Dear Parents and Guardians,
Here we are headed into another school year. We all have our ideas of what the first day of school is like… new shoes, specially fixed hair, backpack with supplies to be ready for lots of learning, teary goodbyes, moms driving behind the bus as it carries children to school for the first time… This year will look a little different, probably even a lot different, but the school staff is more than ready for students to fill our building. The school has been silent and empty for far too many months. This year, we will all be looking for familiar faces that are partially hidden behind masks, because that is one of the conditions of our reopening. We must all wear our masks in the building. When eating inside, we will need to have 6 feet of separation. The plan is actually for kids to put their lunch tray on a larger tray and “picnic” outside or even on the floor in the classroom if the weather isn’t cooperating! Handwashing is looking more like an artform that we will be practicing many times throughout the day. Students will be able to remove their masks outdoors if they remain physically distant from each other. Teachers are planning to do as much instruction outdoors as possible! We are doing things differently this year in many ways so that we may be together for another year of learning. The possibility is real that we may be forced back to remote learning if the spread of the Covid 19 virus is too widespread in our county. We are counting on the population doing their part so that we can do our teaching in the way we are really meant to.
In the past, we all would push through signs of illness, because we didn’t want to disrupt the routine. That will have to be different for staff and students this year. We are asking everyone to do a health screening every morning. If anyone has any symptoms present, it is imperative that the individual stay home. We are abandoning our push for great attendance in the face of this situation. Parents, please arrange a back up for childcare if you will need it, including a plan for if your child develops symptoms during the day. Children will have to be home if they have symptoms or have been potentially exposed to a risk. We will have a nurse on site for the start of each day to deal exclusively with Covid related issues, including screenings. Screenings are not planned for every student every day, so adherence to the self-screening process is crucial.
There are individuals with allergies in our school this year, so food brought into the building needs to be nut and peanut free.
This is a link to the district’s plan for operation during the virus: http://rsu34me.apptegy.us/o/rsu-34/page/covid19--2
This letter will also be posted on the school website to make opening the links easier!
Please keep in mind that new guidelines are published almost weekly that will impact our actions at school. I will inform parents of changes as they occur. Please remember to make sure we have your contact information at all times! If it changes, please put us on your list of priority notifications.
If we look, there are usually silver linings in difficult situations. A silver lining here is the addition of staff and lots of new students! We are all very excited to share our special little school with new families. It will be a different year, but I am eager to get started and let the learning begin!
At any time, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. Happy news is welcome too! 😊
Here’s to a successful school year!
Cheryl J. Leonard