SOUTHINGTON — In-person learning will resume at Southington High School Thursday, School Superintendent Tim Connellan said in an email to families Wednesday afternoon.
“The high school staff are anxious to welcome students back into the building for in-person instruction,” Connellan wrote. The school had opened the academic year with a staggered hybrid schedule of in-person and remote learning days, to limit the number of students in the building at once.
Students in cohorts B and C should plan to report in-person Thursday, Connellan wrote.
The high school had been operating since Monday on a full remote learning plan after district officials received confirmation of a positive-19 test over the weekend. The building was closed while school and local health officials conducted contact tracing to determine who may have come into close contact with the individual who had received the positive diagnosis.
“Students and staff who have been recommended for self-quarantine should continue to quarantine,” Connellan wrote.
Because of Southington High School's size, around 2,000 students, officials had implemented the hybrid model. On days when students were not scheduled to be in the building, they were to be engaged in remote instruction.
In Wednesday’s letter, Connellan acknowledged parents’ requests for further information about contact tracing, self-quarantine and testing.
“Although this information has been in the public spotlight, published in the media and discussed many times across many platforms, it does not become real for any of us until it becomes personal and it can be confusing,” Connellan wrote. He promised district officials will provide a summary of resources around recommendations and guidelines from federal, state and local health and education officials.
“This information will be posted on the District website and all families and staff will be notified. As additional information becomes available, it will be posted on the website as well,” Connellan wrote.
Shane Lockwood, director of the Plainville-Southington Health District, described a tracing process that was carried out collectively between local health officials and district nursing staff, along with administrators and human resources. The parties had met several times each day during the course of that tracing.
“We’re very lucky that the school system has been doing a great job with contract tracing,” Lockwood said.
Lockwood didn’t fully detail how that tracing was conducted in this particular case. He did say that it had started with the school’s nursing staff.
That system appears to have worked in this case. “The precautions that we put in place were to make sure that everyone, from students to staff were safe,” Lockwood said. “... the contact tracing team has done a wonderful job keeping everyone safe.”