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Reopen Schools Update
Reopen Schools Update
Jim Chasse
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Dear Hawks,

I hope that you are well.

Thank you all for such a tremendous response rate to our parent survey.  We received 847 responses, 104 with multiple children in our schools.  Obviously, this town cares about children and education.   

Check this out...

Forms response chart. Question title: What is your town of residence?. Number of responses: 847 responses.A great response rate. 

Forms response chart. Question title: Choose your child(ren) grade level.  (Select all that apply). Number of responses: 847 responses.Grade levels well represented. 

Forms response chart. Question title: If the current trend of COVID-19 continues will you be sending your child(ren) to school?. Number of responses: 847 responses.This is promising, 67.7% ready to return.  This question provided us the feedback to begin the construction of a hybrid model, and an improved remote program (Remote 2.0) should that be necessary.  Of the 32.3%, many commented that they want to return but first need to see more specifics.  That is respectable and you will see those once completed, hopefully, that will allow us to reach above 90% returning students.  

The other two questions focused on lunch and specific parent comments.  The comments are too many to list here however, the themes were: student safety, compromised students, IEP needs, family safety, multiple siblings in schools and the schedule, better remote instruction, enforcement of PPE expectations, mask constrictions, and emotional wellness for students and parents.  Planning teams will use this feedback to our planning advantage.

Our process to reopen schools looks like this:  a district committee (overarching components of reopening schools), school-level committees (details, details, details), and department-level planning (Special Services, Transportation, Medical, Custodial...). 

These groups have been meeting to review and plan based on parent feedback, the DOE framework, CDC guidelines, and other material.   We have sent out a staff survey that is due this Thursday.   The early result tell a great story, TEACHERS WANT TO BE WITH THEIR STUDENTS! 

The DOE is requesting schools have 3 models at the ready:

1. In person school 

2. Hybrid model

3. Remote Instruction

You may have seen or read that the state is planning a red light, green light, yellow light approach based on regional metrics that allow for local capacity. 

Lastly, the COVID-19 journey that we are all on has some uncharted waters and it seems that nothing has come with a guarantee.  Our plans may need adjustments or they could be changed  by variables out of our control.  

What I can say for sure is that we will give it our best effort and communicate with all involved.  A "thank you" to our committees for their hard work.  As our plans unfold, they will eventually need to be approved by the school committee.   This could be as early as our August meeting or may require a Special Meeting later in August.  

Thank you again for the great amount of caring and support.  

We've got this! 

Jim Chasse


Bonus Links (Maine Framework) (NEA Safety Site)