March 21, 2020
On Thursday, March 19th I emailed the community with an update on MSAD 35’s plan to manage the COVID 19 pandemic. As part of the update, I also said that I would keep the community informed of our future plans. Taking into account the current Center for Disease Control recommendations, in conjunction with Governor Mills declared State of Civil Emergency, I am emailing tonight to notify the district that MSAD 35 will continue distance learning through at least Friday, April 17th, 2020. April vacation is scheduled to occur the week of April 20th through the 24th.
A number of questions have been asked in regards to our school calendar. For clarity, distance learning days count toward the state requirement of 175 total student days. In addition, the Maine Department of Education is providing great flexibility due to the current crisis, and has allowed schools the opportunity to build our schedule around our Continuity of Education Plan which was approved by our School Board on Wednesday March 18, 2020.
Therefore, MSAD 35 will request that Monday, March 16th and Tuesday, March 17th are both counted towards our state required 175 student days, as both were used to develop and begin the implementation of our Continuity of Education Plan. Once the District receives DOE approval, I will update the district calendar and share that information with all of you. At this point, we are still planning on holding Marshwood High School graduation on Friday, June 5th, 2020. I have had a number of Class of 2020 parents and students reach out to me; as a district we are committed to find ways to honor all of our seniors and celebrate their accomplishments during a very unique time.
Beginning Monday, March 23rd, all school and district offices will be open from 8:00am to 12:00pm for the necessary pick up and drop off of materials. In order to comply with Governor Mills and CDC guidelines, we will be reducing the number of staff members in the District’s offices. All of our office staff will be working remotely when not in the building, and we do not anticipate any breaks in service. If there are questions, staff members will be available to answer the phones at each building to assist the community.
Finally, I need to express my thanks to our district staff. This is something that is foreign to most of us and they have worked tirelessly to create a new curriculum delivery format in a very short window.
I want to assure all of you that the district staff is hoping to return to school as soon as possible, but the safety of our staff, students and community must be the priority at this time. Thank you for your understanding. I truly appreciate our community’s outpouring of support and know this has created challenges for many of our families. Together we will navigate these uncharted waters.