Regional School Unit #34 School Board Meeting Wednesday September 15, 2021 6:30pm Livestream: https://networkmaine.zoom.us/j/81642281748
4 days ago, David Walker
***Pooled Testing Update in RSU #34 Schools*** We received some much-needed supplies on Friday, and today we're setting up to greatly expand our pooled testing next week! Pooled testing will be a great way to keep more of our students out of quarantine and learning in-person. Participating in pooled testing is optional, and parents must give consent. Pooled testing is a once a week, gentle nasal swab that kids do themselves. Participants qualify for one of the four quarantine exceptions in Maine's Standard Operating Procedure for schools. If you'd like to sign your child up, or for more information, click here: tinyurl.com/yhll3f8t The week of September 20th we will greatly expand our pooled testing, but know we don't yet have the supplies to test 100% of those who've given consent. We hope supplies keep coming in, especially the rapid follow-up tests that are in short supply everywhere, so we can expand to everyone who's given consent in future weeks. Thanks for your patience - we can't wait to be at full capacity with this either!
about 21 hours ago, Dr. Jon Doty
Pooled Testing Cart
Old Town High School Students will be transitioned to Remote Learning for two days, Thursday and Friday September 16-17. The move to Remote Learning is in response to positive Covid cases and a large number of close contacts. If you or your student are identified as a close contact, you will be contacted by OTHS staff.
4 days ago, David Walker
Elementary school parents/caregivers, we seek your input! RSU #34 has some dedicated grant funds at the elementary school level, focused on engaging families in education. Please let us know your thoughts here! https://forms.gle/R9KeMuoGSDtEjkhG9
5 days ago, Dr. Jon Doty
The Penobscot River Educational Partnership is offering a series of sessions for parents on Thursdays in September. Here's where you can find more info! https://docs.google.com/document/d/16pDbhy8QLFz1epA_xPBP8l02ndP2HYyH/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=110843225618081042967&rtpof=true&sd=true
5 days ago, Dr. Jon Doty
To avoid saturating inboxes with notices, RSU #34 is shifting to posting notices of positive / likely positive COVID cases to the website. If you or your child were a close contact of a positive person, you would be directly contacted to be notified and advised of next steps. For general information about symptoms, screening processes, and where any positive cases have been detected, please visit https://www.rsu34.org/page/covid19 As always, we ask families to carefully screen students before getting on the bus or attending school, encourage signing up for optional pooled testing, and encourage everyone eligible to talk with their primary care physician about vaccination! Our students and staff are doing a great job with the transition back to school. We’ve piloted pooled testing this week, and it could not have gone more smoothly. Next week we will expand as far as we are able with our limited testing supplies. We appreciate our community-wide effort to keep kids and staff safe and learning in-person as much as possible!
5 days ago, David Walker
Dear RSU #34 Families and Staff, As you have no doubt seen in the local news, there is widespread community transmission of COVID-19. We urge all families to consider this as you make your daily and weekend plans. We know from our own and statewide data that schools are among the safest places for children to be, with layered protections such as enhanced ventilation systems, universal masking, distancing, and hand hygiene. We also encourage all who are eligible to seek another safe and effective protection, vaccination; your primary care provider can answer questions about your personal situation. This notice is to inform you that RSU #34 has identified positive or likely positive cases of COVID-19 at Alton Elementary School, Old Town Elementary School, and Old Town High School. All close contacts have been notified and advised of next steps such as quarantine, symptom checking, and testing. As always, please remember to conduct daily screening, and use our COVID hotline when you learn of a positive or likely case of COVID-19 in our school community. We thank you for your efforts to keep our schools safe and open! For general Covid-19 questions, please dial Maine’s helpline at 211 or 1-866-811-5695. Questions for your school nurse may be directed to by emailing them or by calling your school's phone number. Alton Elementary School: Nurse Vanessa Koch, vanessa.koch@rsu34.org Old Town Elementary School: Nurse CeCe Costello, cece.costello@rsu34.org Old Town High School: Nurse Jana Caron, jana.caron@rsu34.org You can also text your zip code to 898-211 or email info@211maine.org. Please call your healthcare provider with questions about symptoms. More information can be found at www.maine.gov/dhhs/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. Sincerely, David A. Walker Superintendent of Schools General Information follows: Covid-19 is a respiratory illness that may range from mild to severe. Some people may be asymptomatic (no symptoms at all,) but may still test positive. Covid-19 may be more severe in adults 60 years and older and anyone with underlying health conditions. The virus mainly spreads through droplets and aerosols, such as when an infected person coughs or sneezes and an uninfected person breathes in the virus. Signs and symptoms of Covid-19 may include: *Lower-Risk: New headache, myalgias, runny nose/congestion, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea. Any of these beyond typical (e.g., allergies). *Higher-Risk: New, uncontrolled cough. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (not exercise-induced asthma). New loss of taste or smell. Fever (100.4 or higher), chills, rigors. Sore throat. The Maine CDC recommended preventative measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. This includes: *Wearing a mask in public and increased hand hygiene measures. *Washing your hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, before and after eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. *When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. *Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with people who are sick. *Cover your cough or sneeze and disinfect your hands afterwards. *Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaner or wipe.
9 days ago, David Walker
Dear RSU #34 Community, We’ve had a great response to our pooled testing sign-ups. Choosing to participate in this optional testing will help us avoid many quarantines throughout the year. If you haven’t yet signed your child up, and wish to, please see the information below. As you’ve likely seen in the news, some COVID testing supplies are hard to get right now. At the moment, this is slowing down our implementation of pooled testing, but we see indications that some shipments could turn around soon. As of right now, we anticipate piloting pooled testing in multiple schools the week of September 13th (obviously only for those who have opted in). We will expand pooled testing from there as rapidly as possible. When supplies are scarce, we will prioritize groups where pooled testing will make the biggest impact in avoiding exposure and quarantine. Thanks for your support and your patience! More information is below. “Life is Better In the Pool” A COVID 19 pooled testing program helps enable RSU 34 to safeguard the health and wellness of students, staff, and the community. In the POOL? Stay in School….Why disrupt your family, work schedule, or student’s education? Get in the pool to stay in school. Why Participate in Pool Testing? It’s a quick and easy way to help keep staff and students safe and maintain in-person learning. Families choose whether or not to participate. Testing is completed in the classroom with the assistance of teachers/staff that are familiar with your student. Early detection and peace of mind for families on a weekly basis. Participants can avoid school quarantine and remain in school even if there is a positive test result within the close contacts of your student at school. What does the testing look like for kids: Less than 15 minutes once a week. Students self swab if they can. If not, assistance from the teacher or support staff they know. Swabbing is only in the “picking zone” or lower nostrils. Results received within 24 to 48 hours. Questions About Pool Testing? Contact our school nurses for further information or to get answers to your questions. AES/LMS Nurse: Vanessa Koch 827-3900 or vanessa.koch@rsu34.org OTES Nurse: CeCe Costello 827-1544 ext. 3605 or cece.costello@rsu34.org OTHS/VRS Nurse: Jana Caron 827-3910 or jana.caron@rsu34.org Each school has a different access code and you will need to sign up your child at other schools separately. To give consent for a student under age 18 to participate in optional pooled testing, start here: http://testcenter.concentricbyginkgo.com//minor-consent You will need to enter an access code for the child’s school. PLEASE BE SURE TO ENTER THE CODE FOR THE CORRECT SCHOOL. Alton Elementary School: PJDN15 Viola Rand Elementary School (Bradley): H52L8P Old Town Elementary School: Z1A0SE (note: the fourth character is a zero, not a capital o) Leonard Middle School: O9T2Y0 (the letter o at the beginning, zero at the end) Old Town High School: X67ZUZ You’ll answer a few questions and can give your consent online. No paper needed! If you need a paper copy of the consent, please contact your child’s school. Trouble-shooting tip - if you’re registering multiple people, and run into any troubles, it may be helpful to use a different browser for the second person. Here’s some helpful information! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1e9rftVQqQaSTFKnaoMV-o8GJaYP6dRDu/view and https://support.concentricbyginkgo.com/hc/en-us/articles/360056971972-How-do-I-provide-consent-for-a-child- All testing information is private and confidential. For students age 18 and up, please contact Nurse Jana at Old Town High School for sign-up instructions.
10 days ago, David Walker
Please be very sure to carefully conduct at-home screening every single day before attending school or getting on the bus. We're hearing from schools across Maine about quarantines that could have prevented, and we want to keep our students learning in person five days a week! When in doubt, please err on the side of caution - much better to have one child at home an extra day, then to have a bunch of classmates or teammates have to quarantine for 10 days. Don't hesitate to call your school with questions. Thanks so much for your support, RSU #34 community!
10 days ago, Dr. Jon Doty
DOE Screening Tool 20210816
Dear RSU #34 Families and Staff, This notice is to inform you that RSU #34 has identified a positive case of COVID-19 at Alton Elementary School. All close contacts have been notified and advised of next steps such as quarantine, symptom checking, and testing. As always, please remember to conduct daily screening, and contact us when you learn of a positive or likely case of COVID-19 in our school community. We thank you for your efforts to keep our schools safe and open! For general Covid-19 questions, please dial Maine’s helpline at 211 or 1-866-811-5695. Questions for the school nurse may be directed to Nurse Vanessa by emailing them at Vanessa.Koch@rsu34.org or by calling 207-394-2331 You can also text your zip code to 898-211 or email info@211maine.org. Please call your healthcare provider with questions about symptoms. More information can be found at www.maine.gov/dhhs/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. Sincerely, David A. Walker Superintendent of Schools General Information follows: Covid-19 is a respiratory illness that may range from mild to severe. Some people may be asymptomatic (no symptoms at all,) but may still test positive. Covid-19 may be more severe in adults 60 years and older and anyone with underlying health conditions. The virus mainly spreads through droplets and aerosols, such as when an infected person coughs or sneezes and an uninfected person breathes in the virus. Signs and symptoms of Covid-19 may include: *Lower-Risk: New headache, myalgias, runny nose/congestion, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea. Any of these beyond typical (e.g., allergies). *Higher-Risk: New, uncontrolled cough. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (not exercise-induced asthma). New loss of taste or smell. Fever (100.4 or higher), chills, rigors. Sore throat. The Maine CDC recommended preventative measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. This includes: *Wearing a mask in public and increased hand hygiene measures. *Washing your hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, before and after eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. *When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. *Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with people who are sick. *Cover your cough or sneeze and disinfect your hands afterwards. *Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaner or wipe.
11 days ago, David Walker
RSU #34 is proud to share the back-to-school issue of Community Connections. It can be accessed here: https://5il.co/xu1k Inside, you'll find a statewide award-winning teacher, great student and staff efforts, pictures from our summer programming, bus routes, and more! Thanks to all who contributed to the issue. Paper copies of Community Connections will arrive in mailboxes soon.
25 days ago, Dr. Jon Doty
Community Connections Cover August 2021
RSU #34 Job Opening School Nursing Team Member (e.g., RN, LPN, CNA, CMA) RSU #34 seeks to add one or more members to its school nursing team for the 2021-2022 school year. The new staff will work cooperatively with our experienced and dedicated team of school nurses to address as a team all school nursing functions, including student medications, student health care, COVID-19 precautions, rapid testing, pool testing, assisting with vaccination clinics, and contact tracing. Pay/benefits commensurate with qualifications and experience. Applicants: Visit the RSU#34 website at https://www.rsu34.org/employment-applications-and-vacancies for a Non-Teaching Application. A complete application packet must include: application, cover letter, resume, MDOE authorization, licensure information, transcripts and three letters of recommendation. Complete applications can be mailed to: RSU #34 Superintendent’s Office Attn: Angela Porter 156 Oak Street Old Town, ME 04468
25 days ago, Dr. Jon Doty
RSU #34 seeks public input, while developing its application for funds available through the American Rescue Plan / Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program. Among other details, the "ESSER" funds are intended to address the most critical and wide-spread needs caused by and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The link below takes you to an online survey, where you can share needs and ideas for impactful uses of the funds. https://forms.gle/T97HNSD5oWbPTUgB8 Please share input by September 9th. For information on how to be further involved in the planning and application process, please contact Dr. Doty at jon.doty@rsu34.org
25 days ago, Dr. Jon Doty
CLARIFICATION: The Zoom link for the RSU #34 Board meeting this evening is "View Only." The meeting is in person at the Leonard Middle School Gym at 6:30pm for those who wish to participate.
25 days ago, David Walker
August 25, 2021 Board Meeting ZOOM link: https://networkmaine.zoom.us/j/89680433121
25 days ago, David Walker
RSU #34 seeks public input, while developing its application for funds available through the American Rescue Plan / Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program. Among other details, the "ESSER" funds are intended to address the most critical and wide-spread needs caused by and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. For information on how to be involved in this process, please contact Dr. Doty at jon.doty@rsu34.org
28 days ago, Dr. Jon Doty
School Vaccination Requirements Have Changed – Are You Caught Up? Beginning September 1, 2021, under Maine Law, religious and philosophical objections to vaccination in school settings are no longer allowed, with limited exceptions. Make sure your student is up to date on their vaccinations to ensure a safe, healthy, and on time start to the school year. Make an appointment today! Frequently Asked Questions Who does this law affect? The law affects any institution that had previously allowed philosophical/religious exemptions including childcares, private and public K-12 schools, post-secondary schools, and some healthcare facilities. Which vaccines are required? Required vaccinations vary by age. Your healthcare provider can give you a list of all the required vaccinations and help answer questions. Who can give medical exemptions? A medical exemption is available to people who provide a written statement from a licensed physician (MD/DO), nurse practitioner, or physician assistant that, in the provider’s professional opinion, immunization against one or more diseases may be medically inadvisable. At Northern Light Health we now use a standard form for medical exemptions. What is a medical exemption? Northern Light Health supports the CDC/ACIP vaccine schedule and contraindications to vaccination. Who can keep their religious or philosophical exemptions when attending school? A student covered by an individualized education plan (IEP) on September 1, 2021, who elected a philosophical or religious exemption from immunization requirements on or before September 1, 2021, may continue to attend school under that student's existing exemption as long as: • The parent or guardian of the student provides a statement from a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant that the physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant has consulted with that parent or guardian and has made that parent or guardian aware of the risks and benefits associated with the choice to immunize; or • If the student is 18 years of age or older, the student provides a statement from a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant that the physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant has consulted with that student and has made that student aware of the risks and benefits associated with the choice to immunize.
about 1 month ago, David Walker
RSU #34 is finalizing its annual application for federal funding under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Our ESEA funds support academic interventions at our elementary schools, professional development at all schools, and certain efforts under Title IV related to the effective use of technology, safe/healthy schools, and providing a well-rounded education. Our strengths, needs, and goals for these funds were developed throughout the winter and spring in parallel with the local planning/budgeting process, and members of the public were invited to participate through monthly district-wide committee meetings. Before we submit the application there is another opportunity for public comment; if you're interested in learning more about the application or commenting please contact Dr. Jon Doty no later than July 31st (jon.doty@rsu34.org) Thank you for your support of our schools and students!
about 2 months ago, Dr. Jon Doty
We're excited to share the digital version of our May 2021 Community Connections! Print copies were sent to mailboxes earlier this week; you can access the digital version here: https://5il.co/t5ff Thanks to those who contributed articles and pictures!
4 months ago, Dr. Jon Doty
CC Cover May 2021
Great opportunity! The Maine Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers is offering scholarships to kids in K-8 for STEM-related summer camps. You can access the application here: https://5il.co/sjy7 (Applications must be received by June 1st) The selection criteria are based on financial need and the camper’s statement about why they would like to attend a STEM camp.
4 months ago, Dr. Jon Doty