BUCKFIELD — The board of directors of Regional School Unit 10 will make changes to class schedules at their Feb. 22 meeting in response to complaints from parents about remote learning.

Superintendent Deb Alden told directors at their meeting Monday night that parents whose children are in school only two days a week have “a lot of concerns” about remote learning the other three days.

“If it’s a hybrid model, it’s the off days and concerns for how much work the student has or how much contact they have remotely,” Alden said.

“Everybody has been working hard on (remote education) and I think the biggest frustration is we don’t reap, for as hard as we work, every one of us, be it teachers, administrators,” she said.

Throughout the pandemic, Wednesday classes have been remote for all students.

The board will consider making changes to that arrangement and lengthening the school day, possibly switching from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. back to 7:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Hartford Director Chad Culleton said he was “concerned about the amount of time teachers are spending to get (remote classes) up to par.

“I would really like to see us have some consistency on what the expectations are for remote learning,” he said. “We’ve seen kids with 30 minutes (or) 45 minutes of actual instruction in a day; we need to get those standards up while also getting the work load for the teachers down.”

Ryee Hagelin has been hired to work with Buckfield Junior-Senior High School and Hartford-Sumner Elementary School students who are learning entirely at home. Her job is to facilitate communication between parents and staff. Submitted photo

In other business, Alden updated directors on school closures due to COVID-19.

Rumford Elementary School remains closed to classes. “This is really due to exposures and quarantined staff,” she said, not because people in the building spread it.

Mountain Valley High School in Rumford is in a “technical outbreak status,” Alden said, meaning there have been three people who tested positive within a span of four weeks. The state Center for Disease Control has said that although schools may be considered in outbreak status no school building closure is necessary, Alden said.

Buckfield Junior-Senior High School’s middle school students are quarantined for the week. “The staff has to quarantine because one of the class pods is quarantining and that exposed the teachers,” Alden said. “If all of the teachers are in quarantine then they need to teach remotely because we don’t have five subs that can come in and take care of that.”

Buckfield Junior-Senior High School Principal George Reuter told directors the high school and Hartford-Sumner Elementary School have added an educator to work with students in a “fully remote position.”

Ryee Hagelin was hired in January to work 28 hours per week, “helping to facilitate communication between the classroom and the home,” Reuter wrote in an email Tuesday.

For the Buckfield school she works with “a group of fully remote students that were identified by teachers and staff as needing some extra support,” Hagelin wrote in an email Tuesday. “With the elementary students, I spend more time working with parents and teachers to help keep the student connected, and improve the successfulness of remote learning. My position allows for teachers, students and parents to have just one contact person who will help keep the lines of communication open and flowing.”

The district also employs remote learning liaisons at its four schools in Rumford and Mexico.

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