To: MSAD 15 Community
From: Craig King, Superintendent
Date: March 15, 2021
Re: Back-to-School Message
As you are aware, there has been a great deal of publicity in the news regarding getting back-to-school. Please allow me to provide an update on what this all means for achieving our goal of getting all students back in-school, in-person, five days a week.
What are the Maine Center for Disease Control (MeCDC) and Maine Department of Education (MDOE) guidelines we have been following school-year for 2020-21?
- Compulsory Mask/Face Coverings
- Physical distancing of six feet for adults; three feet for students
- Daily symptom screening
- Hand hygiene
- Use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
- Students must eat their meals at least six feet apart
What are the newest changes we have received from MeCDC and MDOE as of this date?
- Everyone on school grounds must wear masks/face coverings at all times both indoors and outdoors unless they are alone in a closed vehicle or room.
- Quarantine for illness, travel, and exposure has been reduced from fourteen days to ten days.
- Employees who are vaccinated are exempt from domestic travel quarantine requirements.
- There are a wide variety of changes regarding athletics and other co-curricular activities that we are sorting out and making decisions.
- Indoor and outdoor gathering limits have increased.
What are the issues to be resolved to get students back to school in-person more often?
- We must have a three-foot distance between each student. We can do this in the majority of our classrooms. We have to develop solutions for classes where this isn’t possible.
- We are still required to have six-feet between students during meal time. This is still a major obstacle. Warmer weather may allow us to feed more students outside and alleviate this situation.
- The number of staff who have been vaccinated is steadily increasing. As of today, roughly 50% of our staff have been vaccinated. Once vaccinated, it takes 28-42 days for the vaccination to take full effect.
- Most of our classrooms have tables. We are procuring desks (through Federal grant dollars) to replace the tables to help us place more students in classrooms within the distancing guidelines.
We will have a School Board meeting on April 7, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. There will be a comprehensive presentation on the status of MSAD 15 Schools as we work to getting all students, in-school, in-person, five days a week. I encourage you to tune in for the most up-to- date, accurate information.
I know this has been a difficult year for students, families, and employees. With a little more patience and continued vigilance, we will get our students back to a more normalized school experience sooner rather than later.