FARMINGTON — A survey of parents found that of the 53% responding so far, 84% said they would send their children back to school under the current coronavirus pandemic conditions, Regional School Unit 9 directors were told Tuesday night, July 14.

Meeting via Zoom, directors received an overview from Superintendent Tina Meserve of a district committee’s progress in developing plans for the upcoming school year.

Five subcommittees, consisting of teachers who volunteered, are surveying district staff and parents. The data collected will assist with developing the three state-required models for returning to school: remote learning only, in-person classes only, and a combination of both.

So far, the subcommittees have received a response from 53% of parents asking if they would send their children back to school under the current status of COVID-19. Of those respondents, 84% said they would.

Parents were also surveyed about transportation. Fifty-four percent of those responding said they could arrange their own transportation for their children.

Utilizing alternative transportation is of particular importance to the district because social distancing will not be possible for the number of students who use buses.

Additional surveys show that 88% of students have reliable internet access, and just under 70% of kindergarten through fifth grade students have access to a device for remote learning. These figures may change as subcommittees receive more responses.

Meserve said teachers are also being surveyed for their preferences for the upcoming school year.

“There’s a good chance we’ll have some remote and on-site options,” Meserve said.

Meserve also addressed the Black Lives Matter movement because numerous students and staff are involved with it. The superintendent plans to initiate training and collaborating on the issue.

Joel Smith, assistant principal at Mt. Blue High School, gave a presentation on Building Assets, Reducing Risks. The BARR program strengthens relationships and communication between high school staff and students to ensure the well-being and retention of students.

Mt. Blue High School Principal Monique Poulin has written a grant application for $150,000 to bring the program to the school.

The board also reviewed revisions to RSU 9’s graduation requirements and field trip policy. There will be a second reading of both documents at the next meeting Aug. 11.

The board approved the nomination of Angela LeClair of Wilton as chairwoman and Jeffrey Harris of New Sharon as vice chairman.

The board also said goodbye to board member Tami Labul of Farmington, whose term has ended.

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