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MSAD #72 Fall Education Update for Parents

posted Jul 1, 2020, 11:32 AM by Eric Wood   [ updated Jul 1, 2020, 11:35 AM ]

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Dear Parents:

I wanted to take a moment to provide you with an update about the process of planning for the fall. We understand that given the uncertainties on the national, state, and local level that you probably have a lot of questions and concerns about how we can effectively deal with the pandemic. This update is not meant to provide answers to all of the questions that you might have, but we did want to share what you can expect in terms of the process and timeline. 

Right now, the following is a list of things we are certain about:

  1. We plan on providing all K-8 parents the choice of continuing with distance learning, which the district will support by providing technology, teacher/staff support, and other supports as needed. We have been working collaboratively with our teachers and are fine-tuning our approach to distance learning based upon the feedback we received. 

  1. We are in the process of creating as many “teaching spaces” as we can using CDC/Department of Education guidance on social-distancing. Students whose parents opt for “in-person” education will be taught at school in a small cohort of students that will stay together for the entire school day and will only come in contact with the minimum number of adults to support their learning. 

  1. We will be sending out a survey to all parents in late July, which we are hoping will give parents enough time to reflect on the available options and make a choice between continuing with distance-learning or having their students attend school on site. 

  1. We will also be asking all parents who can drive their children to school to commit to doing so, which is the safest available option. This would include having any students living in close proximity to the school to walk. For parents who cannot drive their students, we will then have to schedule bus routes using the following guidelines: a) students will maintain social distancing on busses; b) students will not transfer from one bus to another; c) students will only be allowed to use the bus they have been scheduled for; and d) no changes in transportation plans will be permitted unless parents plan on picking up students at school. All of these measures are designed to minimize student-to-student and student-to-adult contact, which will minimize any potential spread of COVID-19. If too many parents require daily transportation, it could force us to explore “every other day” in-person instruction as opposed to the “every day” option.

  1. We will be following the CDC guidelines for staff and student safety. We will not be engaging in debates about wearing masks, and if anyone does not support wearing a mask at school we would suggest that you opt for the distance-learning option. There is no room for negotiation in this area unless wearing a mask poses a legitimate health risk, in which case we would have to develop a health plan in conjunction with our district nurse. When we release plans, the plans will include guidelines for staff and students about personal-protective equipment (PPE).

  1. Once we finalize our instructional plan for the fall, we will provide parents an opportunity to read over the plan and to provide us with feedback on the plan. This will also happen in late July or early August.

We are hoping to use the feedback we get from parents as well as guidance from the Department of Education to schedule all students according to parental preference and to deal with all associated considerations.  While I realize this does not finalize any decisions, I did want to share what is known as well as the plan for moving forward. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s principal or me. Thank you. 


Jay Robinson

Superintendent of Schools

Eric Wood,
Jul 1, 2020, 11:32 AM