TO THE RSU#34 SCHOOL COMMUNITY,
We continue to closely monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its public health implications. Nationwide and worldwide, public health agencies are taking action to slow the spread of this virus. In anticipation, we feel it is prudent to make responsible plans for learning and professional responsibilities should our normal school operations be interrupted. Information is rapidly emerging, so please take these preliminary actions knowing that the situation may change.
· We have postponed all large gathering events such as games and concerts
· We have cancelled and/or postponed all non-essential travel
· We have increased attention to sanitation/disinfection of all surfaces within our schools
If school closures are ordered, some or all instructional days may not be made up for students. To mitigate the loss of instruction we are exploring ways we can encourage and support learning off-campus. As a district we are gathering supplies for a low-tech remote learning kit for all students. We anticipate those supplies will be ready to send home early next week.
Staff have been actively brainstorming ways our schools can support and encourage learning off-site. We’ve heard some fantastic ideas already about ways to use technological resources to share things from read-alouds to virtual homework help, and more. We are exploring what might be possible given the age of the student and the subject matter being taught. We are working diligently to enhance our local “toolbox” of strategies that can be implemented when and if the need arises. In anticipation of individual staff absences, staff have been asked to prepare appropriate substitute plans that would be adequate for a period of up to two weeks of instruction.
We are working on plans to continue to provide for the nutritional needs of our students should schools are ordered closed. More information will be forthcoming as we refine those plans based on changes in State and Federal school nutrition regulations. If schools are closed for student attendance, RSU #34 schools will remain open and operational, with appropriate measures implemented (such as social distancing) to protect staff and community health according to applicable CDC guidelines and recommendations. Employees will continue to report to work unless instructed otherwise or work-from-home accommodations to remotely support students’ academic, social, and emotional needs are developed and approved.
You can assist in the effort to slow the spread of the virus by following these recommendations:
- Wash your hands frequently
- Cover your cough
- Practice “social distancing,” and avoid crowds
- Avoid sick people
- No unnecessary travel
- Stay home if you're sick
- Do not return to school until you have been fever free without medication for 24 hours.
- If you are sick and need healthcare, call ahead to your doctor's office for advice
We will continue to refine, and keep you apprised, of our emergency operational plans in the coming days and weeks. We, as a school system and community, possess infinite strength, creativity, and dedication when it comes to dealing with adversity. I have witnessed this repeatedly as I have served as your Superintendent. I have full faith that we will work through the details necessary to protect the welfare of our community while maintaining our commitment to our students’ educational progress.
David A. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Regional School Unit #34
P.S. We appreciate our community for your willingness to assist as we all navigate new waters! RSU #34 and the YMCA are putting out a call for those interested in volunteering or part-time employment such as substituting and/or staffing after-school programs. If you're interested, please do this brief form so we have your contact info (https://forms.gle/D4MdztdmExqfKGFq7 ). Much thanks - it takes a village!