Wiscasset School Department Superintendent Dr. Terry L. Wood announced on Jan. 27 that Wiscasset schools were going to remote learning due to COVID-19 outbreak status. With less than a day’s notice, Wiscasset Community Center shifted gears to prepare for remote learning at its facility.
Remote learning was nothing new at WCC, as they hosted 15-20 kids in the program during Wiscasset’s hybrid learning phase last year, where students went to school three out of five days.
“We are hosting kids for parents who need to work,” WCC and Wiscasset Recreation Director Duane Goud said.
Students bring their school-issued laptops and other electronic devices, and school workbooks or worksheets to the WCC. They work in the community in a quiet and safe environment.
While the WCC does not have a masking mandate, all remote learners are required to wear a mask in keeping with school policies. “We are trying to keep them safe, Recreation Program Director Chelsea Taylor said.
Taylor said many of the kids are the same ones they have in the after school program.
Eight students participated in the first day of remote learning at WCC on Jan. 28.
“We had a good response” Taylor said when WCC offered remote learning opportunities for students last year. “Some folks had no idea what they were going to do” about child care. “They really appreciate the program.”
“We have someone on site that helps them get on their classes. They put their headphones on and do their school work,” Goud said.
“We get information on their Zoom meetings,” Taylor said of helping facilitate students getting online at the correct times.
“Some parents have no child care options. They do not have relatives that live in the area,” Taylor said of the valuable service WCC offers to the community.
There is a fee for the remote learning program.
The schools provide lunch for the remote learners. A WCC staff member picks up the lunches and brings them back for the students.
Wood, in a letter to staff, students and families, said Wiscasset schools were going remote from Friday, Jan. 28 until Wednesday, Feb. 2. “We will reassess the situation on Tuesday, Feb.1, 2022, and make any further decisions regarding continuing remote learning at both schools or returning to in-person instruction.”