice of your child’s return and may not be prepared to assist with his/her transition and acclamation to in-person instruction. 

Parents who choose to have their child return to in-person instruction are expected to provide a cloth face covering for their child.  All students shall wear cloth face coverings that completely covers the nose and mouth when in school buildings, school vehicles and wherever social distancing is not practicable (outdoors, at bus stops, etc.).  The CSDE Plan does not require districts to provide cloth face coverings for all school participants; however, TPS will provide a one-time use cloth face covering to any student or staff member who does not have one or whose cloth face covering has become soiled or wet during the course of the school day.


Disenrolled Students:
If you disenrolled your child to homeschooling or a private school, you must first complete the residency (https://tinyurl.com/TPSResidency) and registration process to enroll your child in Thomaston Public Schools.  DO NOT USE the Return to In-Person Instruction Form to communicate your intention to enroll your child.

Instruction Plan Thresholds Related to COVID-19 Spread:
The CSDE thresholds are listed in the blue image and the CTDPH thresholds are listed in the black-framed image (both below).  

Image provided by the Connecticut State Department of Education from the August 3, 2020 COVID-19 Governor's Press Conference


Image available at https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Departments-and-Agencies/DPH/Communications/Graphics/COVID-chart.jpg
as of October 29, 2020.


The Connecticut State Department of Education and the Connecticut Department of Public Health have both set Yellow, Orange and Red thresholds, however, these thresholds are different.

CSDE COVID-19 Thresholds vs. CTDPH COVID-19 Thresholds
COVID-19 Threshold CSDE CTDPH
YELLOW Less than 10 positive COVID-19 cases 5 to 9 positive COVID-19 cases
ORANGE 10 - 25 positive COVID-19 cases 10 - 15 positive COVID-19 cases
RED More than 25 positive COVID-19 cases More than 15 positive COVID-19 cases

An example of this difference is when the Town of Thomaston has 16 positive COVID-19 cases (per 100,000 per day), the Town would be RED and the Schools would be ORANGE.  Further, if the Town has more than 25 COVID-19 cases (per 100,000 per day), the CTDPH recommends, "In collaboration with Local Health Department and Superintendent consider more distance learning over 25."

This means that Thomaston's current instruction plan is subject to change in relation to the course of the virus itself as well as to the restrictions that may be imposed by the State of Connecticut, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the Town of Thomaston, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, the Torrington Area Health District (TAHD), and the district’s ability to secure necessary resources to implement the 2020-2021 Thomaston Public Schools Reopening Plan.

 
Therefore, Thomaston’s Instruction Plan allows for flexibility as circumstances dictate.  This webpage will be used to post the most up-to-date information about Thomaston’s Instruction Plan.  Additionally, parents and staff will receive updates on Thomaston's Instruction Plan via SchoolMessenger.  Announcements related to these types of changes will be made via the SchoolMessenger announcement system (phone, email, text message).  If you have opted out of any of these announcement types, it is advised that you reconsider and opt in again.  Information on how to opt into SchoolMessenger phone, email and/or text messages is found on the District’s PowerSchool webpage.

If you have any questions about the Thomaston Instruction Plan, please email fcoss@thomastonschools.org.


COVID-19 New Procedures:
The District has new procedures for almost every aspect of school life – from how and where classes are offered to how meals will be served to bathroom access to elevator use.  Freedom of movement by our students and staff may be affected.  In-person instruction will not be successful unless all members of the community continue to comply with the public health guidelines and the District’s Reopening Plan.  A COVID-19 appendix have been added to the Parent-Student Handbook, one for each school.  This appendix was distributed to parents via SchoolMessenger on August 24, 2020; a link to each appendix is found below.


COVID-19 Health and Safety Compliance Liaison:
The Connecticut reopening plan requires each school district to have a COVID-19 Health and Safety Compliance Liaison and to identify that Liaison to the public.  Thomaston Public Schools is pleased to have the expertise and experience of Diane Aniki, Thomaston Center School Nurse and District Nurse Coordinator, serve as the COVID-19 Health and Safety Compliance Liaison for our district.  Mrs. Aniki can be reached at daniki@thomastonschools.org.


2020-2021 District Calendar and Parent/Public Events:

In-person classes began on September 1, 2020 (this was a change from the original start date).  All in-person events and meetings that include parents and/or members of the public will take place virtually, i.e., Open House on August 24, 2020 and Parent-Teacher Conferences on November 4 and 5, 2020, and all Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meetings and Section 504 meetings will be held virtually.  Board of Education Meetings will be held virtally and in-person with in-person guests permitted in the Thomaston High School Auditorium ONLY; this takes effect after October 13, 2020 (guests must enter and exit the Thomaston High School auditorium through the direct exterior door; total meeting capacity will be in alignment with the Reopen Connecticut Phase 3 indoor meeting cap of 100).

The December and April vacation weeks, as well as any other school days currently listed on the 2020-2021 District Calendar are subject to change depending on pandemic-related circumstances.  This means that vacations could be canceled or that vacations could be moved, shortened or extended.  Announcements related to these types of changes will be made via the SchoolMessenger announcement system (phone, email, text message).  If you have opted out of any of these announcement types, it is advised that you reconsider and opt in again.  Information on how to opt into SchoolMessenger phone, email and/or text messages is found on the District’s PowerSchool webpage.


Format of Instruction:
Thomaston's Reopening Plan sets out to provide both in-person and online instruction to students.  All classes will be offered in-person and online.  During the period of September 1, 2020 through October 9, 2020, teachers will record their instruction so that stay-at-home students can access that instruction online.  Beginning on October 13, 2020, all instruction will be synchronous with most instruction being both synchronous and live.  Google Classroom will be used by all in-person and stay-at-home students. 

Announcements related to changes in instruction type will be made via the SchoolMessenger announcement system (phone, email, text message).  If you have opted out of any of these announcement types, it is advised that you reconsider and opt in again.  Information on how to opt into SchoolMessenger phone, email and/or text messages is found on the District’s PowerSchool webpage.


Daily Schedules:
At this time, all daily bus and school schedules are unchanged.  Bus schedules are posted on Thomaston’s School Bus Information webpageSchool start and end times are also posted on Thomaston’s website.


Co-Curricular Programs:
From September 1, 2020 through October 9, 2020, all co-curricular programs that typically occur during the school year shall be virtual.  Beginning on October 13, 2020, co-curricular programs shall be held in-person and/or virtually.  Stay-at-home students cannot participate in co-curricular programs in person.  The co-curricular advisor will determine whether their program will be held virtually or in-person and students will be informed of the status of those programs by the program advisor.


Athletics:
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletics Conference (CIAC) has developed and is implementing the Connecticut Interscholastic Conference Resocialization to Interscholastic Athletics and Activities Programs Guidelines; t
he Thomaston Public Schools 
Fall Athletics Restart Plan follows these guidelines.


Information Technology:
The Thomaston Public Schools’ Help Desk can be contacted via email for technology questions and assistance at infotech@thomastonschools.org

You can also visit the Thomaston Public Schools Technology webpage for other technology-related information.


Limiting Visitors:
At this time, parents are not permitted to enter school buildings.  All in-person events and meetings that include parents and/or members of the public will take place virtually with the exception of Board of Education meetings.  Board of Education meetings will take place both virtually and in-person, with in-person guests entering the meeting space from an exterior door, i.e., Board of Education meeting guests will enter and exit Thomaston High School's auditorium through the exterior door ONLY.  All other typically in-person events will be virtual:  Open House on August 24, 2020, Parent-Teacher Conferences on November 4 and 5, 2020, and all Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meetings and Section 504 meetings.


Limiting Virus Spread:
All students and employees who enter a school building must comply with the latest State of Connecticut COVID-19 Response to Health and Safety guidance, which, at this time, includes, but is not limited to the CDC recommendations below: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
    • Wash your hands often
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others  (NOTICE:  The Connecticut State Department of Education published interim guidance related to face masks on August 31, 2020 (see table below)).
(ADDITIONAL NOTICE:  Face masks must be worn even when wearing a face shield or when located behind a clear plastic barrier - Image from "Adapt, Advance, Achieve: Connecticut’s Plan to Learn and Grow Together" (CT Schools Reopening Plan), June 29, 2020).)
  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
    • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
      • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
    • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
    • DO NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
    • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
    • If you are around others and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
    • Throw used tissues in the trash.
    • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect
    • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
    • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
    • Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.
  • Monitor Your Health
    • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
      • Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.
      • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
        • Do not take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
      • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop. 


Mental Health Resources:


For Employees:
Governor Lamont’s Roadmap for Reopening Connecticut reopens the State in multiple phases.  Connecticut is currently in Phase 2 and is scheduled to enter into Phase 3 on October 8, 2020.   Each subsequent phase will depend upon health trends and, per Governor Lamont’s Plan, will happen no less than three weeks from prior phase. 


CT School Learning Model Indicators by County (14-day metrics)
COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 population and percent test positivity in the last 14 days by town


Current Instruction Model in Thomaston:  Restricted Full In-Person (with athletics per CIAC)*
*Considered a hybrid model by the CT State Department of Education


District Documents and Messages:


State Documents: