July 24, 2020 – Opening School

July 24, 2020

TO:  Calais School Department Faculty, Staff, Students, Parents, and Community

FR:  Ron Jenkins, Superintendent

While I wish that I could give you a clear and definitive report on our return to school in the fall, however, at this time it is proving difficult.  We have had a team of Administrators, School Nurses, Faculty Members, Custodial Staff, and School Committee Members working on a draft plan for returning to school in the fall since early in July.  As you might expect, many different scenarios have been discussed.  The process is complicated by often changing data from CDC and the State to lead the decision.  We hope to complete the draft plan early in August and present it to the School Committee for approval and adoption.

What I can tell you of our progress follows:

  • We expect to open school for students early in September
  • The opening plan will offer in classroom instruction but may need to provide some virtual instruction
  • The current CDC and Maine Department of Education framework for opening schools has two key requirements, both of which are difficult to accomplish
    • Masks must be worn by all staff and students (mask breaks must be provided)
    • Social distancing must be in place
  • We have discussed ways to accomplish the above two requirements and have requested permission to modify the mask requirement, but at this time have been given no alternative permissions.
  • The Committee is committed to opening school in the fall for all students, but believes that our first priority is the safety of our students.

We understand the uncertainty of this situation is very difficult for families and we appreciate your patience.

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