DIXFIELD — Dirigo High School Athletic Director Jess McGreevy told Regional School Unit 56 directors Tuesday that she’s waiting for information to learn if and when there will be fall sports.

“Right now, we still are on kind of a holding pattern, we’re waiting,” McGreevy said.

The Maine Principals Association originally said fall sports could begin Aug. 17, but then pushed the date to Sept. 8 and “now it got pushed back again to Sept. 14,” she said.

The MPA is working on guidelines that satisfy the Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ community sports guidelines, McGreevy said. “I think it does look very likely that we’ll be able to offer some sports this fall but I think it will also look different; like I think we’ll have to limit our crowd sizes, it looks like,” she said.

The board of directors also heard from Director of Technology Brian Keene, who said he and other Technology Department staff distributed a quarter to a third of their computer devices Tuesday to remote learners “and some of our middle school kids came and got theirs today.”

Keene said he hoped the prekindergarten devices will be received before they start school Monday.

The district has hired Jared Hodgkins as an information technology specialist to work at the Middle School for a year to help support online virtual learning.

Each of the three schools, Dirigo Elementary in Peru and Dirigo middle and high in Dixfield, will have technology specialists on site, Superintendent Pam Doyen said. The positions are paid with government money earmarked specifically for needs caused by the pandemic.

Doyen gave the board a breakdown on the percentages of students attending classes in person and online.

According to a survey of families, about 66% of Dirigo High School students chose in-school classes and 19% chose online. Seven are going to a private school or and online academy, Doyen said.

Responses from parents of T.W. Kelley Dirigo Middle School students showed 58% chose in-person learning and 26% chose virtual. At Dirigo Elementary School, 54% opted for in-school learning and about 27% virtual.

Kindergarten through grades six and grade nine began classes Tuesday; grades seven, eight and 10 through 12 began Wednesday. Prekindergarten students will start school Monday.

The district includes Canton, Carthage, Dixfield and Peru.


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