To: Union 93 Family
From: Mark Hurvitt, Superintendent
RE: School Status, Going Forward
Good morning. It’s not every spring that we wake up to an April snow storm. And, it’s not every spring that we rely on remote school!
To keep you up to date on where everything stands right now:
At first, on March 13th, I announced that schools would function remotely for 2 weeks. A week later, I announced that the original 2-week period would be extended an additional 4 weeks. A week later, the Governor further extended the closure an additional week, taking us up to May 1st.
Today, the Union 93 schools (and all Hancock County) are announcing that we will continue on with remote school for the remainder of this current school year. That decision was reached yesterday after our ZOOM meeting with the Commissioner and the Assistant Commissioner when we learned that closure is an emphatic recommendation from the Governor, the Commissioner, and the Maine CDC. This decision was not made lightly. But, the reality is that we cannot gather large groups of people in school buildings, with the current status of the coronavirus in Maine, without experiencing dire consequences. This decision probably isn’t a surprise to too many people, but, as recently as last week, I was hoping that we would be back in school at some point before this school year ended.
We will be planning to return to our school buildings for the first day of school on Tuesday, September 8th, the day after Labor Day.
April Vacation, in a couple of weeks, (4/20 – 4/24) will still be held as a vacation from school to give our students, teachers, and parents time to re-group and re-charge.
As you know from your principal, we will consider the third trimester as a pass/incomplete trimester, in lieu of traditional grading.
All traditional end of year special activities will not be held in proximity, and our Administrative Team will be discussing what to do about awards ceremonies, 8th grade trips, and 8th grade graduations. Your principal will get back to you with these details.
Normally, our last day of school for students would be June 17thfor Brooksville, Castine, and Penobscot, and June 19th for Blue Hill and Surry. However, I will be asking our Boards in May to set a common date to end instruction of June 12th, and to allow us to use the 4 snow days we have had for virtual professional development days for teachers to assess the last 3 months, and, in light of that, to plan for the upcoming school year. This would all be done remotely.
Who knew, a month ago, that this is where we would be in Hancock County, Maine?
I want to offer my highest words of praise to our educators, and all of our employees, who are running school remotely, with no training, and who are feeding kids in our 5 towns. Not that I ever doubted it, but I really see just how crucial our 5 small elementary schools are in the fabric of each town, and how they can be cited as a source of community pride in this very difficult time.