Public Information and Announcements

September 17, 2020

Pre-screening tool

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September 15, 2020

Mask Guidelines

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August 31, 2020

The nursing staff of MSAD54 is very prepared to welcome students back. Returning safely to school will require a team effort. The MSAD54 nurses are here to help as you work to make decisions about the health and well-being of your child and determine if they are able to attend school. MSAD54 is asking parents and guardians to pre-screen children, prior to school each day.

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August 28, 2020

K-6 Remote Learning

MSAD #54 is dedicated to meeting the needs of our students. Our goal in our remote learning classroom is to provide your child with the best education possible. For remote learning to be successful we will need this to be a collaborative effort between families, students, and teachers.

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August 21, 2020

To our Students and their Families,

Schools will be sending information to families next week with additional school-specific information including class lists, pickup and drop-off information etc. MSAD 54 will be having all students PK-6 attend school daily, with students in grades 7-12 attend every other day based on their last name in groups (A-J, and K-Z). The district has worked with the staff and school board to develop a "Soft Start". This approach will have students attend every-other-day for the first three weeks of school, as our teachers work to establish the health and safety requirements of social distancing, mask wearing etc. The soft start is described below in detail. Following information on the soft-start are links for our Return to School Plan, the Digital Learning Handbook, Maine CDC Mask Guidelines (which were recently changed by Maine CDC), and our Public FAQ document, which we will continue to update moving forward.

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August 21, 2020

MSAD 54 has developed plans for a safe return to school that adheres to MSAD 54’s overarching principles and follow the 6 Requirements for Safely Opening Schools in the Fall as outlined in the Maine DOE Framework for Returning to Classroom Instruction. The district plans highlighted in this document follow rules set forth by the Maine Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Maine Department of Education. All health and safety guidelines outlined by these two organizations will be followed as part of MSAD 54’s return to school.

MSAD #54 Return To School Outline [PDF] »


August 20, 2020

MSAD 54 has adjusted our calendar to allow for a soft start to school (more info). Below is information and a link to our updated calendar.

Soft Start Alphabet Breakdown (and 7-12 ongoing): Students with last names starting:

A–J will attend school Tuesday & Thursday: 9/1, 9/3, 9/8, 9/10, 9/15, 9/17
K–Z (and remote learners in grades K-6) will attend school Wednesday & Friday: 9/2, 9/4, 9/9, 9/11, 9/16, 9/18

Note: 9th grade students will attend school on 9/1 (all of them as part of freshmen orientation), followed by all K-Z students on 9/2, and all A-J students on 9/3.

Updated 2020-2021 Calendar [PDF] »


August 14, 2020

Attention Students:  https://forms.gle/Ehyizpn55z14n5yP7

The above link will take you to the Mascot/Nickname Student Survey where students in grades 6–12 are asked to share their TOP CHOICE(s) for mascot from the following choices: Badgers, Fisher Cats, Phoenix, River Drivers, Riverhawks, Skowhegan, Sturgeon, Thunder, Trail Blazers. Voting will occur from 8/14 - 9/4 using student email accounts. Students will be able to vote once back in school from 9/1-9/4. Following student voting, MSAD 54 Board subcommittees will select three choices to move to the full school board for a final selection. (https://bit.ly/54name)


August 7, 2020

MSAD 54 has developed plans for a safe return to school that adheres to MSAD 54’s overarching principles and follow the 6 Requirements for Safely Opening Schools in the Fall as outlined in the Maine DOE Framework for Returning to Classroom Instruction. The district plans highlighted in this document follow rules set forth by the Maine Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Maine Department of Education. All health and safety guidelines outlined by these two organizations will be followed as part of MSAD 54’s return to school.

View MSAD 54 Return to School Outline »

MSAD 54 Return to School Student Registration »


August 4, 2020

We’ve had several questions from parents inquiring about options for their students if a student, or parent, is uncomfortable with in-person learning–something our district is committed to and something we believe we can do safely. There will be a remote option for students at all grade levels.

We felt it appropriate to share our planning with you ahead of more detailed information that will be shared with you on August 7, 2020. Please know we are committed to meeting the needs of all our students and will have options for our students and families to choose from.

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August 3, 2020

Video of presentation to parents and community, 7/30/20, on MSAD 54's draft outline of a return to school on September 1st.  Parents will receive an updated plan via email on the evening of Friday, August 7th.  The plan will also be posted to the public page of MSAD 54's website.  Students/parents will have the option for remote (at-home) learning as part of the district's plan.  Anyone with questions should reach out to their building principal.

Watch Video


July 28, 2020

parent meeting schedule

July 24, 2020

We are writing to provide you with a brief update on our efforts to open school safely this fall and to make you aware of scheduled parent meetings next week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
 
First, our planning continues. Since the letter of 7/19, we’ve continued to meet with staff and community stakeholders to plan for the safe reopening of school. The state released an updated framework for return to school on 7/21:  https://www.maine.gov/doe/framework and we encourage you to review it. It is our hope to have a finalized plan for our students, parents and community members by August 7th as the State has indicated there will be further guidance late that week. We encourage you to visit our website for more details as we will update it as frequently as possible: https://www.msad54.org/public

Parent Meetings:  
We will be holding parent meetings to share the draft outline, provide an update on a few state requirements, and to listen and answer questions. The goal here is to ensure all voices are heard as part of the planning process and to answer those questions we have time for.  We will take the questions answered in person and those that aren't, and will include those in a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document for parents that we'll have ready for August 7th. We will continue to provide updates on our website until August 7th, and through to the opening of school.

We would encourage all families to try to limit participation in meetings to 1 person (if possible) to allow for as many people to join as possible. Questions can be emailed directly to feedback@msad54.org anytime and will be added to the FAQ which will be posted on the website prior to August 7th.

View meeting schedule and more details...


July 19, 2020

Dear MSAD 54 Parents, Guardians, Students and Community,

Since remote learning ended in June, MSAD 54 administrators, teachers, and community stakeholders have worked to provide feedback that has informed the development of a draft outline of a plan to return to school in the fall. Although the Maine Department of Education (DOE) has indicated a final framework for opening schools will not be out until early August, our goal is to provide you with as much information as possible over the summer. As we have shared in our newsletter and in many conversations, our plan's focus is to safely get our students back to in-person instruction in September.

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July 16, 2020

Every year, MSAD 54 invites the public to review the Title I program. This year we are inviting the public to review and comment on MSAD 54’s ESEA application for the school year 2020-2021 at the Skowhegan Area Middle School from 12pm–1pm on Friday, July 24th. MSAD 54 accepts funding through the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) of 1965. As part of ESEA, MSAD 54 is required to provide opportunities for public comment on the ESEA application prior to submission. If you have any questions feel free to contact Erin Madore, Title I Director at 474-9508 or emadore@msad54.org.

More about MSAD#54's Title 1A Program...


July 9, 2020

We are reaching out to again ask, for those of you that haven’t already done so, to take a moment to complete the district’s online survey regarding returning to school. The survey can be found at: https://bit.ly/54survey or from a link on the home page of our website.

Additionally the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) has released a series of surveys for parents, staff, administrators, and community members to get feedback on the reopening of schools. We encourage you also to give your thoughts here as we believe it is important that our region be well represented in the results. The MDOE surveys can be found at: https://www.maine.gov/doe/fall2020survey and is open through July 12th.

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June 25, 2020

MSAD 54 Remote Learning Family Survey »


June 3, 2020

It is with sincere gratitude that I write this letter to you as we close in on the end of the current school year which ends for students on June 5th.

It has been my sincere privilege to have served as your Superintendent of Schools over the past seventeen (17) years. Clearly, the past three months have been challenging and unprecedented regarding the issues that everyone has experienced and coped with as a community. We are focused on bringing the closure of school to an end as smoothly as possible, while recognizing how stressful this is for everyone. I want to personally thank everyone for their part in making this as smooth and as child centered a process as possible.

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May 29, 2020

In anticipation of the CDC and Governor Mills expanding social gatherings to 50 or fewer on June 1 and after consulting with students about how to best honor and promote the Class of 2020, and after considering several options, we have elected to hold an in-person graduation in June. 

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April 10, 2020

The purpose of this letter is to provide you with an update on our school year, share our district’s plan for continued opportunities for distance learning, and to give guidance regarding “how much” schooling is appropriate for your children while learning continues at home. You will find additional details posted to our district website over the coming days and I encourage you to access these resources and call your school administrators with questions. 

In light of the Commissioner of Education and Governor’s recommendation for schools to move to remote learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, the MSAD 54 Board of Directors voted to support the implementation of our Distance Learning Plan. This plan includes the move to providing online/virtual (Level 2) learning opportunities following April vacation. In the event State and CDC guidelines change in such a way that would allow a return to school, we will adjust our plans accordingly. 

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MSAD54 Opportunities for Distance Learning Plan

The district recognizes the incredibly challenging situation that our families face as our children are forced to remain at home during this pandemic. We understand not only the need for learning to continue while students are at home, but also that many of our students either do not have adequate access to technology or the internet, or do not have the resources necessary to support them in regularly accessing an education outside of school.

View Distance Learning Plan »

Knowing that Feedback is Essential to Learning: Is it possible to equitably "Grade" in this Crisis?

All schools in the state are in a similar situation as we are all closed, likely for the remainder of the year. We are all wrestling with what to do with distance learning. Unlike a snow-day, there are some unique challenges around equity that come with a closure for the remainder of the year; it is unlikely that any school can guarantee 100% of their students will have access to either the materials and resources, or teachers’ expertise, to bring up their grades. It is equally unlikely that access can be guaranteed, fair (either access to internet, support or to devices) and balanced. Additionally, we believe feedback is essential to student growth. We believe it is essential that students who are working receive feedback from teachers. Because of this, our team reviewed the following approaches/situations to see how others are handling feedback and grading to determine if we could, with any modifications, consider a way to provide feedback AND equitably grade our students for their time out of school.

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April 2, 2020

These are truly unique times that have placed a burden on all of the things we value, including and at the forefront, our families. It is with this in mind that I am writing to provide you with an update on the district’s next-steps as a result of the ongoing school-closure due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. As you are aware, Governor Mills’ most recent order has extended the closure of schools through at least May 1st. Unfortunately, the guidance from the CDC and other medical experts lead me to believe that this closure will likely extend beyond that. Regional Superintendents will be meeting over the coming weeks to discuss next steps as we await further guidance from the state. In the meantime, I wanted to highlight the approach we are taking with respect to food delivery, district schools/offices and support, and at-home opportunities for learning for our students. Know that we recognize that nothing about this situation is ideal, but we, like you, will continue to do our very best. 

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March 20, 2020

In consultation with superintendents in our region and around the state, based on guidance of the Maine CDC and Maine DOE, MSAD54 will be extending the closure of our schools through April 26th. This decision allows us to continue to get guidance from the state to make a decision about the remaining part of the school year over the next month. To say the least, this has been difficult on everyone in our community. I truly hope your families are and remain healthy. We will continue to provide meals in our community as well as educational resources for opportunities for at-home learning while school is out of session. I’ve again provided this information below and would encourage you to visit our website for more information.

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March 17, 2020

I am writing to provide you with an update on the district's next steps as as result of our recent school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As you are aware, Governor Mills has issued a state of emergency and both federal and state officials have provided guidance that citizens should avoid gatherings of ten (10) or more people and advised us all to practice what is known as "social distancing". As of now, we do not know when our schools will reopen.

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March 15, 2020

In response to guidance provided over the weekend specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in consultation with our board of directors, we have decided to close all of our schools for two weeks beginning Monday, March 16, and lasting until Friday, March 27. This closure is a proactive measure designed to allow staff to meet, plan, and have additional time to receive guidance. This school closure applies to all MSAD 54 School facilities including MSAD 54 Adult Education and the Somerset County Regional Technical Center (SCTC). Additionally, all outside facility uses will be suspended until further notice.

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As we await further guidance from the Maine Centers for Disease Control and the Maine Department of Education, we encourage our parents/guardians and staff to follow common-sense strategies for preventing the spread of viruses:

At the individual student/staff level:

  • We ask that children be kept home if they exhibit cold symptoms or a fever.
  • We will continue to ask staff who are ill or have a fever to remain home and use sick time.
  • Students and Staff are asked to regularly wash their hands and use proper hygiene, including avoiding touching face, mouth, eyes, etc.
  • We encourage everyone to avoid travel when possible, especially to large gatherings in areas where there are known COVID-19 cases.

At the classroom/school level:

  • We will reach out, as is our current protocol, anytime a student is found to have a fever or be sick.
  • Teachers & nursing staff will be reviewing hygiene protocols with students including proper hand-washing, etc.
  • Staff will discourage the sharing of personal items, including food, etc.
  • Teachers will have anti-viral disinfectant spray bottles available for classroom use.
  • Custodial staff will continue to follow cleaning protocols including increased frequency in high-travel areas and high-touch surfaces.

At the District Level, MSAD 54 will:

  • Be in regular communication with state and local agencies regarding best practices for schools.
  • Provide ongoing communication re: this topic including directly communicating with parents and our communities and by regularly updating this page
  • Convene ongoing district administrative, crisis team, nursing staff, and school-staff meetings as necessary to inform and share information and to adjust plans based on guidance from the State.
  • Review all school-related programming, especially field trips, including in and out-of-district trips.
  • Review protocols to ensure regular ongoing best-practices are followed with respect to the cleaning of each school bus, in our preparation and distribution of food, and other district-wide programs.
  • Work with area Schools and Superintendents to coordinate our responses to be consistent and best ensure the well-being of our students and communities.

View Parent Letter - Coronavirus (COVID-19) »

For more information from the CDC visit:
https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/airborne/corona…