NEWTOWN, Conn. — The Newtown Superintendent of Schools announced Wednesday that the school district will have a remote learning day on Dec. 14, which marks the ninth year since the Sandy Hook tragedy.
Superintendent Dr. Lorrie Rodrigue sent a letter to families and school staff regarding the decision, saying that it is usually an emotional day, on top of having to "deal with calls or anonymous threats that raise levels of stress for the entire school community."
"Anonymous threats add to the level of anxiety, and our goal this year is to minimize the level of stress on students, parents, and staff given the current climate," Rodrigue said.
Plans are underway to release a compact schedule and times students can pick up and take home remote learning materials and devices.
The district has chosen to not discuss the anniversary with the younger students and has left it to the parents to decide whether to discuss the significance of Dec. 14 with their kids.
The remote learning day will also serve as remote-learning practice for younger students if more remote learning days are needed for snow closures.
Secondary students will be told that Tuesday is a remote day to avoid distraction and disruption to class time, amid the uptick in threats targeting schools.
Teachers for grades 7-12 will hold a moment of silence with their students and will be prepared to have private discussions about the day with students and parents should any of them have questions or the need for discussion.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims of 12/14. We know this is a very emotional time of year, and we hope that moving to a remote learning day will relieve some of the anxiety and stress that often accompanies this day," Rodrigue said.
Three years ago, Sandy Hook School was evacuated due to a threatening call to the main office.
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