Vermont Schools Dismissed For 2019-2020 School Year


26 MARCH 2020

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today directed schools to remain dismissed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Districts will close schools for in-person instruction and be required to implement continuity of learning plans for remote learning. This extends the Governor’s previous directive dismissing PreK-12 schools from March 18 to April 6.

This decision was made in consultation with the Vermont Department of Health and the Agency of Education in the continued effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. To minimize disruption to students’ learning, the Governor’s order directs school districts to come up with plans for distance learning by April 13.

“The education of our students and the bonding and learning experiences they have at schools are tremendously important, so I fully appreciate the impact and difficulty of this decision,” said Governor Phil Scott. “I also recognize it will be challenging for some schools to implement remote learning through the end of the year. But I’m encouraged by the creativity I’ve seen from administrators, educators and parents already, which is why I know, together, they can rise to the occasion.”

Governor Scott also noted that some school districts have also set up creative and critically needed programs to offer onsite care for their students whose parents are working on the frontlines in this response. “These educators and staff who are finding ways to support these families have been critical to our COVID-19 response efforts and I am so proud and appreciative of their hard work, creative can-do attitude and their willingness to step up in this moment of service. These educators, and the staff supporting them, represent the very best of our public education system.”

The Agency of Education will provide technical guidance to districts on how to implement continuity of learning plans by the end of the week, specifically looking to address challenges around equitable access to learning opportunities, Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for students with disabilities, continuation of school meals, and school attendance and school calendar requirements.

The Department for Children and Families will also provide updated reimbursement provisions for providers who are not currently offering services and for providers who are delivering child care through this health crisis.

Read the full directive here:

For the latest information and guidance relating to Vermont’s COVID-19 response, visit

Comments | 1

  • Teacher's Union says:

    From Don Tinney, high school English teacher and the president of the 13,000-member Vermont-NEA:

    “A short while ago, Governor Phil Scott ordered the closure of Vermont schools for the remainder of the school year. While we are disappointed and saddened, we understand the fierce urgency of maintaining the health and safety of all our students, educators, school administrators, parents, and all Vermonters.

    In the ten days since schools have been closed to students, we have seen the remarkable resiliency, ingenuity, and dedication of this state’s teachers, paraeducators, custodians, school nurses, food service workers, bus drivers, and administrators. We have also seen how patient, understanding, and forgiving parents have been. Most of all, we’ve seen our students, thrust into a world like they’ve never experienced, adapt and survive in remarkable ways.

    In the days ahead, the members of Vermont-NEA will be dedicated to working with administrators, superintendents, Agency of Education officials, and state government to work out how best to continue teaching and learning in a meaningful way. We know all Vermonters share our view that students – our precious children – are our number one priority.

    At the same time, we are guided by three important principles. The health and safety of students, parents, educators, and all Vermonters must guide all of our decisions during the pandemic. Next, nutritious food must continue to be available for all children who need it. And, third, school employees must not suffer financial ruin and missed paychecks.

    There are many questions that need to be tackled as we prepare for the orderly closure of our schools, and rest assured there is no fiercer advocate for students – and educators – than the members of Vermont-NEA.

    At a time like this, it is important to remember that we would all much rather be in school, especially at a time of year filled with so much anticipation for the future. I think a note from a fellow teacher says it all: “I miss my students. I miss them walking in my room all grumpy and coaxing a smile out of them and I miss them walking into my classroom beaming with some great news or amazing accomplishment. I think that’s the hardest part of this. I miss my students.”

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