The Ellsworth School Board held a workshop on Monday, August 3rd, in preparation for the School Board to vote on the reopening plan at their Tuesday, August 11th meeting.

Even though the State of Maine has designated Hancock County as GREEN, meaning it is permissible for in school learning to resume, it is ONLY permissible if all health and safety requirements are able to be met. What is clear, is that more families desire in person learning than the Ellsworth School District can safely manage given the State's protocol

It is projected that Ellsworth Elementary School (K-4) will have an enrollment of 421 students with 330 desiring full in person learning and 91 remote learning. The problem is that the school can only accommodate 260 students safely. Ellsworth Middle School (5-8) is projected to have an enrollment of 373 with 273 desiring full in person learning and 100 remote learning. Again, the issue is only 240 may be safely accommodated. At the High School it's even worse. There is an expected enrollment of 491 students with 395 wanting full in person learning and 96 wanting remote learning. Ellsworth High School can safely accommodate 258 students. (Numbers are approximate as it was hard to hear on the Zoom call because of a lag in the speed)

The School District is looking at dividing children into Maroon and Gray groups. Currently there are 2 models being looked at:

  1. Children would alternate days, with Maroon going 3 days and Gray going 2 days a week and then reversing with Gray going 3 days and Maroon going 2 days
  2.  Everyone would have remote learning on Monday, then Maroon would go Tuesday and Thursday and Gray go Wednesday and Friday with students having remote learning when they're not in school.

The issue of childcare is on everyone's mind, and the School District is working with the Downeast Family YMCA as well as looking at K-8 having childcare on at the Moore Community Center.

Parents would be asked to commit for a period of time if they chose remote learning. The curriculum, expectations, grading and standards would be the same whether in person or remote.

The School District is planning on providing all staff, teachers and students with 2 reusable, washable cloth masks. Parents would be responsible for washing the masks and they must be worn in class. Gaiters and other masks would have to meet the School District's approval.