April 8, 2020
Dear Staff, Parents, and Community Members:
Last evening we received correspondence from Commissioner Makin that she is recommending, with the support of the Governor, that we begin our planning to continue remote learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. This decision is based on US CDC guidance that recommends an 8 to 20 week timeframe for avoiding large group/in-person instruction once there is evidence of community transmission of COVID-19. This announcement means that, together with other districts in Maine, R.S.U. 67 will continue with our current status of remote learning for the remainder of the school year.
Staff members in each of our schools are developing plans to distribute learning materials for the remainder of the year. In addition, arrangements will be made to return personal items that were left in the schools prior to our extended school closure. Details will be shared with you as soon as they are available.
Our teaching staff in each school is developing a plan for student success regarding feedback and grading, based on the premise that we will do no harm to students. I want to assure you, that students in good standing prior to our closure on March 13 will move to the next grade level for the 2020-2021 school year. In addition, staff at Mattanawcook Academy is developing plans to honor our great graduates of the Class of 2020.
We will continue to provide a nutritious breakfast, lunch and snack to all children 18 years old or younger. Starting next week in order to minimize the number of times families and employees need to be out, we will adjust our schedule to Mondays (three meals) and Thursdays (four meals). We will continue to operate all three sites: Mattanawcook Academy, and the municipal lots in the towns of Chester and Mattawamkeag.
Last week Dr. Nirav Shah said, "I recognize that these are difficult, disorienting and unsettling times. A lot of us don't feel ok with all of this disorientation. It's ok not to be ok. For many of us, we live in a world where science fiction right now is actually a scientific fact. Speaking for myself, there are times when it feels like we are living in a dream. One of those situations where you wake up in the middle of the night and you're not quite sure whether what happened the day before was real or some figment of your subconscious. It's almost as if we're living in a movie written by our literary friend up in Bangor. But, unlike a dream, where your subconscious is in control or a work of fiction where the author is in control, we are in a situation where we are in control. Even though it may not feel that way. We are the ones who are writing the script right now and we get to right the ending ourselves."
I want to thank the entire R.S.U. No. 67 community for doing their part to flatten the curve and their heroic efforts to take care of one another.
Jean Skorapa, Superintendent of Schools