St. John Valley

First day of classes postponed to Aug. 27 for Valley Unified middle, high school students

FORT KENT, Maine — Students attending Valley Unified schools will have an additional week of summer vacation as school board members agreed to postpone the 2020 school year start date. 

School board members in the Valley Unified school administrative units of SAD 27, SAD 33 and Madawaska School Department have adjusted the school calendar in order to allow more time to finalize safety measures for students and staff. 

The new start date will be Thursday, Aug. 27, for middle school and high school students and Thursday, Sept. 10, for students in kindergarten-grade six. The first day of school for pre-K students has not changed from Monday, Sept. 21. 

The schools will follow a reintegration plan with guidelines set by the Maine Department of Education regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus saw district schools close in March and move to remote learning for the last few months of the 2019-2020 school year. 

Included in the reintegration plan is a requirement that students age 5 and older and staff wear face masks and take their temperatures daily. 

Valley Unified is still awaiting the arrival of personal protective equipment, thermometers and other supplies necessary to ensure a safe transition back to school. 

Administrators are also still awaiting information from parents that is necessary to prepare school operations including bus routes and classroom arrangements. 

Parents who have not done so yet are asked to fill out a short survey, which can be found at www.vuesc.org

Survey questions include whether a student will continue with remote learning or return to in-school learning, whether the student will require bus transportation, and whether the family needs facemasks and thermometers provided to them by Valley Unified.

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