Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year!

Dear Calais Middle/High School parents, guardians, and students:

On behalf of the Calais Middle/High School faculty and staff, I am pleased to welcome you to the 2020-2021 school year! It is with great excitement that we welcome students back into the halls of Calais Middle/High School.

With the start of the 2020-2021 school year came several challenges to meet the guidelines for Covid-19. For that reason, CM/HS will open with in-person instruction, but students will alternate days of attending in-person with at-home reinforcement activity days. Students have been split into two groups – Group I and II. A calendar, which includes all days your student(s) will attend in-person, has been included in this packet.

When you receive your same packet in the mail, it will include to which group your student(s) were assigned.

An information request form for parents was sent to parents in August. This form asked families whether students would be attending in-person for instruction or if students would be attending virtually. It also asked whether a consistent and dependable device was available at home. If you didn’t have a chance to complete the survey, please contact the front office at 454-2591 to let us know how your student will attend classes and whether a device is needed.

 

Students attending virtually will be required to “meet” with administration and parents to review the expectations of virtual attendance. This meeting can be done through zoom or another online format. For virtual attendance, students will be required to log into each scheduled class every other day on the same schedule as their assigned group. Students will be required to electronically submit their assignments on time, as assigned by individual teachers.

For students attending in-person, masks are required though frequent mask breaks will be given to students throughout the day. In addition, the Calais School Department requires parents to use the enclosed Pre-screening Tool for School Attendance each morning to check your student(s) for Covid symptoms. Please review the most common and less common symptoms list on the tool. Within the school building students will be required to follow the 3 – 6 foot social distancing guidelines during classes, transitions, and when on breaks. Students eating lunch must follow the 6 foot social distancing requirement. Additional hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the building including the cafeteria, plexiglass shields have been placed on desks in classrooms, and our custodial staff will be disinfecting our classrooms regularly as well as continuously disinfecting high contact surfaces throughout the school. The Calais School Department is currently refining district protocols for students exhibiting Covid-like symptoms at school and protocols for students returning to school after symptoms. These specific protocols will be shared soon.

The CM/HS school day start time will remain the same and begin with a homeroom bell at 7:35am. Students arriving at homeroom after this bell are considered tardy, so please be sure students arrive at homeroom  prior to the 7:35am bell. We recommend students are dropped off by 7:30am to allow time for students to go to lockers and arrive on time to homerooms.

Just a quick reminder for students to turn off cell phones and electronic devices during the school day. Students can use their phones prior to the 7:30am bell, during their designated lunch period, and after the dismissal bell at 1:54pm. Parents, who must be in contact with their students, should contact our front office, as students will not be able to check their phones until their scheduled lunch time or after school.

Dismissal times this year will be staggered to reduce crowding during transition. Please note on the student schedule student dismissal time has changed to 1:54-2:00. The slight change comes with the move to students receiving instruction from all courses each day they attend in-person and because of the staggered dismissal.

Calais Middle/High School will be purchasing water bottle filling stations. It is recommended that students have a closed water bottle for school. We are asking that students please refrain from bringing outside drinks into the building during school hours.

We are asking for parents/guardians who wish for their student(s) to take home a bagged breakfast and/or lunch for their at-home days, please complete the form found at https://forms.gle/dZr7YsataqRwzEVs8.

CM/HS families will be able to access and complete the Free & Reduce Breakfast and Lunch Forms online.  Please click the follow link to complete the form. All families need to complete a Free & Reduced form each school year. https://nlappscloud.com/Welcome.aspx?apply=1&api=f6cb414c831f9204b764c851590c28e6&op=95cc0db2bbbcbcf870c385aff06fafff#loaded If you are unable to access the form online, a paper copy can be provided upon request.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us at 454-2591.

Mary Anne Spearin

Principal CM/HS

2020-2021 Revised School Calendar

Freshmen Orientation Day –

Group 1 Calendar Qtr 1 –

Group 2 Calendar Qtr 2 –

Pre-Screening Tool –

Daily Schedule –

Brief Explanation of CSD Reentry Plan for Fall 2020

From Mrs. Mary Anne Spearin, CMHS Principal –

As the Calais School Department prepares to reopen in September 2020, there is important information we need to collect from each of our student families. We are asking for your commitment to the information you provide in this form. If you have more than 1 student at two or more of our schools, please complete only ONE form. If you run into any challenges, please contact our school’s front office for assistance. Calais Elementary School 454-2000, Calais Middle/High School 454-2591, or Calais Alternative School 454-8143. We respectfully request that families complete the forms by Friday, August 21, 2020.

Please click the following link to access the information form. https://forms.gle/33vZiqU9WGrrSdaV8

Thank you and stay safe,

Brief explanation of CSD Reentry Plan for Fall 2020-

~All students will be assigned to Group 1 or Group 2 prior to the start of school, with the exception of Head Start PreK students, who will attend in-person every day. Every effort will be made to keep all students within the same families/household in the same student group.

~All schools will open with an alternating daily schedule of In-person instruction and At-home reinforcement activities. Please refer to the sample images below.

~The start date for Group 1 will be September 14, 2020, and the start date for Group 2 will be September 15, 2020.

~Masks are required for students, but they will be provided frequent mask breaks throughout the day. Students with medical conditions that create challenges for wearing a mask may make arrangements for face shields to be worn instead.

~All staff will wear masks or face shields.

~Student desks will have plexiglass shields to aid in frequency of mask breaks.

~Students will maintain at least 3 feet social distancing.

~Parents and guardians will need to screen students for symptoms before coming to school each day. A screening checklist will be provided to parents/guardians.

~The school department will provide lunches to students who wish to have bagged meals for their at-home day.

~Child care options are being made available for those families who may not have alternative options for the at-home day.

~Parents and guardians, who wish to have their students attend virtually, will need to commit to certain guidelines for expectations including virtual attendance and classwork submissions. This arrangement must be made directly with building administration.

~Students, who may face challenges with device access, may sign out a device through the school department.

Plan to Open School in the Fall

Message From

Ron Jenkins, Superintendent of Schools

Calais School Department

Plan to Open School in the Fall

While there still are a number of details to be worked out, the following is a list of those things that have been approved by the Calais School Committee:

  • The first student day will be Monday September 14th. We expect the school day to be the same as last year.
  • Teachers and staff will return as was originally planned. Training and workshops will be held to help facilitate a smooth start.
  • There will be two options for student’s receiving instruction
    • Students may receive regular instruction in the classroom on a modified schedule (Half of the students will attend on specified days to be determined in the very near future.)
    • Students may attend virtual classes (distance learning) via an internet connection provided by the school. There will be guidelines for accessing distance learning in order to receive credit.
  • We will follow Maine CDC Guidelines for reopening school
    • Social Distancing will be observed
    • Masks will be required of all students and staff. Breaks will be required and Calais School Department Administration will work with staff to determine conditions and lengths of time they must be worn.  We are working on an alternative to masks such as shields for students that have a medical reason why masks should not be worn.
  • There will be a plan for elementary students to receive additional help and supervision at an off school site on the days that they are not scheduled for teacher to student instruction. This service will be provided at no cost to parents.
  • The rules for riding our buses will be provided very soon.

I fully understand that what we will be doing is not ideal.  We hope to be back to a more normal situation, but exactly when that can happen remains elusive.  Our primary concern remains the safety of our students.  We will never know if what we are doing is more than is necessary, but I am sure that if we do too little it will become abundantly clear.  We thank you for trusting us with your most precious children and young adults.