The first two-week report for all Maine school districts Aug. 14 showed no changes in protocol as schools finalize plans for the school year. The Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor Community School District school committee approved its reopening advisory committee’s recommendations Aug. 12 for a model supporting the return of all students and for families opting for distance learning only.
“We want to do all we can to get information out to folks,” said Boothbay Region High School Principal Tricia Campbell. “What we need now is for parents to work with their students to look at what the choices are and to complete the ‛Parent Commitment Form.’” It will help administrators plan transportation, educational and instructional schedules as well as mitigation of arrivals and dismissals, health and safety planning, distance learning preparation and school or grade cohorts. The form asks for a commitment to at least the first quarter at BRES (ending Nov. 6) and the first semester at BRHS (ending Jan. 22). The form is due by Friday, Aug. 21.
Boothbay Region Elementary School Principal Shawna Kurr said the schools are prepared to return 100% of students to the classroom which is why the CSD is starting the year out as a hybrid model with cohorts – BRES by class and BRHS in two. Pre-K will attend Monday through Friday with early dismissal on Wednesday, kindergarten through eighth grade all week except distance learning on Wednesday, and BRHS Cohort #1 on Monday and Thursday and Cohort #2 on Tuesday and Friday. Except for some cases with students who have individualized education programs (IEP), K-12 will be distance learning on Wednesdays so teachers can prepare for distance learners and for professional development. On each BRHS cohort’s off days, students will be distance learning.
Except for pre-K students, those opting for complete distance learning will enter a virtual academy facilitated by BRES and BRHS faculty. K-5 students will use Calvert Learning and 6-12 will use Courseware five days a week. All students will have synchronous offerings – real time instruction with teachers and classmates. Offerings for BRES students include morning meetings and read-alouds and offerings for BRHS students will include advisory meetings and science labs; some material will be prerecorded and prepared material, and all students will have real time access to social and emotional learning supports.
When administrators and the reopening advisory committee know all families’ commitments, the CSD school committee will decide on the more detailed plans. After approval, the two schools will host a single informational night.
Since a typical school day will look different, school nurses will provide instructions on the many protocols students and staff will need to observe throughout the day such as daily screenings before boarding buses/entering school, social distancing and use of masks or face coverings.
Everyone is expected to keep six feet from others when possible and students will keep at least three feet from one another. Students will be required to keep at least six feet from one another during lunch and snack times since they will not be wearing masks. Gatherings in any room will not exceed state-mandated limits; however, students and staff can take off face coverings during outdoor activities that separate people by more than six feet.
All are required to get and wear coverings over the nose and mouth. Face shields extending to the chin and back to the ears are considered an acceptable alternative for those with documented medical conditions. Anyone who forgets to wear a mask or covering, cannot provide one, or soils one during the school day will be provided a disposable one by the school. Everyone will be required to wash their hands before and after boarding a bus, before entering school or the classroom, before and after eating, before and after adjusting a face covering, after using a restroom and before and after recess.
Anyone exhibiting symptoms of the virus will be required to leave campus as soon as possible. BRES is dedicating the nurse’s office as an isolation room and another room will be dedicated for day-to-day medical needs. BRHS also has an isolation room and a room for day-to-day medical needs. All spaces accessed by those who exhibit symptoms will be closed off and sanitized.
Returning to school after a case of COVID-19 will require that at least 24 hours have passed since recovery and 10 days have passed since symptoms first showed. Alternatively, if it has been 24 hours since recovery and a doctor has certified no case or suspected case of COVID-19 exists, the student or staff member may return to campus.
Refer to the reopening committee’s slide presentation from the Aug. 12 meeting, Framework document, the CSD’s “Setting Sail” document and Frequently Asked Questions sheet, the introduction videos to Calvert Learning and Courseware, the 2020-2021 school calendar, and the link to the Ruvna app. For more information, go to: https://www.aos98schools.org/