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Consolidated School District of New Britain
CSDNB Back to School 2020: Everything you need to know


CSDNB Back to School Guide: Everything You Need to Know

The first day of school in New Britain will be on Tuesday, September 8. All students in Cohort A will attend school in person (unless you chose full remote learning) while all students in Cohort B will log into their classroom at the start of the school day. Students in Cohort B will begin attending school in person on Thursday and Friday of this week, unless you chose full remote learning. Students in Cohort A will log in remotely on those days.

There have been many questions regarding backpacks and if they can be used during the school year, especially since our protective technology bags are on backorder. Here are the guidelines in place.

Preschool and Elementary School students can temporarily use a backpack or bag until the protective technology bags come in. Once those bags come in - which is expected to be later this week - we are asking students to start using that bag. Middle School and High School students can bring a backpack to school throughout the school year. This is due to the number of textbooks and other materials they need to carry.

Below is information that can help you as we begin school. If your question is related specifically to your child's school, or if it hasn't been answered in the tabs below, please reach out to your child's school. A full directory of schools, along with emails and phone numbers, can be found here.


Following the requirements and guidelines set forth by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), the Consolidated School District of New Britain has outlined a comprehensive full in-school plan, a hybrid model, and a complete remote learning plan for the 2020-2021 school year. Our charge from Governor Ned Lamont and the CSDE was to prepare for a full reopening with 100% of students in the classroom for the start of the school year.

We began planning for the reopening of our schools before the students ended their school year and have been meeting daily up to this communication. Working together with Cabinet members and the Reopening Task Force, we involved all stakeholders in developing the plan by creating multiple reopening subcommittees. These subcommittees included caregivers, students, teachers, paraeducators, support staff, administrators, community partners, and Board of Education members. 

Subcommittee members helped identify needs, areas of concern, and questions, and also provided ways to improve how we provide a remote learning experience for all New Britain students. We are grateful for all stakeholders’ work toward producing a quality plan to ensure student and staff safety and learning in both the classroom and the remote environment.

This plan we are presenting is a flexible and high-level overview of our intentions for the upcoming school year. The intricate details, including scheduling, will be determined and planned for at the school building level. Schools will communicate this information to families once those plans have been finalized. All of this will continue to evolve as guidelines and recommendations change based on the current trends in our city and state.

View the PDF/printable version of the plan or view it here on the web. You can also view a snapshot of your child's day, whether in the traditional or remote model.

We are committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all of our staff and students. Over the past several months, we have collaborated with the New Britain Health Department, the CSDNB Medical Advisor, and the Connecticut State Department of Education to prepare for our schools’ reopening. We have also appointed an LEA (i.e., school district) COVID-19 Health and Safety Compliance Liaison as required by the Connecticut State Department of Education.

We all have a responsibility to follow the guidelines and requirements outlined in the plan to ensure we keep our students, staff, and family members safe. To help us achieve that goal, all students and staff will be required to wear face coverings and shields while in the school building. Additionally, frequent handwashing and maintaining appropriate social distancing will be required. We know we can count on you to ensure your child is practicing all of the guidelines outlined to keep everyone safe and healthy. 

As more information becomes available based on the latest guidance and recommendations from the Governor’s Office, State Department of Education, and New Britain Health Department, we will be sure to communicate that to you on our web site, through our social media platforms, and other mediums, including phone calls, emails, and text messages.


While we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be publishing a weekly update that notes the status of our learning model for the coming week (hybrid or remote). These reports, which will include COVID-19 testing data for Hartford County and New Britain, will be published on our web site, social media, and shared with families via email and text message.

We will begin in a hybrid model on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. The decision to delay the start date was due to proactive measures we are taking to ensure that we are ready for our students to return to school. The decision to start in a hybrid model was made based on data provided for Hartford County and New Britain by the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

Although New Britain has seen an increase in positive tests, it remains below the 10% threshold and within the low risk level, as identified on the chart provided by the State of Connecticut. For this week's Health and Safety Report, please click here.


Here are the school schedules for the 2020-2021 school year. Please take note of the changes due to us being in the hybrid learning model. For more information on our learning model and what this school year will look like, please click here to visit our reopening page.

• HALS | 7:20 AM - 1:20 PM
• Satellite Careers Academy | 7:20 AM - 1:20 PM
• New Britain High School | 7:30 AM - 1:30 PM
• Brookside School | 7:40 AM - 1:20 PM
• Transitional Center | 7:40 AM - 1:20 PM
• Middle School | 8:20 AM - 2:20 PM
• DiLoreto Elementary & Middle School | 8:20 AM - 2:20 PM
• Elementary Schools | 9:10 AM - 3:10 PM

PreK will continue with their half-day and full-day programs with lower class sizes based on OEC recommendations. AM sessions will attend from 9 - 11 AM, PM sessions will attend from 12:30 - 2:30 PM, and those attending full-day sessions will be in school from 9 AM - 2 PM.

Cohort Schedule/Calendar

To reduce the number of students on campus and riding in buses, all students in grades K-12 will be grouped into two separate, alternating cohorts. Cohort A will consist of students with last names beginning with A-L, and Cohort B will consist of students with last names starting with M-Z. Please note that our goal is to have all siblings grouped into the same cohort so they can all attend school and take part in remote learning on the same days. We will implement the following schedule pattern:

Cohort A (last names A-L) attend school on Monday and Tuesday, and then take part in remote learning Wednesday through Friday. Cohort B (last names M-Z) will take part in remote learning Monday through Wednesday and go to school on Thursday and Friday. In weeks where there is no school, we have shifted the schedule to make up for that day off.

A calendar that lists which days each cohort will attend school and which days they will participate in remote learning can be found here. Please note that if school is canceled due to inclement weather, that cohort will revert to remote learning on that day, and there will be no adjustments made to the schedule.

Parents may choose to opt-in for 100% remote learning at any time instead of the hybrid model. Additionally, on any of your child’s ‘in school’ days, you may choose to send your child to school or keep them home.


Regular transportation will be available for students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 who live outside their walk radius. Special transportation will be provided for students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 who have special transportation identified in their IEP and/or 504 plan.

Because we are implementing a hybrid model through at least the remainder of the 2020 calendar year, we will operate at significantly reduced passenger capacity while maximizing health and safety protocols.

All passengers are required to wear a face mask or cloth face covering that covers the nose and mouth during transit, before boarding the bus, and must be kept in place until they are completely off the bus. Buses will be sanitized per the Governor's Office and CDC’s direction on vehicle sanitizing recommendations.

For additional information, including bus routes for the 2020-2021 school year, please click here.


Families who have students attending school in person will need to be mindful of several new guidelines and mandates to follow while we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We ask that before sending your child to school, you screen them at home for any COVID symptoms.

• Keep your child at home if they are exhibiting any of the following symptoms: Fever(of 100.5 or higher) or chills, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Fatigue, Muscle or body aches, Headache, New loss of taste or smell, Sore throat, Congestion or runny nose, Nausea or vomiting, or Diarrhea

• The following are emergency warning signs for COVID-19.  Seek immediate medical attention if they have trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, and/or bluish lips or face. 

• If a student will not be engaging in either on-site learning from school or remote learning from home, families must call in their child’s absence to their school office.

If your child is riding on the school bus to and/or from school, please take note of the new guidelines:

• Students must wear a clean face covering and a clean face shield to enter the bus.

• Siblings should be seated together.

• Students must board the bus from back to front and exit the bus from front to back. It is recommended that caregivers provide their own transportation whenever possible.

When arriving at school, please take note of the new procedures in place:

• Students are required to wear a face covering and a face shield upon entering the building 

• Students with medical exemptions must present a signed letter from a licensed medical provider outlining why the student is unable to wear a face covering

• Greeted by staff member when exiting the bus or being dropped off by caregiver

• Traffic flow patterns and drop off procedures are being established by building leaders and the New Britain Police Department to ensure safe, efficient drop off

• Students will be escorted (socially-distanced) to classrooms

The student's daily routine will consist of the following:

• All students will be in classroom spaces with a minimum of three-foot social distancing separation

• All students will have ongoing teaching of routines and rules while in the classroom, in the hallways

• Upon entering the school building, students and staff will wash/sanitize their hands 

• Breakfast will be eaten at individual student desks.  A CSDNB Staff member will be present while students are eating breakfast.

• Students will wash/sanitize hands/workspace following breakfast

• Teacher takes attendance and enters it into PowerSchool 

• Students and staff will have face covering breaks routinely scheduled by the building administrator and teacher throughout the school day outside whenever possible.  When outside is not an option, students will have face covering breaks in large areas of each building (cafeteria, gymnasium)

• Lunch will be eaten at individual student desks.  A CSDNB staff member will be present while students are eating lunch.

• Students will wash/sanitize hands/workspace following lunch

• Students are expected to fully participate virtually while in class or at home, including the completion of all assignments. Ongoing feedback and grading will be given to all students to ensure students are working to their fullest potential.

Students will need the following supplies:

• District-issued device in its case.

• District-issued device must be charged nightly and fully charged for the beginning of the next school day.

• Caregiver-provided 2 face masks/coverings: one to be worn and one additional face mask kept in the computer case.

• Caregivers must clean face masks nightly Caregivers must clean face shield, provided by the district, nightly (washed with soap and water).

• Caregiver-provided headphones

• Caregiver-provided water bottle filled daily

• Caregiver-provided lunch (if applicable).

What kind of PPE will be worn in school to promote safe learning environments?

Because we are starting the school year with a hybrid model, the district will provide each student and adult with face shields. Staff and students are responsible for supplying personal face coverings. Frequent breaks will be held outdoors or inside, where there is enough room to follow social distancing guidelines. Accommodations will be made for students who are unable to wear a face covering continuously. Rituals, routines, and expectations will be explicitly taught to all students. Social stories will be used to support student understanding and compliance for wearing face coverings.


The Consolidated School District of New Britain is beginning the 2020-2021 school year in a hybrid model and expect to continue in this model through at least the remainder of the 2020 calendar year, barring any decision by us or the State of Connecticut to shift to full remote learning. During our time in the hybrid and/or remote model, we will be implementing live remote instruction through various platforms. This is so students who are learning remotely can take part in live classroom lessons and activities during the school day. 

Teachers will be delivering live instruction to students who are physically present. At the same time, students who are learning remotely will be able to log in and participate in the lessons. As determined by the teacher or in accordance with plans for students with special needs, the District may also use live remote instruction in small group and/or individual settings.  Student names will be visible to the teacher and other participants and observers. However, video of students will not.

Per guidance from the Connecticut State Department of Education, students are expected to attend school each day, whether they are physically in school or taking part in remote learning. On remote learning days, the expectation is that students log on during regular school hours and engage in classroom lessons and activities. 

Please note that we have been and will continue to work with childcare providers throughout the city to help support our students. This includes ensuring that students log on during the day for remote learning, even if they are attending one of the childcare programs. For a full list of providers, including the YMCA, who will be stationed inside our schools, please click here.

Rules and Guidelines for Participation in Live Remote Instruction

To facilitate the delivery of instruction through live remote instruction and safeguard student privacy and confidentiality as appropriate and to the extent required by applicable law, CSDNB requires that students and caregivers of students adhere to the following:

• Caregivers and students are not allowed to record any sessions. This includes audio, video, or still photography. The only exception is if this is allowed because of an individual student’s IEP or 504 Plan. 

• We understand that other individuals may be in the home at the same time the student is logging in for remote learning. However, no one other than the student is permitted to participate in or be visible during the session. 

• Students participating in videoconferencing from remote locations must join the video conference on time and follow all rules and guidelines established by the teacher.

• All participating individuals must comply with relevant CSDNB Board of Education policies and administrative regulations.

While student privacy and the confidentiality of student information is of utmost importance, parents/guardians are reminded that CSDNB is not in direct control of individual homes or the physical locations of students participating in videoconferencing remotely.

District Recordings of Live Lessons

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), we are notifying you that classroom lessons will be recorded and uploaded onto the server while the Consolidated School District of New Britain is in a hybrid and/or remote model. While teachers and other support staff will specifically arrange the classroom so that students are not on camera during lessons and activities, there may be times where a student inadvertently walks in front of the camera. Since the lessons are being recorded and then uploaded onto the server, this action will become part of the video. 

As is the practice with our annual photo and video release, if you do not wish for your child to be recorded on video, please contact your child's school and let them know. If your child is still accidentally recorded on video during the lesson due to them walking in front of the camera, we will delete that part of the video before uploading it onto the server. 

Student Expectations When Using CSDNB Devices

• Students will follow teacher/building/district policies and instructions when using technology. 

• Students will be polite and considerate and use appropriate language. 

• Students will report and/or help prevent any bullying, abuse, or harm of others.

• Students will tell an adult if they read, see, or access something inappropriate or if they witness inappropriate use of technology.

• Students will comply with all district filters and security measures. 

• Students will use technology carefully and conserve district resources. 

• Students will not share passwords, except with their parents/guardians. 

• Students will use only their own Drive, files and data. They will not access another individual’s Drive, files or data without their permission. 

• Students will follow copyright laws. 

• Model Students Exhibit Core Behaviors that represent CSDNB’s four core values of citizenship, respect, integrity and responsibility.  These behaviors create a safe learning environment and reduce the disruption of the educational process.

• Students will not reveal or post personal information about themselves or another person (i.e., passwords, addresses, locations, or telephone numbers). 


Students will need the following supplies:

• District-issued device must be charged fully charged.
• Caregiver-provided headphones.
• Lunch (if applicable).

Home Procedures

• Caregivers may pick up breakfast and lunch for that school day from their school at designated areas.

• Screen your child(ren)’s health daily.

• Contact your child(ren)'s physician if they are exhibiting any of the following symptoms: Fever(of 100.5 or higher) or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.

• The following are emergency warning signs for COVID-19. Seek immediate medical attention if they have trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, and/or bluish lips or face. 

• If a student will not be engaging in either on-site learning from school or remote learning from home, families must call in their child’s absence to their school office.

The student's daily routine will consist of the following:

• Student logs into their district device, per classroom teacher’s instruction, to mark their attendance in the remote classroom. This is how your child will be marked present for attendance

• Students are expected to take breakfast and lunch breaks away from the computer at the designated times as their in-school cohort to reduce screen time

• Students are expected to follow the in-school schedule of their peers. Breakfast, lunch & face covering breaks - students should disconnect from the computer at this time. Students will be notified by their teacher when it is time to work independently offline and what time they will need to reconnect to reduce screen time

• Teacher takes attendance and enters it into PowerSchool 

• Students are expected to fully participate virtually while in class or at home, including the completion of all assignments. Ongoing feedback, assessments, and grading will be given to all students to ensure students are working to their fullest potential.


If you need help accessing SeeSaw for your child's work while learning remotely, we've put together a presentation on how you can set it up and navigate throughout. Click here for a presentation in English, Spanish, and Arabic.


With 25% - 50% of students in school, students with IEPs will receive services in the inclusive, resource, or self-contained settings. Services will be based on the IEP. Individual student needs and parent input will be used to develop alternative methods for service provision and will be reflected in the IEP either through the amendment or PPT process. The use of this setting will require approval by the building principal and district coordinator.

When students are learning in the virtual settings, the SDE Continued Educational Opportunities (template generated by the CSDNB Pupil Service Department) plan will be implemented. Ongoing monitoring of students with little or no engagement in remote learning will be invited to attend in-person school daily to receive direct instruction. Service Logs will be utilized to document IEP services and supports, and 504 Plan accommodations will be implemented per plan requirements.

Students in the district’s post-secondary transition program will continue to have access to vocational opportunities in the community where health and safety measures are instituted.


50% of students will return to school for a six (6) hour day and face-to-face instruction, while 50% take part in remote learning. Identified EL students will be placed in mainstream classes. With caregivers’ consent, EL students will receive ESL, bilingual, and/or sheltered services. To limit contact and movement in the building, ESL services will be push-in unless the building administrator approves a small setting.

ESL and mainstream teachers will plan collaboratively to ensure that EL students’ language needs are met. ESL teachers will provide supplemental language instruction based on EL students’ proficiency level. EL students with 30 months or less in the states and those deemed in need of continued services will have native language support services via a push-in model to gain access to the grade-level curriculum.

High School EL students will be provided an extra period of ESL supplemental services. Dually identified EL students will be provided support based on district and individual student plans.


If a family opts to homeschool their children, families must complete paperwork to this effect. Information on homeschooling may be accessed by emailing Evelyn Meza at meza@csdnb.org.

Homeschooling is different from remote learning. In remote learning, the curriculum is developed by the Consolidated School District of New Britain. In homeschooling, parents are required to develop and choose their own curriculum. They are also required to submit evidence that their child(ren) is/are being assessed and showing educational growth.  All caregivers have the right to home school their children.


We are committed to working with our community partners to ensure that before-, during-, and after- school programming is provided for our students. For students who attend childcare during the day, our community partners will work with them so they can connect to their classroom for remote learning. If you need childcare, we have compiled a list of providers in New Britain. For more information, click here.


While we are in the hybrid and/or remote learning model, breakfast and lunch will be available for all remote learners at every school in New Britain. Please stop by your child's school each day (M-F) from 9:00 - 10:30 AM and 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM to pick up your meal.

Meals, which will be prepared for you to take home, will be served outside under the tent at your child's school. If your child is attending school, they will receive meals in their classroom, unless you provide it for them.

Please note that we are asking that you use a disposable bag if you choose to provide breakfast/lunch for your child.


We've received dozens of questions regarding technology and device distribution. Please note that we will provide the following devices to every student in the school district, depending on their grade level:

• Pre-Kindergarten: iPad
• Grades K-1: Touchscreen Chromebook
• Grades 2-8: Chromebook
• Grades 9-12: Laptop

If your child received a district device for last school year, they will receive a new one for this school year. All students will also receive a carrying case for their device. Device distribution will happen at the school the student is enrolled in, even if they are attending remote learning only. If you did not receive a device, please contact your child's school. Contact information can be found here.


There have been many questions regarding what supplies will be needed for the upcoming school year. The good news is that you won't need much because we are purchasing most of the supplies for each student.

What you will need to bring is this - students who are attending school will need their district device in its case, headphones, two face coverings (one to wear and one extra), a water bottle, and lunch if needed. Note that free breakfast and lunch will be served in all of the classrooms.

For students who are participating in 100% remote learning, the district device and headphones will be all that is needed. Free meals will be available at numerous distribution sites across the city.

All students will receive an individual bag of supplies (pencils, crayons, notebooks, folders, etc.) for the classroom. They will also receive an identical bag for home, so they do not have to transport them back and forth.


The New Britain Board of Education recently voted in favor of suspending the school uniform policy through the remainder of the 2020 calendar year. We understand that many families are facing financial difficulties during this time, and for some, the added expense of uniforms is not feasible. During this uncertain time, we hope that this will provide some relief for our families.


At a recent meeting, the New Britain Board of Education approved a policy that requires students, faculty, staff, and visitors to wear face masks/coverings. The Board of Education is implementing this masking requirement to promote the safest possible learning, teaching and work environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first priority of the Board is the health and well-being of students and staff as the District prepares for and implements the safe reopening of schools.

Policy 5141.8 – Face Masks/Coverings (Click to read)

Additionally, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Connecticut Department of Health (DPH) and the Connecticut State Department of Education requires the wearing of face coverings for all students and staff when they are inside school buildings and while riding school transportation vehicles, with certain exceptions.

All students, staff, and visitors are required to use face coverings, that completely cover the nose and mouth, when they are inside the school buildings or on school grounds, even when social distancing is maintained. In addition, the district may require face shields as deemed necessary by the Superintendent. An individual shall be excused from this requirement for the following listed reasons, per CDC guidance.

The individual:

• Has trouble breathing;
• is unconscious;
• is incapacitated; or
• Cannot remove the mask or face covering without assistance.

In addition, masks or face coverings shall not be required for anyone who has a medical reason making it unsafe to wear a face mask or face covering. A written notification from a physician is required in order for the Board to permit a medical exemption. The note should state the medical reason for the requested exemption, such as, but not limited to, difficulty breathing.

Parents/guardians may not excuse their child from this face mask requirement, by signing a waiver, because such wearing is a mandated requirement that the Office of the Governor, the Connecticut State Department of Education, and/or the Connecticut State Department of Public Health have defined as necessary for school districts to comply with in order to open schools from the COVID-19 caused closure.

In addition to the wearing of face masks, the District will maximize social distancing between student’s workstations and desks, achieving three to six feet when feasible. Space between the teacher and students is to be maximized to reduce the risk of increased droplets from teachers during instruction. A teacher is permitted to remove a face covering or mask during instruction. If the teacher removes the face covering or mask during instruction, spacing shall be increased beyond six feet. A teacher who remains seated during instruction requires the use of a physical barrier. 



If your child will be entering kindergarten, middle school, or high school (9th grade) in the fall, please note that the State of Connecticut requires that all children entering these grades must have an up to date physical exam (“check up”) and up to date immunizations. 

All students need to have an up to date immunization record (“shot/vaccination record”) on file with the school nurse.

If your child had a Physical exam on or after March 1, 2019, they do not need a new physical. Just ask your child’s doctor or clinic to complete the blue physical form, which is available here. This form can be sent by email, fax, mail, dropped off at your child’s elementary, middle, or high school OR you can take a picture of the form with your phone and send it to the Jacqui Maddy, CSDNB Nursing Supervisor via email. If you email or scan the form, please turn the original completed form into your child’s school nurse on the first day of school. 

No cost (“free”) physicals and immunizations will be available from our school-based health centers located at Pulaski Middle School, Gaffney Elementary School, Smalley Elementary School, and New Britain High School.

These school-based health centers are now open, and you can make appointments for your child's physical by calling 860-852-0871.All who show up for an appointment will be screened for COVID symptoms before they enter the clinic.

The New Britain Public Health Department is currently open Monday through Friday and provides free immunizations to all children in New Britain who are under the age of 19. If your child needs immunizations, you can make an appointment with the Health Department at 860-826-3464. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the nurse on duty at the Central Registration Office. They can be reached at 860-223-5501.