This plan was developed with the overarching goal of providing engaging and rigorous instruction to all RSU 16 students.
- RSU 16 believes strongly that the best instructional environment for students to learn is offered in our classrooms.
- We are planning for all schools across grades PreK-12 to open with 5 days a week of instruction (4 half days as usual for our PreK program) for all students following our normal school hours per the approved calendar.
- RSU 16 will be offering a fully remote learning program (ReeL) to only those students in K-6 who are determined to be medically unable to attend school in person due to the risk of exposure to COVID 19 because a vaccine is not yet available for children age 2-11. RSU 16’s remote learning program will only last the 2021 - 2022 school year. It will not extend beyond that.
- We will continue to follow all current and future Maine Department of Education and Maine Center Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance by updating our Return to School plan.
- Physical distancing of 3 feet is strongly recommended when possible for PreK-12 schools and adult education programs.
- Schools will be strongly encouraged to participate in the pooled testing program to protect those students for whom a COVID-19 vaccine has not yet been authorized. RSU 16 will participate in pooled testing in the fall. More details about pooled testing, including how parents give consent, will be in future updates.
- We will continue our social-emotional, academic and instructional focus for accelerated student learning, with hiring 7.5 additional staff using ESSER 3 funds. Also, given we are unable to predict the future, we want to make sure we continue to be prepared to meet whatever changing conditions may occur until we are sure the pandemic is finally over.
- The State of Maine will follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (U.S. CDC) updated face covering guidance, which recommends that: all people, regardless of vaccination status, wear face coverings in indoor, public settings in areas with “substantial” or “high” levels of community transmission (map to show transmission); and all teachers, staff, and students in K-12 schools wear face coverings, regardless of vaccination status or community transmission level. Consistent with Maine’s recent approach to COVID-19-related policy and the expiration of the State of Civil Emergency, these changes are recommendations, not requirements.
- All staff and students in grades 7-12 will be required to wear a mask. This requirement will be reviewed each month at the School Board meeting.
- All staff and students in PreK-6 will be required to wear a mask until a vaccine is available for ages 2-11. Once the vaccine is available for ages 2-11, PreK-6 staff and students will continue to wear face masks for 60 days.
- Per the US CDC order related to transportation, all people on public or private school-provided transport, including buses and vans, are required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. How to Wear and Take Off Your Mask and Your Guide to Masks
- Vaccinated staff or students who are deemed a close contact to a positive case and who are asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) are not required to quarantine. Please make sure your vaccination record is on file with the school nurse.
- We anticipate that our youngest students, ages 4-11, will not have access to approved COVID-19 vaccine(s) until Fall.
- The Maine CDC’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for responding to COVID-19 cases in schools will continue to be required for schools to follow. As updates are made, we will notify the community at large and the updated document will be available on the same website, found here.
- Under the Department of Health and Human Services Declaration of Public Health Emergency (July 28), RSU 16 will comply with the requirement for school administrative units to report the rates of COVID-19 vaccination among school staff serving students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
This plan was approved by the RSU 16 School Board on August 9, 2021.
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