Dear Parents, Staff, and Students,
As Brunswick School Department prepares to return to full-time, in-person learning for all students on August 30, 2021, we must implement health and safety plans that will allow us to maintain a high attendance and participation rate. My primary objective is to minimize student and staff absences due to illness or quarantine and eliminate the need for school closures or alternate instructional formats by reducing the likelihood of transmission of the COVID-19 virus in our community.
On August 18, 2021, the School Board approved the reopening proposal developed by the District Leadership Team and our Health Provider Team. In this plan, we will implement a layered system of strategies to maximize learning for students and reduce time lost for illnesses, quarantines, or school closures, including:
1. Continue to maximize physical distancing (3’ between individuals) whenever possible, so long as it does not limit our ability to provide in-person learning to all students each school day.
2. Continue to focus on personal hygiene (frequent hand-washing, minimal sharing of supplies, proper sneeze, and cough etiquette).
3. Maintain the expectation of daily self-checks for symptoms or possible exposure to positive cases by staff members and families of students.
4. Continued use of upgraded HVAC systems to remove particles and contaminants from indoor air.
5. Continue contact tracing and quarantining as directed by the CDC/Maine for individuals who are close contacts of positive cases.
6. Implement pooled COVID-19 testing on an optional basis of students and staff – with follow-up testing of individuals and quarantining as necessary in the event of positive cases. (NOTE: MDOE has stated that students and staff who participate in pool testing will not need to quarantine if they are a close contact of a positive case.)
7. Continue to promote vaccines for students in approved age groups, with potential for vaccination clinics throughout the fall.
8. Starting on Monday, August 23, require face coverings (masks) in all indoor settings and on all school transportation for all PK-12 students, staff, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.
a. This will include a mask requirement for all participants and spectators at indoor athletic and after-school activities.
b. Allowances will be made for medically documented cases that require accommodations under Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
c. Masks may be removed when actively eating or drinking (if eating indoors, individuals are required to put their masks back on when not actually eating or drinking).
d. Staff may remove masks when alone in a classroom, office, or other space within the school.
e. At this time, masks will not be required outdoors.
As COVID-19 data is updated, this plan will be reviewed, and the Superintendent may ask the School Board to reconsider any portion of the plan on an ongoing basis, with the first review occurring no later than October 13, 2021.
The August 18, 2021, School Board presentation can be seen here.