RSU 24 Superintendent Michael Eastman sent out a letter to parents and students on Friday, August 7th outlining in more detail, the return to school plans for the district.

To read the full letter click HERE

Key takeaways

Safety precautions include

As a reminder from my recent letter, the following expectations will be in place on a daily basis in all RSU 24 locations

  • Students (parents/caregivers) and staff members must conduct self-checks for COVID-19 symptoms prior to boarding a bus or entering RSU 24 facilities each day,
  • Students and staff will maintain appropriate social distancing (32-6') while in a school vehicle, and on school property.
  • Face coverings will be worn by every person while in a school vehicle and in a school building. Your child's school will send home an appropriate face covering prior to the start of school. Children may bring clean face coverings from home as long as they: fit snugly against the side of the face, completely cover the nose and mouth, are secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric, and allow for breathing without restriction.
  • Students and staff will receive guidance regarding proper hand hygiene and will expect anyone in our buildings or on our school vehicles/buses to practice good hygiene.
  • We will provide appropriate protective equipment (barriers, etc) in each of our vehicles and buildings.
  •  We will be greatly reducing (and in some cases, eliminating) access to our schools for anyone other than students and teachers.
  • We expect that students and staff will remain home when ill and the school will have very specific protocols in place for students and staff returning to our buildings or riding in our vehicles.
  • With the above mentioned precautions in place, we will be having ALL Kindergarten - Fifth grade students on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday when school is in session. We believe strongly that the developmental needs of this age group necessitate that each student be in our buildings as frequently as possible. Again, your child's Principal will communicate the specifics of the daily structure. 

    For students in grades 6-12, we will be doing our best to get as many students as possible in the building but recognize that the complexities of middle school and high school will create challenges. Where possible, we have scheduled a hybrid plan for each of the four days (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday). Since we can not accommodate all students in person, we will provide a program that offers 2 days of in-school learning and 3 days of out of school

    As you probably noticed, Wednesdays were not included in the plans mentioned above. After much consideration, we believe strongly that we need to use Wednesdays to deal with the complexities and challenges that are in place with the pandemic. Everyone in grades Kindergarten through twelve will be completing out of school learning experiences on Wednesdays. Please note Monday - Friday (including Wednesday) are required attendance days for students as expected by the Maine Department of Education. Out of school learning on Wednesday will allow each of our buildings to be thoroughly cleaned in an effort to minimize germs or viruses. We will also be doing a fair amount of professional development for our staff on this day in an effort to meet the increased guidelines for remote learning as provided by the Maine Department of Education. As we get accustomed to the new normal and observe how the Coronavirus reacts to our schools reopening, we will reassess the need for the Wednesday schedule.

    We will also be offering a complete out-of-school learning pathway (Pathway B) for our students. Students who choose full off-site learning will participate in all learning activities online. Please note that the requirements for off-site learning will be very different from the emergency remote learning that was done last spring - the Department of Education has developed criteria that must be met to be considered off-site learning. Please see the documents below for the specific expectations including required attendance, work completion, etc. Should you want your child to participate in this option, you must contact your child's Principal no later than August 14th. If you have a student with a disability and have any questions or concerns about your child(ren)'s learning pathway, please contact Sue Leighton, our Special Education Director. 

    Please know that whatever pathway you choose for your children to engage in (Pathway A or Pathway B), you will be locked-in for the first trimester (K-8) or semester (9-12). There will not be an option for students to move back and forth between pathways beyond at the trimester or semester dates, and we will not be able to honor change requests prior to those designated times.

    We continue to work on transportation details and assessing how best to get our students to and from school in the safest manner possible. As I mentioned in my previous letter, the more parents that are able to transport their child(ren) to and from school, the better we can create a plan to transport our students safely. If you have not contacted your child's principal and can drive your child to and from school each day, please contact him/her as soon as possible. Please know that our procedures for busing our students will be very scripted, with pre-screening expected by students/parents, mandatory face coverings, and social distancing practiced.