Governor Scott Orders Orderly Closure of Vermont PreK-12 Schools This Week
For Immediate Release: March 15, 2020
Contact: Brittney Wilson, Brittney.Wilson@Vermont.gov
MONTPELIER, Vt. – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Phil Scott has announced a Continuity of Education Plan for the orderly dismissal of all schools, and cancellation of all school related activities, no later than Wednesday, March 18. This directive, which will be distributed to schools later today, will last through April 6 -- but may very well be extended for a longer period.
Governor Scott’s directive will task local districts with three key components to support the State response:
- Food and special needs services for children;
- Collaborating with the state to provide childcare options for healthcare workers and others essential to the response; and
- Systems for ensuring maintenance of education during the initial dismissal; and a continuing education plan if schools are dismissed for an extended period.
No student is required to be in school Monday or Tuesday, if their parents or guardians would prefer to keep them home.
Education professionals should report to work as scheduled to assist in these efforts during this period of school dismissal. Districts are directed to follow workplace hygiene guidance issued by the Vermont Department of Health.
“This decision is based on the best scientific evidence available to the experts at the Vermont Department of Health,” said Dr. Mark Levine. “Closing schools at the end of the day Tuesday is another important step to help keep us ahead of the curve, in terms of preventing and reducing spread of COVID-19.”
“The orderly dismissal of schools is essential to support both the State’s response to COVID-19 and the needs of children and families across Vermont,” Governor Scott said. “We must ensure children are safe, nourished, and still learning even as the traditional structure of school is disrupted. The work of educators will be essential in this effort.”
Governor Scott continued: “This is a moment of service for all of us. I know that educators across Vermont will do their part to support students and families. I’ve asked the Agency of Education to work with superintendents and local districts to ensure every child continues to receive the services they need from their schools, as well as assignments to take home to continue their academic studies.”
Governor Scott said that, while he hoped schools would only need to be closed through April 6, it is possible they will be closed for a longer period and families and businesses should prepare for this possibility.