Dear Parents, Staff, and Students,
It’s been said that for educators, August is a month of Sundays. The last month of the summer is always dedicated to preparing for the upcoming school year. That is certainly true again this year.
Last night the Brunswick School Board held a listening session on the Fall 2021 School Reopening. Nearly 50 participants shared their thoughts, and numerous others sent emails. If you were not able to attend and want to share your views, please feel free to email us at Fall2021BSDReopening@brunswicksd.org
As announced last night, I will be providing a formal reopening presentation to the school board on August 18, 2021, at 7:00 pm. At this meeting, I will provide recommendations related to current health and safety conditions. Please note these conditions are rapidly evolving, and the recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Maine CDC, Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Maine Department of Education (MDOE), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) continue to develop. However, recommendations will likely include the following topics (in alphabetical order):
The MDOE and the Maine Principals’ Association (MPA) continue to develop guidelines on athletic and non-athletic co-curricular activities.
Facilities and Sanitation
The cleaning of facilities will continue to play an important role in the health and wellness of staff and students.
Health Screening and Travel Restrictions
Health monitoring will continue to be important. The Maine Symptom Screener and travel guidelines are currently being revised.
Current Brunswick School Department practice is that staff and students must mask when indoors. Vaccinated staff do not have to mask indoors if there is no chance of interacting with unvaccinated individuals. Masking is not required outdoors. We will review this practice.
We are fortunate that once again, meals for all students will be provided free of charge. Meal protocols are still being developed.
Pool Testing is a state-recommended, optional program that enables schools to closely monitor positive COVID-19 cases in order to minimize the number of individuals who have to quarantine and disrupt their education. You can read more about the Pool Testing Program here.
Busing schedules are being developed and will be available the week of August 23. As they do every year, bus drivers will be contacting parents directly with pick-up and drop-off information.
Visitors, Volunteers, Open Houses, Parent-Teacher Conferences
It is our plan to provide in-person instruction to all students five days a week. It is also our goal to provide as many safe opportunities as possible for interactions between families and the school. Information on specific school events and opportunities will come from the schools.
The MDOE and DHHS plan to report school and district vaccination rates. Work on vaccinations for those under twelve years of age continues. The district will continue to support vaccination efforts.
As you can see, we will have a lot to discuss on August 18th. In the meantime, thank you for your patience and support.
Phillip J. Potenziano Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools