Dear RSU34 Family,
The following message was shared by the Maine Commissioner of Education last evening:
“As you ... know, US CDC guidance recommends an 8 to 20 week timeframe for avoiding large group/in-person instruction once there is evidence of community transmission of COVID-19. I am recommending, with the support of the Governor, that Maine Schools... replace classroom/group instruction with remote/distance learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. “
This announcement means that, together with other districts across Maine, RSU34 will continue with our current status for the remainder of this school year which includes extending our homebound learning plan with teachers providing students assignments and times to connect so students can receive encouragement, ask questions, and receive help and support.
Although this is disappointing news, as we were hoping to return to school at some point this spring, It comes as no surprise and is, I believe, what must happen if we are to be successful in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
I want to again emphasize that students in good standing will move to the next grade level for the 2020-2021 school year as would normally be the case. We will also develop plans to honor our great 2020 graduates. If you are a senior and plan to graduate in 2020, please engage in the remote learning opportunities being offered. If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to any OTHS staff member, call the school or call my office.
We will also continue to offer our breakfast/lunch program and encourage anyone who is not currently participating, but would like to participate, to contact our Food Service office at 827-3908.
Please, if you are concerned with how your child is doing emotionally you can contact the NAMI MAINE HELPLINE. Their number is 800-464-5767, press 1. Here is a link to the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) which has additional hotline numbers. Their direct line is (207)287-3703. You can also use the number 2-1-1 to get general information regarding the Coronavirus outbreak in Maine.
You can continue to reach out to us at the RSU34 central office, at 207- 827-7171, or at any of the RSU34 schools. If you call any of the school offices, you may be asked to leave a message. We will return your call.
I believe in our families, our schools and our community. We are strong together. What I have witnessed over the past few weeks is nothing short of remarkable. We will continue to meet the challenges of COVID-19 the way we have overcome other challenges in our community. We will be there for one another and emerge from this experience stronger as a community. I believe that, and I believe in all of you.
Sincerely, David Walker