Back to School Planning - FAQs

Fall 2020 Back to School

Included here are the most commonly asked questions and the RSU 9 response. 
**Original response and any revision dates are included after each response as information and circumstances change.**

Questions and responses are organized by the following categories: General Schedule - Hybrid Model - Remote Learning - Academic Specials - Health & Safety - School Nutrition - Out of State Travel - Additional Resources 

General Schedule

Will there be late arrival Wednesdays?
We are currently proposing no late arrival Wednesday, but we would be looking at using that time as a scheduled half-day on some Fridays throughout the year.  (8/6/20)

Hybrid Model

How will snow days or holidays impact the blue/gold hybrid schedule?
School holidays and vacations will be accounted for before the calendar is shared with families. More information on snow days will be issued as we get closer to the winter season. (8/18/20)

If a family has students in two different schools will they have the same schedule?
If students are in grades K-8, the administration will be accommodating these requests; please contact your building principal. 

If students are in grades 9-12, the same accommodations can be made; please contact your building principal. 

Unfortunately, if students cross between the K-8 and 9-12 grade spans the school schedules are so different that we cannot accommodate these requests. (8/18/20)

Do students who attend in person on Monday have fewer in person days than the other cohorts?
No, according to our calendar, they will each have an equal amount of holidays off. (8/6/20)

Remote Learning

What will remote learning look like?
Remote learning will look different for students in grades PreK-5 vs. grades 6-12. 

For grades PreK-5, remote groups of students will be assigned a remote learning teacher. This teacher will work with them in whole groups, small groups, and assign practice. The teacher will also partner with an in person teacher to ensure that essential standards are being taught in either model. 

For grades 6-12, the student will be able to have the same teachers on their schedule, and will be able to connect with the classroom via zoom. Assignments will be graded whether the student is remote or in person. (8/6/20)

What if we do not have reliable access to the internet?
We are currently acquiring hotspots to be used by families, as well as identifying areas that the community can use for internet access. If internet access is still an issue, teachers and administrators will work with families for accommodations such as paper copies, phone calls, etc. (8/6/20)

Academic Specials

Will classroom music, band, and orchestra still be taught? 
Yes, our music teachers are developing plans for both in-person and remote learners so our music curriculum can be taught. These plans will follow all CDC and Maine DOE guidelines. (8/18/20)

Health and Safety

Will children be allowed to wear their own cloth face masks?
Yes, so long as it covers both the nose and mouth, it is made with multiple (at least two) layers of fabric, and you cannot see through it if held up to a light. (8/18/20)

Gaiters, bandanas, and face masks with valves are not acceptable face coverings for use while at school by students or staff. Please view the the CDC guidance on 'How to Select, Wear, and Clean Your Mask'. (11/15/20)

There has been so much guidance about maintaining a six-foot physical distance and now we are hearing about a three-foot distance in schools. Why this change?
The guidance from the Maine Department of Education was updated for clarity on 8/12/20. While schools should aim for six-feet of distance between adults, a minimum of three-feet physical distance between students is adequate when combined with other safety measures, like masks. (8/18/20)

What screening is required by parents before putting students on the bus or dropping them off at school?
Parents/guardians should screen their children daily for illness before sending them to school and should not send them to school if they are ill. Please review this screening tool before school every morning - 'At Home Health Screening Tool for Students'. (11/15/20)

How will mask wearing be enforced?
Staff and students will be required to wear a mask. If students are refusing to wear a mask, they will be designated as remote learners for that quarter. Students who need accommodations will be made on a case by case basis and only in rare instances. (11/15/20)

How will you ensure social distancing in school?
We are currently evaluating classrooms and removing items to allow for more space for students. We are also purchasing desks that will allow students to have three-feet between them and other students. (8/6/20)

Will students be given mask breaks throughout the day?
Yes, we will schedule masks breaks when students are able to be more than six-feet apart, as well as when students are able to go outside. (8/6/20)

What happens when a student gets COVID-19? What are the procedures?
The RSU 9 Nursing and Administrative Teams have a protocol in place for when a student or staff member tests positive for the Coronavirus. The protocol is based on the Standard Operating Procedure for Investigating Covid-19 Cases from the Maine CDC and is tailored to the needs of our district. (11/15/20)

School Nutrition

Will lunch be provided for students who are full-time remote learners and hybrid learners when they are at home?
Yes, breakfast and lunch meals will be available for pre-order and pick-up Monday thru Friday between 9:30 and 10:30 at designated school locations for full-time remote learners and hybrid learners. More information is being distributed by the RSU 9 School Nutrition Program very soon. (8/18/20)

Out of State Travel

My family is planning to travel outside of Maine before or during the school year. What should we do before returning to school?
All students who travel outside of Maine before or during the school year must follow the Governor’s Executive Orders related to travel. Please refer to the 'Maine Travel Guidelines FAQ' for current information about returning to school. Families can also contact your school nurse for instructions. (11/15/20) 

Additional Resources

Where can I find additional resources for children during the COVID-19 response?
The Maine Department of Education COVID-19 resources page has an abundance of information for children and families. (8/18/20)