August 1, 2020
Greetings CSD Families,
Today, the Mills Administration released their updated guidance for schools and their communities in making the decision on how to resume instruction this fall. Under the previously announced classifications (Green, Yellow, Red) the Governor, at this time, has classified all sixteen counties in Maine as “green”.
Maine DOE Commissioner Pender Makin stated, “Today, we are providing additional guidance to school districts as they decide how to proceed with the school year. While I’m grateful to know that our state continues to be relatively safe due to the vigilance of Maine people, this risk evaluation is intended to be, and should be, just one of several variables that local school districts take into consideration as they make decisions that are best for their communities. We anticipate that in many cases schools in low risk areas will open this fall using a hybrid learning model in order to best protect the healthy and safety of their students and provide them with the most effective education possible. It is our goal to support them through this challenging time.”
The Maine DOE has reviewed the Requirements for Safely Opening Schools in the fall that are required by all schools should they decide to return to in-person instruction (regardless of their county's red, yellow, or green designation) to protect the safety and well-being of staff, students, and families. They fall into six categories:
Symptom Screenings Before Coming to School
- Physical Distancing and School Facilities
- Masks/Face Coverings
- Hand Hygiene
- Personal Protective Equipment
Return to School After Illness
The MDOE stresses that each school administrative unit (SAU) may consider opting for hybrid instruction if its buildings or safety readiness make adhering to these requirements a challenge. We will continue to monitor updates from the CDC and Maine Department of Education.
We know that the attached CSD Reopening Schools Overview provides our community with some clarification, however, there are many more questions and procedures we are still working on. While not an exhaustive list, we are continuing to research:
- An online curriculum option for a “virtual academy”, as well as other supplemental curriculum options
- The possibilities of keeping our Pre-K program open, even if the rest of the school goes to the Distance Learning model
- How to structure “cohorts” to keep groups of students together to minimize exposure to the virus, while meeting the safety guidelines established by the CDC, such as; the amount of people you can have in a room given physical distancing and square footage
- Safely transporting students to and from school as well as the arrival and dismissal procedures for our entire PK-12 campus
- Monitoring and updating safety protocols such as signage, movement in the building, and what steps to take in the event a member of our school has a confirmed case of COVID-19
We continue to seek clarity on the many remaining questions to ensure we have clear and comprehensive plans for each of the possible scenarios (green, yellow, and red). We expect that the landscape will continue to change between now and the first student day on September 8th.The health and safety of your child(ren), staff, and all our community members remain paramount as we look ahead to the start of school. We will continue to provide you with ongoing information and updates. Please feel free to reach out to us with questions that you might not have found the answer to in our updates or the CDC and MDOE guidance and updates.
We thank you for your continued support,
Tricia Campbell, Principal BRHS & Shawna Kurr, Principal BRES
Click here to view the Overview Plan for the CSD.