DIXFIELD  — Regional School Unit 56 will receive $2.68 million for elementary and secondary school emergency relief due to the pandemic, Superintendent Pam Doyen wrote on the district’s web and Facebook pages this week.

The federal American Rescue Plan aid is meant to address diverse needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, including aid in students’ social, emotional, mental health and academic needs. Twenty percent of the funding must be used specifically to recover student academic learning loss due to the negative impact of the pandemic on students.

Two public forums are scheduled next week to discuss how the money should be spent.

“RSU 56 is currently offering summer school at all levels and will continue to do so the next few summers,” Doyen wrote in an email Friday. “We will also offer before- and after-school opportunities for student tutoring.”

“We are looking at purchasing new math, reading and (Social Emotional Learning) curriculum materials to impact student learning,” she said. “We have added additional teaching positions at Dirigo Elementary School to keep the class sizes down, which should support student growth as well as remaining in-person if social distancing and masking is mandated.”

The district has scheduled community forums from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday and from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday to share ideas regarding how the funds will be spent. The forums will be held at Dirigo High School in Dixfield.

Also available on the district’s website and Facebook page is a survey for community members to give their opinions on how they believe the money should be best spent.

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