Southport Column: Music, school plans and more

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 11:30am

What a lovely evening this past Sunday for an outdoor gospel sing at the Southport Methodist Church. Somehow Kit and I did not get this event on our calendar, but I hear it was well attended, and even neighbors who did not specifically go to the concert enjoyed the music. More music of a slightly different variety will occur at the Pub in the Newagen Inn with Chip Schwehm playing on Thursday, August 13. The Pub will be closed on Aug. 15 and 16 but will reopen on the Aug. 17. There’s still room available for the August 18 Lobster Bake, with Dave Gagne providing music. Call the Front Desk for reservations. The Inn will be host a free movie night on Aug. 28 ... stay tuned for more details next week!

Look for an article elsewhere in this paper about Southporter and artist, Sue Kibbe, whose work is featured in an exhibition at the Saltwater Artists Gallery in New Harbor.

Also look for an article about the Rotary’s Barn Sale. Michael Pollard writes that he and wife Penny arrived on Southport July 2 and self-quarantined for two weeks. Now they are busy working at the Rotary Barn setting up and managing the Rotary Boutique that handles antiques and collectibles. Mike reminds us that Rotary funds over 30 local organizations, including the food pantry, visiting nurse, student aid fund, YMCA, and Set for Success — all of which benefit Southport residents.

He notes that they have raised almost half of the 2019 Auction revenue from Barn sales, and they hope to make up the rest over the next few months. The pandemic changed everything, but Rotarians are determined not to let it stop their service to the peninsula. Folks who wish an appointment at the Boutique should call Michael at 207-633-2577 or on his mobile at 202-669-4246.

The Southport Broadband Working Group will host an informational meeting for the Southport community on Aug. 18 at 4:30 p.m.at the Southport Central School lawn. Bring your chair and mask and social distance while hearing about the initiative to bring fiber optic high speed internet service to every Southport household.

All Saints by-the-Sea continues to film each Sunday’s service with this week being the second Sunday The Reverend Cristina Paglinauan will preach. Reverend Paglinauan comes to us from Church of the Redeemer in Baltimore, Maryland, and the organist, Mr David Brensigner is from the Holy Innocents’ Church in Atlanta, George. You can participate in this service and all previous worship services this season by going to www. allsaintssouthport.org and click on Services.

Now to the business of school reopenings. Principal Lisa Clarke sent me copies of material she has sent home to parents with much information and explanations of how school will open on Sept. 8 to be in session Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, using Wednesday mornings for remote learning as well as a respite from mask wearing. Wednesday afternoons will be staff planning times. Staff will return to school on Aug. 31.

The information is very clear that change is likely as situations change, and that current plans are only for the first trimester. Parents may choose to home school their children, but to do so they should unenroll them from public school and apply to the Maine Department of Education for homeschooling approval. Should parents be thinking of homeschooling, they should let the Southport Central School know by Friday, Aug. 21, and make the commitment to continue that homeschooling through the first trimester, which ends Friday, Nov. 20.

Since the Southport school is fortunate to have much open space out of doors, plans are in the works for as much outdoor learning as possible. Only staff and students will be allowed in the building where staff will meet the students at the door and walk them to the bus or car at the end of the school day. The rules to which we have now become accustom such as wearing masks, washing hands frequently, staying home if you are sick, and remaining the appropriate distance apart will be enforced. Students are asked to bring their own water bottle to school each day and not to share food.

Much more information is available to parents in this mailing, but perhaps we all can see from just these few words how hard the staff is working to understand the risks and to mitigate the spread of any disease so that the children can be educated in a safe environment. And the parents and children most work hard as well to understand the problems and to follow the rules. As a former teacher and school head, I applaud the work already done and know there is much more work ahead.