St. John Valley

Madawaska School Department sends back-to-school surveys to parents

MADAWASKA, Maine — The Madawaska School Department sent out surveys to parents Thursday regarding their plans for sending or not sending their children back to school in the fall. 

 

The surveys came after the Madawaska School Committee approved the Valley Unified plan for reintegration at the committee’s meeting on Monday. 

As the three school administrative units that make up Valley Unified — Madawaska School Department, and MSADs 27 and 33 — wrapped up the 2019-20 remote learning phase, Valley Unified created a reintegration team to form smaller committees to work on a plan for safe return in the fall. 

These committees included a return to school core team, a health and wellness team, a restoration of instruction team and a school site team. With the recommendations from the committees as well as feedback from parent surveys, the plan says that “Valley Unified schools plan to open for in-classroom instruction at the start of the 2020-21 school year.” 

The plan outlines the six requirements for safely opening the schools in the fall. Those are symptom screening at home before going to school for all staff and students, physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet, implementation of masks or face coverings, implementation of proper hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment, and if sick, home isolation until the other five requirements are met. 

The full plan can be found at bit.ly/VUreintegration

The surveys are split up based on the school the student is eligible to attend. The surveys also contain a link to the plan and allows for parents to read the plan prior to filling it out. 

After entering contact information and student name and grade, the survey asks parents to choose between allowing their child to return to in-class instruction, participating in remote learning or enrolling their student in homeschooling. 

Each answer selection takes the surveyor to a different page. 

For the homeschooling option, the final survey question is to ask the parents if they enrolled in homeschooling through the state of Maine, and if not, the survey even offers the link to make it easier for parents to do so. 

For those who click to send their child back to in-school instruction, the following page asks for details including whether the student will ride the bus, whether the student needs a mask provided from the school, whether the household needs a thermometer provided by the school, and whether the parent thinks their child would benefit from social, emotional, behavioral or mental health support from the school. 

If a parent decides to opt for remote learning, the survey asks if the student is in need of any technology devices to do remote learning, what the internet situation is at the household, if they read the remote learning expectations in the integration plan and if they will also require any of the services listed for mental, emotional, social and behavioral health. 

The survey says in that question that remote learning will begin Sept. 3.

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