Gov. John Carney and the Delaware Division of Public Health announced Aug. 4 that Delaware schools may open under a hybrid scenario next month, with a mix of in-person and remote instruction and significant safety precautions to limit transmission of COVID-19.
“Safely reopening schools for Delaware children – especially our youngest learners and disadvantaged children who need in-person instruction the most – is the most important and difficult issue we’ll face as we continue to confront this COVID-19 crisis,” Carney said. “Our public health team will continue to work closely with district and school leaders to get this right. Hybrid learning may look different across each district, charter or private school. But one thing is clear: the safety of all of Delaware’s students, educators and staff will be our top priority. We can’t get students back to school if we can’t do so safely. This is a science-based approach, and I want to thank everyone who participated in our working groups and put so much thought into this effort.”
Delaware is currently experiencing minimal to moderate spread of COVID-19 under gating criteria established by DPH, which includes a review of weekly cases, percent positivity, and average daily hospitalizations.
Three school reopening working groups created the green/yellow/red framework to reopen schools safely in Delaware. Last month, the Delaware Department of Education also released guidance to assist district and charter leaders in safely reopening schools, including guidance on social distancing in schools, mask wearing, and transportation concerns.
Working with district and school leaders, the State of Delaware will provide free COVID-19 testing for educators and staff before the school year begins and in regular intervals following school reopening, using an at-home testing option. Community testing sites geared toward students will be set up at schools throughout the state in the weeks before schools open.
“Since school buildings closed in March, we have been working to return our children and educators to their classrooms as soon as we are able to safely and effectively do so,” said Susan Bunting, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education. “We will continue to support districts and charters as they design and implement their local plans under the hybrid model.”