August 6, 2021
Dear RSU 1 Staff and Families:
I hope this letter finds you enjoying the summer. I am writing to provide you with an update as we plan for the start of the school year. We are returning to full-time, in-person learning this fall at all of our schools. The district is not providing a hybrid model, but is offering a remote option. The district recognizes that there are some students who are not able to access in-person learning due to compromising medical conditions. The full remote option is only available for students who are determined to be medically unable to attend school in person. If you have questions about this option or want to make sure your child is on the remote school list, please contact Assistant Superintendent Katie Joseph at email@example.com.
The first day of school for K-9 students is September 7th and all students are in session on September 8th (see the linked 2021-2022 school calendar). The district will revert back to normal school hours:
Elementary Schools 8:25 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Bath Middle School 7:30 a.m. - 1:57 p.m.
Morse/Bath Tech 7:40 a.m. - 2:05 p.m.
First Student is now providing transportation services for the district. School bus schedules/routes will be posted by mid-August. The CDC is requiring masks of all persons on school buses/vans.
There are no requirements for physical distancing on buses or inside schools, but we will provide distancing to the greatest extent possible. Distancing efforts will not impede us from offering full-time, in-person instruction for all students.
In June, the Board of Directors voted to adopt a masking protocol moving forward, which was essentially the same as the Maine CDC guidance at the time - indoor face coverings are strongly recommended, but not required, for unvaccinated people. Based on new data related to the delta variant of the coronavirus, federal and state health authorities recently recommended that all students and staff wear masks inside of school, regardless of vaccination status. The Board of Directors will revisit the topic of masks (whether or not they will be required indoors at schools) and review other components of the reopening plan at a special board meeting on August 16th at 6:00 p.m.. I encourage you to attend the meeting, or provide written public comment prior to the meeting. The Board of Directors will gather input at this meeting and approve the details of the reopening plan at their regular meeting on August 23rd.
The Board of Directors approved pooled testing at their meeting on June 28th. Pooled testing is being offered because it will result in fewer quarantines when positive cases of COVID-19 are detected. This is optional for students and staff, and we will provide more detailed information, including consent forms, in the near future. You can learn more about pooled testing here:
RSU 1 is not requiring students or staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, though it is strongly encouraged to help keep our schools as safe as possible. We are in the process of organizing additional vaccine clinics in the district.
This past year was challenging to say the least, but we were able to implement health and safety protocols that worked to keep our schools safe. Over the summer, the district hired additional staff to reduce some class sizes, provide additional academic support, and offer increased mental health services. Thank you for your ongoing patience and flexibility as we continue to navigate these uncertain times.