January 6, 2020
Dear Students and Families,
As we prepare to bring our students back for hybrid instruction starting on January 11th, I want to give you the most up-to-date information regarding the Maine CDC and Department of Education (DOE) recommendations for masking and social distancing, which RSU No. 67 schools are following. They were updated on November 20th, and explained to the in-person students at MJHS on November 23rd. I also shared this information in a letter posted on December 10th in anticipation of a return to hybrid instruction that didn't happen.
Please click this link for the complete DOE priority notice specifying the updated changes, paying special attention to the sections titled “Increase structure around mask breaks” and “Swapping out damp or soiled masks”. https://mailchi.mp/maine/cu5lemq6y0-1322296?e=4f16ec1299
To summarize, if students or staff are taking a mask break, or eating/drinking with their mask off, they need to face forward/the same direction and cannot talk. They also must be still, a minimum of 6’ apart, and seated if possible. Once students have finished eating their lunch, they will have an opportunity to socialize/turn-and-talk when their mask is back on as long as those seated around them also have their masks on. There is a new limitation for the total length of all mask breaks to be a maximum of 15 minutes per day in addition to the time they spend eating and/or drinking, and a single mask break is limited to 5 minutes. Mask breaks are no longer an option during free-play/recess, even if outside, unless students stand still away from others. Masks may become damp or soiled during the day, so please send your students with extra masks and baggies or containers they can use to store their washable masks if this happens. We have disposable masks and baggies at school if needed.
Another important reminder is that masks must cover the mouth and nose completely at all times, other than during mask breaks or when eating/drinking, and they must fit snuggly against the sides of the face. If a mask does not fit properly, students will be asked to adjust it or given a better-fitting mask to replace it.
In order to maintain the safety of all staff and students, these expectations will be enforced and students will be moved from in-person to remote instruction if they are unwilling to comply. I’m asking that you discuss these changes at home before sending students back to school.
We will also be adding temperature checks to our procedures for student entry into our building using non-touch digital scanning thermometers. Students will need to come inside the first set of doors for their entrance and remove any head covering and hand coverings in order to sanitize their hands and have their temperature checked before proceeding further into to building. Students are asked to patiently wait their turn at least 3' apart from others with their masks on.
If a student has not been fully remote already, and the parent or guardian has decided that they will be fully remote starting January 11th, please call 794-8935 between 7am and 3pm or email me at email@example.com as soon as possible to make sure we have time to prepare necessary materials and coordinate scheduling changes to accommodate remote instruction.
We are looking forward to seeing our MJHS students in person next week.
MJHS Interim Principal