January 14, 2021
Dear Staff, Students, and Families:
The Brunswick School Board is working on increasing in-person learning time for Brunswick students. To help inform the Board in this work, the Brunswick School Department has provided the Board with statistics around current transmission rates at schools, current numbers of students in remote vs. in-person learning, and other information they may need. To learn more about what the Brunswick School Department is doing to fully reopen our schools, and to view the current statistics, you can review our presentation to the Board at https://www.brunswicksd.org/page/covid-19-response
In addition, Maine CDC Director, Dr. Shah, and the Maine DOE Commissioner have both relayed they do not see widespread transmission of COVID-19 in Maine schools, despite increased community spread. This good news is no doubt attributable to the hard work and vigilance of parents, families, students, teachers, and school staff – all working hard to follow the safety protocols to keep transmission low.
In fact, Dr. Shah recently stated: “One of the findings of the pandemic that to an extent has been surprising, and in a good way, has been the fact that owing to the hard work of teachers, staff, faculty members, as well as students and parents, at schools there has been remarkably little transmission of Covid-19 in schools.”
I wanted to reach out to the community on this topic because our ability to reopen schools hinges in many respects on our community’s willingness to continue their own vigilance around physical distancing, hygiene and disinfecting health screening and monitoring, and the use of personal protective equipment, such as a mask. Schools don’t exist in a vacuum. They are just another part of our community trying to grapple with the need for in-person connections.
The Board will be holding a workshop on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, at 7:00 pm. This meeting will be held virtually and will also be streamed via Facebook Live. We will share the meeting information as soon as possible.
As a reminder, our current Data Dashboard showing our current State of Maine school cases can be found at https://www.brunswicksd.org/page/covid-19-response
In the end, the only way to fully reopen our schools while we wait our turn to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is with the backing of the community – its citizens, families, visitors, and businesses – to continue to adhere to safe practices.
Phillip J. Potenziano, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools