RSU 39
RETURN TO SCHOOL PLAN
2021-2022

Introduction

In response to COVID-19, RSU 39 will comply with the guidelines set forth by the Maine Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as the State of Maine (MDOE), which are incorporated herein. These RSU 39 Guidelines will be in effect on the first day of school 2021 and will be updated with the latest CDC and State of Maine guidelines, as necessary. Our goal is to continue to minimize the risk of possible transmission of COVID-19 and safely bring back as many students as possible to an in-person school setting to maximize learning. Therefore, these RSU 39 COVID GUIDELINES are mandatory for all students and their families.

The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines for a safe and educationally sound learning environment at all Eastern Aroostook Regional School Unit (RSU 39) schools. Many of the protocols established in this guide were generated during task and administrative team meetings as our district worked to establish a safe return to school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This document will continue to evolve as new information becomes available and additional protocols are needed to safely and effectively guide our work with all members of the RSU 39 learning environment. I want to express the importance of the home to school relationships as we all venture into an era in education that this district, State of Maine and our nation have ever experienced. RSU 39's priority has also been meeting the educational needs of our students and providing a safe and respectful environment for our staff and students. At no time is this belief more important than now.

This page has been created to provide community members with a single place to find the most up-to-date information on the RSU 39 response to COVID-19. We will do our best to keep this page updated with news, notes, and planning information to keep you apprised of our progress in providing engaging, meaningful instruction while keeping our community safe.

Reopening Plan - Fall 2021

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. Ongoing use of improved air filtration systems to remove particles and contaminants from indoor air.

5. Continue contact tracing and quarantining as directed by the CDC for individuals who are close contacts of positive cases.

6. Continue to promote vaccines for students in approved age groups, with potential for vaccination clinics throughout the fall.

7. Require face coverings (masks) in all indoor settings and on all school transportation for all students and staff, K-12, 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. Masks will not be required in outdoor settings.

As COVID-19 data is updated, this plan will be reviewed, and the Superintendent may ask the RSU Board of Education to reconsider any portion of the plan on an ongoing basis.

Pre-Screening Tool for School Attendance

The following tool should be used to assist in determining if a student should attend school. Families are encouraged to use this tool each day during the 2021-2022 school year.


FALL 2021

Given Maine’s significant progress to date in vaccinating its population and reducing the spread of COVID-19, the State of Maine intends to modify the aforementioned Public Health Guidance to lift all physical distancing requirements for PreK-12 schools and adult education programs, effective for the start of the 2021 school year. Schools will be strongly encouraged to participate in the pooled testing program to protect those students for whom a COVID-19 vaccine has not yet been authorized. This will minimize education disruption and exclusion from extracurricular activities resulting from having to quarantine when identified as a close contact.

As a result of these changes, the Mills Administration expects all schools to offer full-time, in-person education in the fall. As they did prior to and regardless of the pandemic, schools are encouraged to continue the development and expansion of responsive, innovative pathways to learning for students who may benefit, but these options should be provided alongside full-time, in-person learning.

REQUIRED SCHOOL PLANS

All Maine schools were asked to develop plans for returning to school in 2020-2021 school year, these categories will still be used if needed during the 2021-2022 school year. Currently, fall of 2021 opening is a GREEN PLAN.

These plans are broken down into three major categories: Red, Yellow, and Green.

  • A Red Plan is used when the need arises for a full remote learning environment and there will be no face to face instruction or referred to as no in-school instruction allowed.

  • A Yellow Plan is used when the need arises for a face to face instruction which is combined with remote learning from home.

  • A Green Plan is used when all students will return to school for face to face instruction, while following all COVID-19 precautions and recommendations.

RSU 39’s Yellow Plan calls for two groups of students: Group A and Group B.

  • Group A students will attend school on Monday and Tuesday for face to face instruction and take part in remote instruction on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

  • Group B students will attend school on Thursday and Friday for face to face instruction and take part in remote learning for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

  • Wednesdays will be used for deep cleaning of school buildings and remote learning for all students.

  • Learning is progressive throughout the week. New instruction or learning will be provided each day. (Thursday and Friday will not be a repeat of Monday and Tuesday)

If we move to any category that is not Green, you will be notified by the school which Group your child will be placed in.