FARMINGTON — The Regional School Unit 9 board of directors discussed pandemic-safety protocols and requirements for summer programming Tuesday.

The board also spoke about potential learning structures for the 2021-22 school year.

Curriculum Coordinator Laura Columbia presented the “moderate approach” the district will take for summer programming for July and sports, following updated recommendations from the Maine Department of Education.

The pandemic-safety protocols will require masks indoors at this point in time. This differs from the DOE’s protocol, which is to recommend masking but not require it. Indoors, distancing requirements will be 3 feet between students while wearing masks and 6 feet during meals and snack times.

Distancing and masking requirements while outdoors have been lifted.

The district will conduct health screenings for all “students, staff coaches and visitors … prior to on-site attendance at any RSU 9 activity or event.”

The district will also continue conducting contact tracing and pool testing, where the district collects and tests swabs from groups of students in a “batch” and then identifies the positive cases via individual testing.

As for the fall, the district is “looking at a very similar return to school like we did before COVID,” Columbia said. This includes regular start times, traditional class sizes, a full return to extra and co-curricular activities, and full capacity in transportation.

A full update on guidelines for the start of the 2021-22 school year will be given at the July 27 board meeting.


The board also did a first read on changes to the Evaluation of the Superintendent policy.

The current policy only involves assessments of the superintendent’s performance by the board. The new policy would include “a summary of feedback from the administrative survey.” The administrative survey will include feedback from district administration and department heads, among others, Chairperson Angela LeClair clarified in a phone interview.

The policy would also put the Personnel and Finance Committee in charge of developing the evaluation form and writing a summary evaluation. LeClair said putting the committee in charge was done to get “more eyes and more input on it.”

Director Cheriann Harrison raised concerns about putting the committee in charge and other issues with the policy timeline. It will go back to the committee to be updated before it is read again before the board.

The addition to the policy comes in the wake of former Superintendent Tina Meserve’s resignation after she received a 91.3% union-initiated vote of no confidence by participating Regional School Unit 9 staff members.

At the time, Mt. Blue Education Association President Doug Hodum asked “the school board to carefully consider this vote and begin conversations about Superintendent Meserve’s performance over the past two-plus years, including her treatment of staff…”

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