Governor Carney's Letter on School Closures
Over the past two weeks, we have implemented significant restrictions across Delaware to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Our goals are simple. We intend to limit the spread of COVID-19, prevent an increase in cases that our hospital systems cannot handle, and keep Delaware communities healthy.
We know this is an unusual and challenging time. I want to thank Delaware families, educators, and school leaders for all your work to keep Delawareans safe and healthy.
On March 13, after significant discussion with superintendents and charter school leaders, I ordered public schools to close through this Friday, March 27. This two-week period was intended to help school leaders and educators plan for what came next. We have spent a significant portion of the last week discussing plans for remote learning, the delivery of meals, and other social services.
Delaware children still deserve access to learning opportunities during this unusual time. And families rely on social services we deliver in our public schools. Tonight, I can share the following:
- Districts and charter schools will remain closed through May 15.
- Districts and charters are providing students with ongoing access to meals.
- Districts and charters will work with their staffs to create remote instruction plans so students can continue to learn during this crisis. The Department of Education also has a list of learning activities.
- The school calendar will likely be adjusted to go beyond when it was scheduled to end.
- If possible, we hope to provide students with instruction, wraparound services, extracurriculars, and sports experiences once school resumes.
- Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting plans to recommend forgiveness to the State Board of Education so that no district or charter would go beyond the end of June.
- We submitted a waiver to the U.S. Department of Education requesting Delaware be exempt from assessment and accountability requirements for the 2019-20 school year. While we strongly believe in measuring results, we want to use any remaining time in this year's school calendar for student instruction.
As we learn more about COVID-19, I will continue to take necessary action to keep Delawareans safe and healthy. We will remain committed to communicating directly with school leaders and your communities about our response, and the path forward for our state.
Thank you for your work, your understanding, and your flexibility during this challenging time. Please visit de.gov/coronavirus for continued updates on Delaware’s response. We will get through this.
Governor John Carney