SchoolReturnUpdate

Back to School Synopsis
Posted on 09/03/2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,

With the first day of school just around the corner the schools have been bustling with activity as the faculty and staff prepare to greet the students on Tuesday. The staff are excited to meet the children and begin a new school year.

Unlike past years, this year’s opening brings new regulations and structures that are a disruption to the way we have been able to operate in the past. I wanted to share with you some key points that need to be emphasized as we return.

● Students and staff will need to wear masks at all times with the notable exceptions of during snack and meal times and when they are appropriately spaced while outdoors. The students will be provided mask breaks throughout the day. In addition to any mask you provide your student, they will be provided masks from the school which they will receive on their first day. It is important students wear clean masks each day. Masks and face coverings should fit securely above the mouth and below the nose. Face coverings such as a bandana that is not secure both above the nose and below the mouth cannot be worn in school or on the bus.

● Prior to boarding the bus or drop-off, Parents/Guardians will need to complete a self-screening assessment daily for their child to check for symptoms of COVID 19. If your student exhibits one or more of the symptoms listed below, they should not go to school. In this event, Parents/Guardians should contact a District School Nurse, by calling their child’s school.
Daily self-assessment questions:
  • Have I been out of the state in the last 14 days?
  • Do I or have I been living with anyone who is sick or quarantined?
  • Do I or have I been around anyone exhibiting these symptoms within the
  • last 14 days:
  • Do I or have I had a loss of taste or smell?
  • Do I or have I had shortness of breath?
  • Do I have a fever or feel feverish?
  • Do I have a cough or sore throat?
  • Do I feel unwell today?
● This year busing will be different because we are limited to the number of students we can put onto a bus. The standard rule will be one child per seat, and only children from the same household should be doubled up. Because of the limitation of seating on the buses any change in transportation request must be made well in advance and will only be honored if there is available seating on the bus. In the past we have been able to accommodate last minute
changes and alternative drop offs, this year we cannot. Our bus runs have been based on the physical address we have on file and the conversations that have been had with the school and bus company. Please do not count on our bus transportation to accommodate last minute changes.
● You will receive information from your schools regarding pick up and drop off procedures. This year, because of the restrictions we are under, morning drop off cannot happen until 7:30 am. I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause, but because of the restrictions that are in place, students should not be dropped off prior to 7:30 am.

● With both a hybrid return (Bucksport Middle School and Bucksport High School) and a full remote option available to students and families we will employ new technology, in order to provide synchronous learning we have installed polycom systems in the classrooms so remote students can participate in real time with their classmates. As with any new technology there is a steep learning curve as we begin implementation. Please be patient with us as we work
through the learning curve. The polycoms have been installed in the classrooms and the teachers have had just a couple of days to learn how to use the systems and to work the kinks out of the process. I am sure we will have a few hiccups to start, but we will learn from the challenges and improve as we go.

We will be using the last few days, prior to opening, to tie up loose ends in anticipation of the students returning. Regardless if students are in person or remote it will be good to return to school, connect with classmates, and return to teaching and learning. I know letters have been mailed out from the schools containing important information, virtual open houses have been recorded and posted on the website, and the bus schedule has finally been completed and published. It is time to ring the bell and open the new school year.

Respectfully, 
Jim Boothby, Superintendent

Parent Guardian Contact Letter 090320.pdf