Maine Department of Education continues to work with educators and health experts from across the State to develop health markers and corresponding plans to ensure the safe return to classroom instruction. As this work develops, the Department is seeking input from additional stakeholders from across the State, and will release a survey on July 6.
On June 11, 2020 the Department of Education released the first draft of a framework to assist school administrative units (SAUs) in developing their plans and determining their capacity to meet the national CDC guidelines for safely returning to classroom instruction. This draft framework will continue to evolve and will be developed based on science and community health markers.
The framework was created with input from a diverse group of stakeholders, and included education and health experts, students, parents, education advocates and leaders. We have worked with a research organization to develop a survey through which educators and support professionals, education leaders, and families of students can provide comment and share their opinions on the 2020-2021 school year and possible models and needs for a safe return to classroom instruction.
Four different surveys have been created, specific to the role of the person completing the survey, including: 1. Teachers and educational technicians; 2: School or SAU leadership; 3: Specialists and student support staff or 4. Family member. The surveys will be available at https://www.maine.gov/doe/fall2020survey beginning July 6 through July 12. The Family Survey is available in 11 languages.
The data and feedback will be compiled by the research group and considered by the team who will continue to revise the framework over the next month. While these surveys will provide a snapshot at the state and county level, many superintendents have asked for and are reviewing their own community-specific information, which will inform the work of their Collaborative Planning Team in developing instructional plans that will be responsive to risk levels.
Your participation in these surveys is greatly appreciated in preparation for the next school year. Our fervent hope is that our continued trends in the battle against COVID-19 here in Maine will allow our schools to resume classroom instruction for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, as our schools serve as a stabilizing force for our communities, students, families and the economy. Yet, it is prudent at this time to both hope for the best, and prepare for many possible scenarios.