Shortened Semesters on Campus and Full Fees for Room and Board as Connecticut’s Colleges and Universities Face a Steep Fiscal Challenge

Students will be returning to campus in the fall at Connecticut’s four state universities, but in place of the usual crowds on move-in day, the packed classrooms and extracurriculars, students can expect instead a more gradula move-in, limited group activities, a mix of online and classroom learning and regular COVID-19 testing. The biggest change, according to Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System, is that students will not be returning to campus after Thanksgiving and instead will finish the semester online to prevent a possible outbreak of virus from students returning from the break. That means

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Land Trust Shutters Watch Rock Preserve on Weekends to Limit Vandalism, Littering

OLD LYME — Due to an excess of littering and vandalism, the Old Lyme Land Trust will close the Watch Rock Preserve each weekend from now until Labor Day. “We are so sad and frustrated to have to close this preserve, especially this year during the pandemic,” said Ann Gallaher, Chief Steward of the Old Lyme Land Trust. “But the large amount of trash, recurrent vandalism and campfires are too much for an all-volunteer organization to handle.” The parking lot gate will be shut from 7:30 p.m. on Fridays until 8 a.m. on Mondays. According to the Land Trust Board

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Connecticut Department of Public Health Rolls Back Mandate for Testing Nursing Home Staff

The Connecticut Department of Public Health is rolling back a June 1 executive order by Gov. Ned Lamont which mandated weekly testing of nursing home staff for COVID-19 for the duration of the public health emergency. The state agency has informed care facilities that they may forgo testing after two consecutive weeks without positive tests for nursing home staff and residents. “After two weeks of zero positives a facility can discontinue testing,” said Deidre Gifford, acting commissioner of public health and commissioner of social services at an Appropriations Committee meeting on Friday. According to Gifford, the guidance comes from the

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State Announces Full Reopening of Primary and Secondary Schools in Connecticut for the Fall

Required face masks for all pre-kindergarten through high school students, as much social distancing as is feasible and back up plans upon back up plans in preparation for a possible second wave of COVID-19 are hallmarks of the state’s plan announced today by the Connecticut Department of Education for reopening schools at the end of August. “This past school year was marked by disruption, next year’s school year will be marked by innovation and commitment,” said Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona. “It will be the most important school year for students and educators yet.” Although many educators and parents expected

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Two Norwich Tech Grads Confident in Tightened Job Market, New Apprenticeship

For many 2020 high school and college graduates the future feels uncertain. Finding a job or starting college during a global pandemic is far from a straight-forward decision. But for Chris Daley of Plainfield and Chance Weber of Lisbon, 2020 graduates of Norwich Technical High School, the opposite is true. “Knowing that I made ties with this company and I can stay with them and have a job right out of high school … I feel more prepared for the world,” Daley said. Daley and Weber are one and a half years into their four-year plumbing apprenticeship at Speirs Plumbing

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As State Officials Commission Study of Nursing Homes, COVID-19 Infections Slow

In the last week, just 61 new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Connecticut, evidencing a drop in the spread of the virus among the state’s hardest-hit population. Of those 61 cases, one was diagnosed at Aaron Manor Nursing and Rehab Center in Chester, where there have been 31 cases, six were at Essex Meadows Health Center, where there are now 16 cases and two were at Apple Rehab in Old Saybrook, where there are now 69 cases. Between mid-March and mid-June, at least 9,720 residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities

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From 2016 Pilot Program to Graduation, ‘Dreamers’ Make Up 4 Percent of Student Body at Eastern, with a 3.8 GPA

In May, Evelyn Lemus Silva graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University as a Barnard Award recipient, the most prestigious undergraduate award bestowed by the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System. She was a biology major, has a research job lined up at Stanford University and plans to go to medical school in the future. She is also an undocumented immigrant. Silva, who entered the United States from Mexico at the age of 7, is one of the first 43 students to graduate from Eastern thanks to a scholarship from TheDream.US, a privately funded program that supports undocumented immigrants and those

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As Local Officials Await State Guidance, Legislators Voice Concerns About Fall Schooling

According to the Connecticut Department of Education, the 33 lowest performing school districts – known as Alliance Districts – also have had the least student engagement since schools across Connecticut were forced to close in mid-March to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Complicating their mission, Alliance Districts also serve a disproportionate share of Connecticut’s “English Learners.” Every school in Connecticut, public and private, has its own COVID-10 story, some adapting to remote education with relative ease and others with more than 10 percent of students failing to participate at all in distance learning programs. As districts plan reopening for summer

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