Many schools in Lincoln County will continue distance learning through the end of the school year, while some have yet to make a decision.
Damariscotta-based AOS 93, Somerville-based RSU 12, and the Wiscasset School Department, which together account for 12 towns and nine schools in the county, will continue distance learning through the end of the school year.
In AOS 98, Edgecomb Eddy School and Southport Central School will continue distance learning through the end of the year. Boothbay Region Elementary School and Boothbay Region High School have yet to make decisions.
Union-based RSU 40, which includes three schools in Waldoboro, has yet to make a final decision. Up-to-date information from RSU 2, which includes Dresden Elementary School, was not available.
Among private schools, Lincoln Academy is preparing for distance learning through the end of the year, but will return to on-campus learning if the situation changes. Up-to-date information from other private schools was not readily available.
Maine Commissioner of Education Pender Makin has recommended that schools continue distance learning through the end of the school year.
AOS 93 will continue distance learning for the remainder of the school year, Superintendent Craig Jurgensen said in a letter Thursday, April 16.
The district will continue to provide meals through four sites – Bristol Consolidated School, the CLC YMCA, Jefferson Village School, and Nobleboro Central School – through the end of the school year, according to Jurgensen’s letter.
The school year will end Friday, June 12, as planned, according to the letter.
Jurgensen said each of the district’s five schools will determine how best to continue traditional end-of-year celebrations.
The district is monitoring advice from the Maine Department of Education and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to working with LincolnHealth, to determine when it will be safe for students to return to school. Preparations are underway for the 2020-2021 school year to begin with either on- or off-site learning.
The RSU 40 Board of Directors approved a continuity of learning plan Thursday, April 16.
RSU 40 Assistant Superintendent Christina Wotton outlined the responsibilities of families, staff, and students under the document. She said the plan calls for regular communication between all parties as distance learning continues.
Medomak Valley High School Principal Linda Pease said she will confer with students and parents about graduation and related activities.
Wiscasset School Department
According to Superintendent Terry Wood, the Wiscasset School Department will continue distance learning until the end of the school year, unless the state changes its guidance.
The Wiscasset School Committee approved a plan for distance learning April 14.
The RSU 12 Board of Directors approved distance learning through the end of the school year Thursday, April 16. Director of Curriculum Deb Taylor said the last student day is scheduled to be Friday, June 12.
According to RSU 12 Superintendent Howard Tuttle, the district surveyed parents and the majority agreed with this approach.
The district delivers learning packets by bus every other Friday and teachers stay in contact with parents and students by email and phone.
The week of April 20-24 was spring vacation. “Teachers and students have been working hard and have earned a break,” Tuttle said.
Taylor said families have the choice to pick up packets at the school if they prefer.
In addition to email and phone, teachers use online options, such as Google Classroom, educational apps, social media posts, and video, to help with distance learning.
According to AOS 98 Superintendent Keith Laser, Edgecomb, Georgetown, and Southport will cease distance learning Friday, June 5, the last day of the school year.
Decisions about Boothbay Region High School and Boothbay Region Elementary School will be made Thursday, April 30.
During a special meeting Friday, April 17, the Edgecomb School Committee voted unanimously to continue distance learning for the remainder of the school year. The school committee voted to continue food service through June 12.
Edgecomb Eddy School teachers Nancy Rose and Tanya Thibault attended the meeting, conducted via the videoconference platform Zoom, and presented a proposed memorandum of understanding from the Edgecomb Education Association, the school’s teachers’ union.
The proposal included an agreement to designate three additional days after classroom instruction ends for “intensive and collaborative teacher-directed planning and reflection.” According to the proposal, the days may include collaborative plans for the next school year, reflecting on distance learning, and discussion of distance learning implementation and implications for the future.
Both the school committee and administration expressed gratitude for the memorandum of understanding and the committee voted unanimously to adopt it as written.
“I think it is wonderful, and I think it makes sure we get our feet under us for the fall,” Edgecomb Eddy School Principal Ira Michaud said.
Lincoln Academy will continue distance learning through Memorial Day, according to the Newcastle school’s website.
Kelley Duffy, the school’s director of curriculum instruction, said in a post that based on state recommendations, the school is preparing for distance learning through the end of the year, but will be ready to return to campus if the situation changes.