PERU — About 60% of Regional School Unit 56 students will return to in-school learning in September, according to survey results presented to directors Tuesday by Superintendent Pam Doyen.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, all RSU 56 families were asked if they planned to send their children to school in September, have them learn online, home-school them or send them to private school.

Results from Dirigo High School and T.W. Kelley Dirigo Middle School families stated that between 55% and 65% of students will attend in-person classes, Doyen said.

“Most of our schools’ (students) are right around 30% to 35% saying they are going to take our virtual online learning through RSU 56,” she said. “Then we had about 10% that were looking at something else,  whether they were going to home-school or to private schools.”

The district includes Canton, Carthage, Dixfield and Peru.

Families who requested “hybrid or other” forms of education were also accommodated, she said, and administrators were working to prepare acceptable plans for them.


Director Natalie Sneller of Canton asked several questions, including how students would receive meals.

Doyen said breakfasts will be sent home with students the night before to eat at home the next morning. Students learning online will be able to pick up breakfasts and lunches at destined locations, she said.

In other business, Doyen said the district’s buildings have been “thoroughly cleaned and are ready to open for staff next week and students the week after.”

Dirigo Elementary School’s ventilation system already has “pretty good ventilation,” she said, while the high school and middle school’s ventilation systems will be upgraded.

“I believe that by the time that we have to close windows and turn the heat on we’ll be looking at (better quality ventilation) in all of our buildings,” Doyen said.

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