POLAND — Kindergarten and elementary school students in Regional School Unit 16 will have the conditional option to continue remote learning this year.

RSU 16 administrators plan to keep a remote learning option for the coming academic year for students through sixth grade, “who are determined to be medically unable to attend school in person because of the risk of exposure to COVID-19.”

In a recent letter to staff and families, administrators said the remote learning program, a continuation of the district’s Virtual Learning 5 option, will only be available for the coming school year.

“It will not extend beyond that,” according to the letter from Superintendent Ken Healey and Assistant Superintendent Amy Hediger.

Their letter stated, “the district believes strongly that the best instructional environment for students to learn is offered in our classrooms.” Healey and Hediger added they’re excited to return to normal days and hours for all students.

But, the letter noted, “a few students” who are especially vulnerable and cannot be vaccinated because of their age, may face a greater risk than their classmates if they attend in person.

Determination about eligibility will be made by educators after parents or caregivers make a request for consideration for their children to learn remotely. Those requests are due to the school principal by Aug. 10.

Healey and Hediger said that in weighing requests, “the district always has the goal of having students attend in-person instruction as the least restrictive environment.” But it recognizes that may not be possible for every child.

RSU 16 serves Poland, Mechanic Falls and Minot, with an elementary school in each town and a middle school and a high school, both in Poland.


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