I am writing to the district today to inform the Marshwood community that you will all be receiving a survey, created by MSAD 35, which was developed to collect parental input with regard to returning to school in the fall of 2020. This is not a binding survey, but will allow the district to continue to develop our plans under the four scenarios that I outlined in my June letter. Those scenarios are as follows:
1. Full return to school in the fall.
2. Full remote learning in the fall.
3. A partial return to school.
4. Full return to school and then transitioning to a remote environment.
This survey will be a first opportunity for families to provide feedback for the district, as we anxiously await more details from the Maine Department of Education. Questions in the survey range from parents’ intent to have students return to school in the fall, to transportation concerns. Additional opportunities for parental feedback will follow later in the summer as the situation continues to develop. As this pandemic continues to evolve our plans will have to evolve as well. Although the State of Maine COVID – 19 numbers seem to have flattened, it is still concerning as we see numbers in other areas spiking.
Below I have provided a copy of a recent press release from the Maine Department of Education. This press release notifies stakeholders across the state that the Maine Department of Education has created a survey to gather data to better inform their work as they create a template for the return to school in the fall of 2020. The press release is as follows:
Department of Education to Release Statewide Survey to Inform Framework for Returning to Classroom Instruction
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.
Superintendent of Schools