The Calais School Department would like to thank everyone who took the opportunity and time to complete survey from last week. Deciding whether to return to in-person learning or to remain virtual was a difficult task. Several elements were consider including local Covid-19 status, current information stating students are safer in schools, holiday travel, parents and staff surveys, and instructional models.
On Monday, November 30th, the Calais School Department will be returning to in-person learning under the hybrid model from this Fall with alternating in-person instructional day and at-home enrichment activity days – this does include all Calais schools. Monday, the 30th will be a Group 2 day from the original calendar sent out at the beginning of Quarter 2. The Group 1 and Group 2 calendars are attached for your convenience.
Our team recognizes that several families may opt to continue virtual learning or to move to virtual learning on Monday, November 30 with the return of school to in-person learning. We are offering the following options:
1. For convenience, we assume those families who had chosen virtual learning prior to school closure will remain in virtual. If this is inaccurate and your child(ren) will be returning to in-person learning, please complete the form below.
2. If your child was in-person before school closure but you would like to have them attend virtually through the holidays, please complete the form found at the link below.
3. If your child was in-person learning before school closure and you would like them to return to in-person learning, you do not have to complete the form or call the school.
It is our understanding that communication from the CDC to schools is experiencing a slight delay. Because of this delay in information, we are requesting that if your child tests positive for Covid-19 or you are contacted by the CDC and considered a primary exposure to someone with Covid-19, we kindly ask that you let your child’s school know.
Below you will also find the Maine Department of Education information regarding travel over the upcoming holiday season. If you travel out of state, your child is required to quarantine following the guidelines below – at this time New Hampshire and Vermont are exempt from the travel guidelines.
On a final note, the Calais School Department prefers to provide a consistent routine to our students during very challenging times. We want and need to remain a safe place for students. Unfortunately, an outbreak in our school community could force us to revisit remote learning. Three or more positive Covid-19 cases within the same school facility, not district, would require us to review the safest setting for our students in that facility.
Once again, thank you for taking time to complete our surveys, and the Calais School Department would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.
Form for in-person v. online learning – https://forms.gle/yKbEWeJK3mnigHaZ7 (The link may not work on some phones or devices. Please copy and pasted the URL into the browser search bar.)
Group 1 calendar Quarter 2
Group 2 Calendar Quarter 2
MDOE Travel comments:
The Maine Dept. of Education has consulted with colleagues at Maine CDC, and provide the following information:
As we see the escalating impact of COVID-19 across our state and the nation, we recognize that friends and families are looking for ways to connect and to maintain normal traditions in an abnormal time. As the holiday season approaches, it is critically important that our school communities continue to do everything we can in order to keep our schools safe, open, and able to provide in-person instruction when conditions allow.
This may mean making the safe and difficult choice to limit holiday gathering and travel, as we know that both have additional risks for exposure and transmission of the virus. The United States Center for Disease Control has issued strong guidance to the American people to limit our interactions and travel this holiday season, so that we can all gather safely in the future. Further details of the CDC’s recommendations can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html.
Based on the recommendations of the community health experts, we strongly encourage our staff and students to celebrate each holiday within your current household only, and to limit any large gatherings.
Any staff or students who travel to any state other than New Hampshire or Vermont (no restrictions for these two states only as of 11/16/20; subject to change), they will be required to either
- quarantine for 14 days upon return to Maine, or
- quarantine until receiving a negative test result. The test must be taken either:
- in the state you are visiting and no more than 72 hours prior to your return to Maine, or
- once you return to Maine.
Any staff or students who have travelled to restricted states will not be permitted inside the school building until either the negative test result or 14 days has occurred.
This is not dependent on the length of time spent within the restricted states, meaning that a day visit still requires any person to quarantine for 14 days or until a negative test result is confirmed. All members of the household who travel must test or quarantine if over 12 months old. Testing site information for Maine can be found https://www.maine.gov/covid19/restartingmaine/keepmainehealthy/testing.
Any person who is quarantining should stay home, and not have in-person contact with others unless there is an emergency.
Please stay safe, and help us to keep our school community safe and able to provide for the students we serve.