TURNER — Superintendent Kimberly Brandt hopes to decide in the next 10 days what this fall will look like for students and staff.

Maine School Administrative District 52 directors gave her permission Thursday night to weigh and implement one of three models for returning to the classroom:

• A model where one half of students attend school Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the other half attends Tuesday and Thursday and that schedule flips every week. Students going Tuesday and Thursday one week would attend Monday, Wednesday and Friday the following week.

• A model where one half attends school Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the other half attends Thursday and Friday and that schedule flips every week. Students going Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday would attend Thursday and Friday the following week.

• A model where one half attends every Monday and Tuesday, the second half attends every Thursday and Friday, and Wednesdays are a remote learning check-in day with teachers.

In all three, “the remote days will include homework, skills practice, project work but it will not include interactions with the teacher,” according to Brandt, with the exception of Wednesday in the third option.

An additional option would let parents opt for an all-remote approach.

She said Friday that she’ll spend the next week getting feedback from families on which model works best for most.

Based on limited, early feedback, she’s hearing support for the third model that keeps students attending the same days each week.

She anticipates parents will tell her it’s important to adopt the same approach for all 2,002 students in grades K-12.

“If the data says that is important for parents, then that is what we’ll do,” Brandt said.

She planned to send out a new parent survey on Friday and request responses be back by Wednesday. Brandt said she hadn’t yet had time to tally the 850-plus responses to the last survey, asking parents about their comfort level in sending kids back and how many could provide their own transportation, but has looked at the additional written comments.

“Parents just really have a lot of questions — they want to make sure children are safe, they worry about child care, but they recognize we’re in a pandemic,” Brandt said. “There were a lot of ‘thank you’s,’ which was really nice.”

Based on Maine Department of Education and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, students and staff will return wearing face masks and mask breaks will be scheduled into the day.

The board Thursday also approved hiring up to 12 additional custodians for the necessary stepped-up cleaning.

“Safety is absolutely our top and highest priority,” she said. “I feel a tremendous amount of responsibility for the health and safety of our students and staff.”

For special education students who have been negatively impacted by missing school on the social-emotional front, Brandt said she’s looking at having them attend either four or five days a week.

Brandt said her goal is to make a decision on which model to adopt between Aug. 7 and 10. She felt like waiting until the next board meeting, Aug. 13, would be too late.

“Things are moving so quickly and there’s not a lot of time,” she said. “Everybody’s worried, and I understand that, and wanting to know, ‘what is the model?’, but we need more input before we decide on that model.”


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