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MSAD #51 District Newsletter - August 28, 2020

posted Aug 28, 2020, 1:05 PM by Fran Prentice   [ updated Aug 28, 2020, 1:05 PM ]

Notices from the Office of the Superintendent

Superintendent Porter's Blog

To view Superintendent Porter's most recent Blog Post, click here.

Face Mask/Face Covering Exemption Guidance

According to the Maine DOE Framework for Returning to Classroom Instruction:

  • Adults, including educators and staff, are required to wear a mask/face covering.

  • Students age five and above are required to wear a mask/face covering that covers their nose and mouth. (Updated 7/31/20) 

  • Masks are recommended for children ages two to four, when developmentally appropriate. (Updated 7/31/20)

  • Masks/face coverings must be worn by all students on the bus.

In limited circumstances, such as when a student has a disability that limits or prevents them from wearing a mask, the school has an obligation to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether there is an accommodation, including an alternative face covering (face shield), that should be made for the student involved, or if remote learning is a more appropriate option. 

The Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that “cloth face coverings can be safely worn by all children 2 years of age and older, including the vast majority of children with special health conditions, with rare exception.” In the very rare event that a medical disability prevents someone from being able to wear a mask/ cloth face covering, medical documentation of this disability from the student’s healthcare provider (MD, NP, PA, DO) must be submitted to school. The student’s 504 or IEP team will be consulted to discuss accommodations and programming. The student will be provided and encouraged to wear a face shield at school.  Any student wearing only a face shield MUST maintain 6 feet distance from other students. School employees may choose to wear a face shield in addition to a mask/ cloth face covering when interacting with students who are only wearing face shields. 

Students with behavioral challenges who are unable to wear masks/face coverings will also be required to submit medical documentation from the student’s healthcare provider (MD, NP, PA, DO).  The student will be provided and encouraged to wear a face shield at school, though we recognize that this will be a work in progress.  The student’s IEP/504 team will consult with the district’s Board Certified Behavior Analyst to create a behavior goal related to tolerating mask/ shield wearing which will be progress monitored at established intervals.  The student’s IEP/504 team will implement mask desensitization techniques with your student throughout the day.   Any student wearing only a face shield MUST maintain 6 feet distance from other students. School employees may choose to wear a face shield in addition to a mask/cloth face covering when interacting with students who are only wearing face shields. Students who are not able to tolerate either a mask or a shield will not be permitted to ride the bus with other students and will require individual bus rides or transportation from their parents. Time spent in regular education classrooms may be impacted for students who are not able to tolerate either a mask or a shield. 

Please feel free to reach out to your building administrator and school nurse with any questions regarding this information or to submit documentation that reflects an inability to wear masks/cloth face coverings. 

Athletics Update from AD Shapiro

This is some of the best news I could imagine.  We are oh so close to having final confirmation for participating in Fall Sports! By now you have likely read about the process and the deliberations and all the research and thought that  went into the decision to allow us to play.  Please know that the emotional and physical health of all our students and the need to be in school for learning were the drivers of the decisions.  We cannot wait to see our students in the building during the school day and playing after school!  Be well.
Here is the link for information on registration for Fall Sports through PowerSchool: https://sites.google.com/a/msad51.org/ghs-athletics/sports-registration

COVID Funds Update

The Board approved uses for the federal Coronavirus Relief Funds that have been allocated to the school district in the amount of $1.448 million.  All of the expenses below have been approved by the Board and the Maine Department of Education and are additional funds to the district beyond the annual state subsidy.
Livestreaming has been approved in the amount of $900,000, which includes about $400,000 in necessary network upgrades and purchase of classroom sets to support live streaming at GHS and GMS 6-8.  RFPs have been sent out for this work and we will be moving as quickly as possible to get this new educational tool up and running.  Due to industry backlog and schedules, it could be a period of time before we have this feature in place but we are looking at mobile carts which reduces the timeline.  We will keep you posted on more details as they become available. Outdoor learning will be supported by $100,000 in items which will be planned by the environmental stewardship committee over the next few weeks.  
The Board of Directors approved the following:
MIW Nurse Long-Term Substitute30,000
GMS Nurse Increase Hours6,000
COVID Building Modifications150,000
Network Upgrades/Livestreaming @ GHS & GMS 6-8900,000
Additional Facilities Staff (daytime, school year & summer)48,000
Secretary Salary Increase (MIW & GMS)4,744
Cleaning Supplies & Equipment10,000
Outdoor Learning100,000
Long-Term Substitutes200,000


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MSAD #51 Board of Directors Information

Meetings start at 7:00 pm in the Greely Center for the Arts at GHS unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, September 3 - Regular Meeting

Remember you can watch our meetings on YouTube LIVE (http://bit.ly/msad51livevideo.


Meeting Dates, Agendas & Minutes
Board of Director's Meeting Videos


Useful Links

Employment Opportunities

MSAD #51 Website

2018-2021 Strategic Plan

District Calendar

GHS Athletics Schedule


If you would like something included in our weekly newsletter, please send a brief write up with title along with a JPEG or PNG image of your flyer (if applicable) to Tammy Tarling for approval. The deadline each week is Sunday. Any requests received after Sunday will be reviewed for possible submission in the following week's newsletter. All approved submissions will be posted on the district's website.

Not all items in this email are MSAD #51 sponsored programs. If you need more information, please contact the group or organization that is sponsoring the event.

Maine School Administrative District #51
357 Tuttle Road, PO Box 6A, Cumberland, ME 04021
info@msad51.org   |    207.829.4800