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Local school officials making re-opening plans for fall

One of the biggest questions students, parents, and teachers are asking right now is whether schools will reopen to students this fall.
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File Photo(Alyssa Thurlow)
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 6:02 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - One of the biggest questions many students, parents, and teachers are asking right now is whether schools will reopen to students this fall.

As we found out, many - including Governor Mills - are hoping to have kids back in the classroom, but they say public health must come first.

File Photo
File Photo(Alyssa Thurlow)

"I really think that the majority of learners, and we know this from research, they do better with in-person instruction," said Superintendent of Bangor Schools, Betsy Webb.

Schools around the state are putting together plans to re-open this fall in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Districts are using guidance from the Maine CDC and framework drafted by the Maine Department of Education.

There are three separate plans for returning to class - in-person schooling, a hybrid model, which would be a combination of in-person learning and online instruction, and full online instruction.

Public health will guide the decision making.

Bangor Schools Superintendent Betsy Webb says, no matter what, things will look different for students and staff in the classrooms.

“There’s going to be screening in place and people are going to be kept in situations with less movement, and less contact to others. We’re not going to use our large spaces. We are really going to minimize that in order to keep people safe and reduce the risk,” said Webb.

Like others, Glenburn schools are waiting for more instruction from the Education Department

Superintendent of Glenburn schools told TV5 in an email that they will be prepared to meet the challenges based on the current local conditions at that time.

Statement from Glenburn Superintendent Richard Modery
Statement from Glenburn Superintendent Richard Modery(Alyssa Thurlow)

One of the biggest issues is having kids potentially fall behind if schools have to stick to online learning, full time.

Governor Mills is among those worried.

“My biggest concern is what I hope is not happening, but I fear is happening is the growing disparity between the have and have nots, and among our school children, those who have been able to stay involved, stay connected to their teachers through the internet for the last four months, and those who have not been able to do so,” said Mills.

Webb, shares that concern.

She says they like other districts are preparing for every scenario.

They’re also participating in a training with the Education Department next week.

The draft framework put in place by the Department of Education can be found here.

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