VT Strong news Montpelier, VT: Office of the Governor reports 6.10.2020.

We’ve been hearing from a lot of Vermonters wondering what schools will look like this fall, so I wanted to provide an update at my briefing today. As we’ve said in the past, we fully expect schools to open and we’re working on guidance to make sure we can do so safely.

VTEducation and HealthVermont, along with stakeholders across the preK-12 spectrum, have been working together developing this guidance. Our approach will focus on the health and safety of kids, their families, as well as teachers, staff and anyone else working in schools.

That said, for students and teachers alike, it’s going to look a little different in the fall than it did before COVID-19. But we need to work through these issues together, because we know how vital it is for our kids and their development to move forward and reopen.

In March, when we made the difficult decision to close schools, we acknowledged there’s no perfect replacement for the learning that takes place in a school building.

And while teachers and administrators adapted well to this pandemic, I think we would all agree this approach cannot continue without kids falling behind in their course work and in the social development that takes place in our schools.

We’re learning more every day about this virus — and have more tools to help prevent its spread today than we did 3 months ago — which helps us prepare for this transition back to school.

VT Education and Health Vermont will be issuing this guidance jointly next week. We anticipate some legislative changes will be needed, including to the school calendar, attendance policies and others — and we know some funding may be required to help make this work.

We look forward to working with the legislature and with public education community on these issues, sooner rather than later, so we’re ready in the fall.

Governor Phil Scott