Newcastle’s Lincoln Academy has announced a tentative plan to return to school in early September, likely under a hybrid model that combines distance learning and in-person instruction.
In a newsletter sent to parents Tuesday, July 28, Head of School Jeffrey Burroughs laid out three different plans that have been developed for the autumn trimester, in accordance with Gov. Janet Mills’ recommendations for returning to school.
One plan is for all distance learning, one for the hybrid model, and one for all in-person instruction.
An FAQ document on LA’s website states that the hybrid model is the most likely method, given the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 public health crisis. This will allow flexibility for the school to transition to all distance learning or all in-person learning, depending on how the situation develops.
All direct instruction will be conducted through Canvas, the school’s virtual learning platform, where work will be assigned and submitted. Students will be expected to engage in virtual learning every day during school hours, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and attendance will be taken.
The hybrid model will include at least one day on campus each week for all students, with the schedule to be determined. Students’ schedules will be staggered so that the campus does not become too crowded at any one time.
The in-person days for each student will focus on individualized student support, adviser meetings, and mentoring as a supplement to distance learning.
The school year is expected to begin between Sept. 8 and 11. Prior to this, an orientation and a “technology boot camp,” which will prepare students for online learning, will be held between Aug. 31 and Sept. 4.
Students will be graded on the standard 100-point scale; not on a pass-or-fail system.
LA is taking several precautions to prevent COVID-19 transmission on campus. Everyone will be required to wear a face mask on campus, shared tables will be replaced, visitor access will be restricted, airflow will be increased throughout school buildings, and hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations will be available.
The FAQ document also states that the school expects fall sports practice to begin Sept. 8 and competition to begin Sept. 18, the dates set by the Maine Principals’ Association. LA is waiting on the association for more detailed guidance about fall sports.
LA planned to hold a public meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, July 29 for parents to discuss the return to school.
The FAQ document can be viewed at lincolnacademy.org/fall-2020-back-to-school-guide.