The Duffy Short

October 15, 2020

Our Duffy Promise:

As Duffy citizens, we show respect, demonstrate compassion, and take responsibility for our learning and our actions.

Welcome Team Purple

On October 21st we will welcome both the red and blue teams back to at-school learning. The school hours will return to 8:30 a.m. - 3:20 p.m. everyday but Wednesdays. On Wednesdays school hours will be 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. *On Wednesday, October 21st, our first day only, we will dismiss at 1:50 p.m.

Big picture

Morning Entry and Dismissal

In order to maximize physical distancing and get students in and out of the school building safely, we have made several changes to our entry and dismissal plans. Please read the important safety protocols below. Changes to the hybrid plan are in bold and underlined. Then, click on the grade level link to learn about where your child will enter/exit the building.

Safety Protocols

  1. Morning entry is 8:25-8:35am. A staff member will be assigned to each drop off door to assist with distancing and sanitizing procedures.

  2. Doors will open at 8:25. Students arriving between 8:20-8:25 should maintain physical distance by standing on a “distance dot.”

  3. Families with students in Grades 4-5 (except Ms. Scata's class, whose students should still use the drop off zone on Westminster Drive!) will use the new drop off zone in front of the gym! Please drive up to an orange cone and allow your child to exit the car independently and walk to the back door. A staff member will be there every day to assist!
  4. Families with students in Grades 2-3 will continue to use the drop off zone on Westminster Drive. Students will exit the car independently and walk to their designated door. A staff member will be there every day to assist!

  5. Families with students in Kindergarten and Grade 1 must park in the bus loop parking lot and walk their child to their designated drop off door in the back of the building. Please use the sidewalk. Do not cross through the bus loop.

  6. Students who walk to school will enter through their designated door. We ask that the parents promptly leave once their student enters the building.

  7. Masks must be worn on the campus at all times. Children and adults must have a mask on upon exiting their vehicle and keep the mask on until entering back into the vehicle.

  8. Upon entering their designated door, students will sanitize using touchless sanitizing stations and go immediately to their classroom.

If you have a kindergartener, click here:

If you have a first grader, or student in Dr. Pauluk class, click here:

If you have a second or third grader, or student in Ms. Scata's class, click here:

If you have a fourth or fifth grader, click here:

Please click on the picture below to watch a video about the new drop off zone.

ALL families not using a drop off zone must park in our bus loop parking lot. This lot is now called the Green Dragon Lot and has a green flag at the entrance.
The gym parking lot is now staff parking only. As you read, it's also the new 4th/5th grade drop off zone! The White Staff Lot has a white flag at the entrance.


Students will enter one at a time and use touchless sanitizing stations which are located at every entry door. A staff member will be assigned to each door to monitor and assist students.


Family members will pick up students from the area near the door they entered for morning drop off. Please park in the green parking lot and walk to the designated area. Please do not park in the white parking lot. The white parking lot is a staff parking lot.

All students, K-5, will be dismissed at 3:20 (2:00 on Wednesdays).

You can look forward to a communication from your child’s teacher to solidify the classroom specific plan for dismissal. Each teacher will have a designated meeting spot in physically distant spaces around their exit door.


Families should continue to carpool or transport their students if they can to preserve space on the buses for those students who have no other means of transportation.

We Are Ready

What will your classroom space look like? Here are a few examples!
Desks are spaced 4 - 6 feet apart to support physical distancing. We will continue to wear masks, stay in our cohorts, and wash our hands frequently.

School Hours for Monday, October 19th - Friday, October 23rd


Blue Group in-person, 8:30-1:50

Red Group at-home, Google Meets 2:20-3:20


Blue Group in-person, 8:30-1:50

Red Group at-home, Google Meets 2:20-3:20


Team Purple (Red and Blue Groups!) first day of school, 8:30-1:50


Team Purple (Red and Blue Groups!) 8:30-3:20


Team Purple (Red and Blue Groups!) 8:30-3:20

Health and Safety

We want to remind all of our Duffy community that we have a collective responsibility to continue making good choices to help keep everyone safe. This includes making sure your student wears a mask and practices distancing at the bus stop, on the bus, and on our campus, and you wearing a mask when dropping your student off at school or visiting. In this section of the Dateline we will keep you updated on the health, safety, and travel protocols. Below in the Dragon Dirt section, you will find more information on preparing your student for school. We are all in this together, and together we will have a great year for our students and community.
A Note from the Nurse

Please save my direct number so you know it’s me when I call. I typically email as my main source of communication, so it is usually an urgent matter or I have something I feel is important to discuss with you.

Megan Evjen


Extra Clothing

Please keep extra clothing in your child’s backpack in case they have an accident or fall in mud. This will avoid me having to call you to bring clothing to your child.

Health Protocols

WHPS Health Protocols are on our website: .

The COVID-19 home screening must be done before sending your child to school each day.​

Final student screening 8.5 x 11 -Print copy 8-...

Please click on the pictures below for more information regarding the protocols and the home health screening.

Face Masks

The wearing of face coverings (masks) that completely cover the nose and mouth at all times by everyone when in public or any time a person is within 6 feet of someone not living in their household, has been the most important mitigation strategy implemented during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the wearing of face coverings by all students and staff at all times while inside the school will be an important part of reopening the school to in-person learning while also limiting the opportunity for the spread of COVID-19 in the school.

The face covering should be made of thick, good quality fabric. But don’t worry, we have plenty for students here at school if needed! We also recommend packing an extra mask or two for the day as well. Please check out this CDC site for more about how to properly wear a face mask.

Travel Quarantine Reminder

Anyone traveling to a state identified by the State of Connecticut’s travel advisory must quarantine for fourteen days. This list changes frequently and can be accessed at

In addition, the CDC recommends against international travel to high risk destinations, which includes most countries and can be accessed here:

Anyone returning from a COVID-19 High Risk destination must quarantine for 14 days before engaging in in-person classes at our school. Executive Order 9C provides the ability to shorten the quarantine period by demonstrating a negative COVID-19 test. If a parent or student wishes to submit a negative test in lieu of quarantine per CT domestic/international travel guidelines, they should contact their child's school nurse. The nurse and West Hartford's Nursing Supervisor will consult with the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District to evaluate the test results and determine any change to a student's status.

One Community. One Year.

WHPS believes in the power of coming together to make a difference. Students, families, and staff are invited to participate in the Reopening Schools 2020 Campaign by submitting creative multilingual public service announcements (PSAs).

The theme for the campaign is One Community. One Year. The purpose of the campaign is to unite our community and to spread information- not the virus. WHPS needs everyone's help to protect our community. You can also help us to fight the stigma and misinformation so that we begin and finish the 2020-2021 school year in positive, safe and healthy ways!

One year

Duffy School Calendar

KEY DATES October 16th - 30th *

Events are at Duffy unless otherwise noted.

Monday, October 19th

  • 8:30 a.m. - 1:50 p.m. - Blue Group in-person
  • 2:20 p.m. - 3:20 p.m. - Red Group at-home, Google Meets

Tuesday, October 20th

  • 8:30 a.m. - 1:50 p.m. - Blue Group in-person
  • 2:20 p.m. - 3:20 p.m. - Red Group at-home, Google Meets

Wednesday, October 21st

  • 8:30 a.m. - 1:50 p.m. - Team Purple (Red and Blue Groups!) first day of school
  • 6:30 p.m. - Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee Meeting

Thursday, October 22nd

  • 8:30 a.m. - 3:20 p.m. - Team Purple (Red and Blue Groups!)

Friday, October 23rd

  • 8:30 a.m. - 3:20 p.m. - Team Purple (Red and Blue Groups!)

Dragon Dirt

Policies, Announcements & Celebrations

How to Turn Your Home Into the Best Classroom It Can Be

One of the first steps you can take for a successful at-home learning experience is to provide your child with a dedicated and organized educational environment. Here is a great article with tips on how to create a functional work space in your home.

Attendance Policies

One of the most important things your child can do to reach the goal of success is also one of the most basic: attend school every day! Research has shown that your child's regular attendance may be the greatest factor influencing his/her academic success. The hybrid model has both in person and at home attendance. When your child is at home learning, it is the expectation for your child to attend their small group meetings with their teacher each day. Our teachers will be taking attendance.

At-Home Specials Schedule

Here is the schedule with links for Monday and Tuesday- the last two days of Specials Workshops!

Please click on the chart below to access the links

Free Breakfast and Lunch

FREE breakfast and lunch has been approved for ALL students of the West Hartford Public Schools through December 31, 2020. You may be thinking about what WHPS children will do for meals during the school as a student participating in the hybrid model or in the Remote Learning Experience. The good news is that due to a change in the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulation ALL students are now eligible for FREE breakfast and lunch. There are no income requirements, and any student of the West Hartford Public Schools (WHPS) may enjoy a bagged breakfast and/or lunch. The following outlines information about In-Person/In-School meal service and “Grab and Go” pick-up meal service and other community food programs. please click here for more information.

Below are links to the Free Grab and Go lunches for remote and distance hybrid learners and the menu for lunches served at school. The Grab and Go lunches are free through December 31, 2020 and both times available are for any child.


At Duffy, we will eat outside every day that is not raining (K-5). When it rains, we will eat in classrooms. To ensure the safety of all students in this new model, snacks and lunches must be nut-free. SunButter is a good alternative for "peanut butter and jelly" sandwiches.

Technology FAQ

The district has put together a main technology page to help answer questions about technology and district devices. If you have a technology question that is not answered on the website you may contact the help desk at or (860)561-6636.

Preparing Students

Principals have made a series of educational videos to help students prepare for school. These short videos provide information about handwashing, physical distancing, riding the bus, and plans for a safe, positive and healthy community climate. You can watch them with your child here: .


It is important that we always have up-to-date contact information for you and at least 3 emergency contacts for your child in case we are not able to reach you. To add or change emergency contacts or to update your information, please visit the PowerSchool Parent Portal.


Follow us on twitter and visit our website.

Celebrating Equity, Diversity & Inclusion


WHPS Equity and Diversity Council (EDC) website

The first Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee meeting of the academic year will take place on Wednesday, October 21st at 6:30pm. Please join us as we look to plan for the year to support ALL Duffy families and promote EDI awareness and education. ALL are welcome.

Please contact committee co-chairs Heidi Hojnicki or Tracy Wu Fastenberg via Konstella if you have any questions or would like more information on the EDI committee or its work.

Welcome back Duffy families, and welcome to all new Duffy families!

The last several months have undoubtedly been challenging to all of us in many ways, some collectively, some specific to individual families. One thing that has been made abundantly clear is that our ongoing work toward Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is integral to a better community and society. The effects of health disparities and educational inequities on marginalized groups, racist rhetoric and violence, and systemic racism have all come to the forefront and it can be overwhelming.

As parents, caregivers, and educators, we can make a difference by ensuring that our Duffy community is a safe, inclusive environment for all of our families by working and learning together, challenging ourselves to grow, and teaching our children the same. We invite you to join us as we partner with Duffy’s wonderful faculty and staff to ensure that Duffy is the best it can be for all!

Anne Koneru, Heidi Hojnicki, and Tracy Wu Fastenberg

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee Co-Chairs

October Diversity


(Click on picture to view flyer.)

Publication & Submission Dates

Submissions can be sent to Kristi Laverty at and/or Megan Sipe at

Upcoming Publication Dates:

October 29th - Duffy Dateline. Submission deadline is Monday, October, 26th.

November 12th - Duffy Dateline. Submission deadline is Monday, November 9th.