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Community Update April 8, 2020

April 8, 2020 Dear NOBLE Community, If you don’t like the news in Maine, wait a minute…  Information from the Maine Department of Education and other organizations is changing so fast right now.  For example, I didn’t even know the MDOE had sent a memo at 8:37 PM yesterday - about recommending continued remote learning for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year - until a colleague happened to ask me for my thoughts on the matter about an hour later.   Maine covers a significant area of land, and we are all aware there is a significant difference in COVID-19 cases in Southern versus Northern Maine.  Because of the differences between counties, Commissioner Makin “recommended” continued remote learning, instead of Governor Mills “requiring” such a move.  While the close of the school year is replete with traditions (i.e., prom, convocation, Project Graduation, graduation, field trips, Celebration of Learning,  fun field events, signing yearbooks, step up day), COVID-19 is going to significantly impact all of those, as well as so many other aspects of our lives it is already impacting.  (Have you tried to buy alcohol-based hand wipes, Lysol, or toilet paper lately?) MSAD 60 will continue with remote learning for the remainder of the school year, which for students is June 10.  While we don’t know what things in June will be like due to the virus, we do know the Administrative Team has a lot to determine, for example:

  • What constitutes successful completion for seniors?

  • How will final progress for all students be determined and recorded?

  • What options are there besides the traditional June 12 graduation event with 1000+ people in attendance?

We will work through all of these issues in as timely a manner as possible and will work to communicate with all groups as clearly as possible.  Beyond student matters, we also have a Budget meeting scheduled for May 14 and the budget referendum scheduled for June 9. The Governor is currently considering rescheduling until July 15, and there is discussion about how to deal with the statute concerning the budget meeting.  I’ll share news expeditiously.   School administrators will be communicating schedules in late May regarding collecting personal belongings at schools and returning school technology and materials.  In the meantime, please bear with us, as we all continue to work, teach, and learn in new ways. Most importantly, PLEASE be kind to yourself and others. We need to give ourselves permission to be unsure, feel confused, miss contact with others, AND to know that it’s OK for us to feel this way. Be well, Steve Connolly

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