Dear D.W. Merritt School Families,
The MSAD #37 Return to School Plan was published yesterday. This plan was written by the district planning team in compliance with the requirements and mandates from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the State of Maine.
We would all like to be opening school as usual. Since this cannot happen, the D.W. Merritt staff and I will do everything we can to provide a safe, positive, productive learning environment for the children in our care. With your help and support, we can make this happen!
There are some things that will be new to us all. Staff and students will be required to wear face masks while on the bus and at school. There will be several mask breaks during the day. Each classroom will have separate recesses and students won’t have to wear masks during this time. DWM masks and water bottles will be provided for students or they may bring their own from home. There will be hand sanitizer dispensers in each classroom and throughout the building.
We are fortunate to have large, bright, open classrooms. Teachers are busy making them inviting and exciting for their students. Desks will be spaced three feet apart as required. Each student will be provided their own basket full of school supplies.
Three grades at a time will eat lunch in the gym on alternating tables. Tables will be cleaned before the next groups enter. This will be a mask free time as well. Students will participate in phys. ed. with the teacher planning activities where required distancing can be maintained. The art and music teacher will go to individual classrooms for their lessons.
Only students and staff may enter the building. Therefore, the paved parking lot where the basketball hoops are will be the designated student drop-off and pick-up area for students that don’t ride the bus. A staff member will be there each morning to greet students and bring them into the school. A staff member will also bring students to this area upon dismissal to meet their rides home. Only buses will be allowed to drive around the yellow curb for drop-offs and pick-ups. This will all be clearly marked with signs and help to keep everyone safe.
We will have three large red canopies set up outside so that classrooms can do some outdoor learning. Students will be excited about this as are we!
The teachers and I will be available via e-mail, phone calls, and virtual meetings or in person by appointment. It is important that we keep the lines of communication open. We will reach out to you on a regular basis and I welcome and encourage you to do the same.
I am pleased to announce our new first grade teacher Mrs. Sandy Alley, our new resource room educational technician Ms. Denise Curtis, a new special education technician Ms. Candy Tucker and our new elementary guidance counselor Ms. Sarah Elliott. We will have a virtual open house in September. A video will be posted online where you will see the new staff, hear from me, the teachers and also view the classrooms and our school!
I will be calling each of you personally next week as I know that you must have questions. I appreciate and respect your thoughts and I welcome your input as we move ahead, together, in these uncharted waters. Although school will look different when students return in the fall the constant is our shared unwavering dedication, commitment and care for each and every student and their educations.
Take good care, say hi to your children for me and we will talk soon!
Lorna N. Greene
D.W. Merritt Principal
RSU #37 Prof. Development, Title 1 & G/T Coordinator
Daniel W. Merritt School – Where We Succeed Together!