Branford Public Schools

Temporary Option for Voluntary Remote Learning


  1. Information for Families

  2. Status Change Forms

  3. Homeschooling

1. Information for Families

That Connecticut State Department of Education requires districts to offer families the option for their child(ren) to engage in voluntary remote learning. While such students remain enrolled in the district, they will not attend school when required in the district’s model but will learn from home.  

Limitations of this Option

When selecting the learning location for their child(ren), Branford Public Schools families should take the following into consideration:

  • There are requirements and limitations that exist under the district’s planned voluntary remote learning program.

  • Families choosing voluntary remote learning for their child(ren) do so with the understanding that partial days cannot be accommodated. Students opting for voluntary remote learning will do so for the entirety of their class schedule. The option for voluntary remote learning does not include the option to have children attend for a partial week.

  • Curriculum and instructional practices are unique to each course. While many courses and activities will be available in a remote, virtual setting, there may be individual courses or activities within a course that are not accessible remotely.

  • Should the District implement a Distance Learning plan for a school or the district, students who are engaged in voluntary remote learning will be required to follow the schedule and expectations of that plan. However, those students will still be considered to be participants in voluntary remote learning and will maintain that status when the school or district transitions back to a hybrid or full in-person model until a change of status form is completed.

  • Kindergarten students in selecting the voluntary remote learning option will be placed in a district remote Kindergarten classroom taught by a certified teacher. As the District transitions to full in-person schooling, it will consider a variety of options for remote students in other grades and will communicate directly with families regarding any necessary changes to their students' schedules. 

  • Parents who ask for their child to return to the District model from voluntary remote learning should know that although the District will strive to keep the same placement/schedule as the one their child has in remote, it may not be feasible to do so because of health and safety considerations, and their child's return to school may involve a change in teacher or class schedule.

  • Change of status forms (both to select the voluntary remote learning option and the request to return to the district's model) may take up to ten (10) school days to process.

  • The District is providing free appropriate public education (FAPE) through the learning model it has selected to implement. Special education students who voluntarily opt into remote learning will receive services according to the student’s individual Learning Model IEP Implementation Plan to the degree possible.

  • The option to engage in voluntary remote learning is temporary and may not be available for the full year. If and when this option becomes unavailable will be determined by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE).

  • Should the state determine that this temporary option for voluntary remote learning is no longer available, students will be expected to return to the model of learning being implemented in the district at that time.

  • Eligibility for child nutrition programs will be determined per usual. Meals for students who temporarily opt into voluntary remote learning will be provided via curbside pick up. Regular school year transactions will be in effect (free, reduced, paid). Change will not be made and payments, as required for reduced price and paid meals, will be from deposits on account in My School Bucks.

  • Students participating in Choice programs have the option to participate in voluntary remote learning. Students exercising this option will retain their Choice status. 

  • As of the District's return to full in-person learning, students participating in voluntary remote learning are able to participate in athletics and any in-person co-curricular activities should any be held on campus. 

Parent/Guardian Obligations

Parents and families are expected to fulfill specific obligations if their child(ren) participates in the voluntary remote learning option:

  • Families continue to have a legal obligation to engage in public school education unless the children are receiving equivalent instruction elsewhere, such as private or homeschooling.

  • Students opting to temporarily participate in voluntary remote learning remain enrolled in the school they otherwise would have attended, unless the families determine they will fully pursue homeschooling or another mode of education and withdraw their children.

  • Parents are expected to supervise and engage their children to fully and effectively access the voluntary remote learning program in collaboration with BPS teachers. 

Student Obligations

Students participating in voluntary remote learning are required to meet the following obligations:

  • Daily attendance according to their assigned class schedule, including live virtual participation in classes as required (camera on unless permission granted from administrator). Classes will not necessarily be live streamed all day or for an entire class period, but rather will be live in accordance with a communicated schedule.

  • Use of district identified online tools to access learning on a daily basis. Such tools will include those that provide live access to classes.

  • Students are held accountable for adherence to all handbooks, policies, and school Code of Conduct.

  • Students will be required to complete all assignments, tasks, and assessments required by the class/teacher in accordance with established deadlines.

  • Students will be expected to access statewide assessments in-person, unless the assessments are available remotely.

In selecting voluntary remote learning, please recognize that this may be temporary and may not be available for the full year, subject to changing conditions and CSDE guidance.

For the health and safety of students resuming in-person classes and the school community, parents must give the district ten (10) school days’ notice before students change their learning location (see status change forms below).   

2. Status Change Forms

OPTION FOR VOLUNTARY REMOTE LEARNING: To inform the District that you are electing to exercise the temporary option for your child to participate in voluntary remote learning, please click here.

RETURN TO DISTRICT MODEL: To inform the District that you are electing for your child to return to participating in the District’s current model for learning, please click here.

3. Homeschooling Option

Families seeking a different option for having their student(s) learn from home may decide to homeschool their child(ren). The Connecticut State Department of Education guidelines can be found here: Homeschooling in Connecticut. 

Families deciding to homeschool a child should follow the steps below:

  • Notify the Superintendent’s Office of your intent to withdraw for the purposes of homeschooling.

  • You will be sent the appropriate form.

  • Complete and return this form to the Superintendent’s Office. 

The form will be processed internally and your child(ren) will be withdrawn from the Branford Public Schools.

NOTE: Students withdrawn for homeschooling are required to return all District-owned technology, materials, and equipment and will not have access to district curriculum or resources. Homeschooling students are not permitted to participate in BPS extracurricular activities or intramural or interscholastic sports.