MDIRSS Superintendent Update - 28 July 2020

Marc Edward Gousse, Ed.D., MDIRSS - AOS #91 Superintendent of Schools

Dear Parents and Families,

I am writing to update you on our progress with planning efforts in support of our safe return to schools. Our district admin team, including all principals/directors, continues to work tirelessly to draft recommendations in support of teaching/learning in the midst of COVID-19. Additionally, we continue to work collaboratively with community partners (JAX, MDI hospital, Downeast COVID-19 task force, and others), teacher representatives, building based teams and our safe return to school advisory task force to obtain feedback and identify recommendations, resources and supports in planning for the safe return to schools.

Last week, building principals released a parent survey district wide and we are currently reviewing this feedback. This afternoon, the MDIRSS staff survey is being released by principals and this data will also be included in consideration of any/all recommendations to the AOS board.

Unfortunately, misinformation on social media regarding the 2020-201 school year is leading to speculation, confusion and frustration. To be clear, it is important everyone know that no final recommendations or decisions have been made and no decisions will be made by the administration without considering feedback and ultimately with school board approval.

Consistent with our planning framework we have scheduled the following meetings for the MDIRSS AOS # 91 School Board.

  • Thursday, August 6th - 5:30 pm AOS Board/Admin Team (in person for board/admin) workshop @ MDIHS (Auditorium) - PPE and physical distancing required. Public access to this workshop will be provided via youtube link as we must remain under the 50 person limit at all times.

  • Monday, August 10th - 5:30 pm AOS Board Meeting (in person) @ MDIHS (Auditorium) -PPE and physical distancing required. Public access to this workshop will be provided via youtube link as we must remain under the 50 person limit at all times.

At the August 6th workshop the AOS board will receive draft recommendations publicly from administration in support of teaching/learning for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Please know we remain cognizant of the need for accurate information however, I believe we would be remiss if we did not honor and follow our process allowing the advisory task force to complete its work, consider any/all feedback from surveys, and ultimately provide the community, staff, administration and school board ample time to carefully review and consider any recommendations to be provided at the August 6 school board workshop. Following that, we believe the school board will be best positioned to consider any recommendations and take action as may be appropriate on Monday, August 10th at the AOS board meeting. No determinations have been made by anyone and any assumptions to the contrary are false and without merit.

In closing, I wish to underscore my highest priority remains committed to the health, safety and wellness of our students and staff as determined through the lens of data, and as determined by the potential course of COVID-19. Should you have any questions regarding this information please reach out to your building principal.

Thank you for your continued flexibility, patience, understanding, support and feedback as we collectively navigate this pandemic and in consideration of any potential recommended next steps. Please take care and stay safe!