July 16, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians:
We are planning daily for the possible re-opening of our schools in September. It is a challenge to make these plans not knowing whether or not the Governor will allow schools to open in the fall and, if we can open, under what restrictions will they allow us to operate. Our re-opening committee has been formed and will continue to meet until we have a comprehensive plan that addresses all concerns. We have studied the Maine DOE's re-opening guidelines and are using them to guide our planning process.
We want and need your valuable input. Please fill out our re-opening survey on our district Website or Facebook pages or by clicking on this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf0gTl5_lJzJ7zoIF_Xnrj2RY52C7l2OCuz0lMkuQKOkmnWew/viewform?usp=sf_link Paper copies of the survey are also available and can be picked up at the Superintendent’s Office or can be mailed to you if you call and request so at the number above. We will use your input, along with forthcoming state recommendations, to develop our final plan. All of us are anxiously awaiting final recommendations from the Governor and DOE that provide clearer instructions and rules to the local school districts. The Governor will be the one to announce whether or not we will return to classroom instruction and the DOE will let us know what specifically is mandated and what is left to the discretion of the schools.
Here is my best thinking at this point from all we've read and heard. Please keep in mind that the entire re-opening plan is subject to Maine State final rules and School Board approval.
1. It is very likely we will return to some form of regular classroom instruction in September. It may be that all students will not come at the same time. It may be that some students still stay at home and do remote learning. We most likely will need to be ready to return immediately to remote learning if we have positive virus tests.
2. Some form of health screening will be done on staff, students, and visitors prior to the start of each school day.
3. All students and staff will complete a health survey that asks questions related to COVID-19. Those surveys may be administered frequently.
4. Visitors, including parents, can enter only by appointment. Congregating in the school lobbies will no longer be possible.
5. School entrances and areas leading to bathrooms, cafeteria and gym will be marked by social-distancing signage. We will do our best to attempt to keep everyone socially distanced throughout the day.
6. ALL students and staff will be asked to wash their hands frequently throughout the day. Hand sanitizer stations will be provided throughout the school.
7. The district will have a Plan B for remote instruction developed in the chance that schools are once again closed due to COVID-19.
8. Most likely, staff will be required to wear face coverings or face shields. Students may or may not be required to. The school will provide this equipment for all who need it.
This has been, and continues to be, a major change for all of us and none of us have all the answers. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and cooperation as we work together to solve problems, find answers and work through this difficult situation. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We will know more in the next several weeks and I will update you as soon as we have some final instructions. In addition to posting information on our website and Facebook pages, our plan is to hold a virtual informational meeting prior to the start of school. This meeting will be open to anyone interested. Enjoy your summer- see you in September!
Ronald C. Ramsay
Superintendent of Schools