Bangor Superintendent reacts to Mills administration’s return to school guidance

Published: Jul. 17, 2020 at 6:51 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Superintendent, Betsy Webb, says they’ve gotten so much information over the last couple of months and are sorting through all of it while dealing with this ever-changing virus.

There is more to come in the next week. Webb will attend a Department of Education training on Tuesday and Wednesday. Governor Mills is expected to dig deeper into what options schools will provide based on public health data.

When it comes to schools in Bangor, Webb says the best-case scenario would be the green category, which would allow kids back in classrooms for face-to-face instruction.

”Definitely believe that the optimal learning and teaching environment is in person, but I am well aware that there are families that either the student or somebody in the household is in a high-risk category and that they may need remote learning. I also understand parents wanting to ease back into the situation with their children. We’re going to do the best we can.” Webb explained.

Webb says they recently surveyed families in the Bangor School District.

She said that report showed 60% of families want their kids back in classes 5 days a week.

The Mills’ administration says schools working toward in-person instruction need to plan not only for social distancing but also everyone wearing masks.

If Bangor students do get the green light to head back to in-classroom instruction, Webb said they have masks for those who don’t have one.

They’re hoping to work with families so students understand the importance of wearing one.

Webb added, “I really don’t want to be in a situation for our schools to have to enforce this. Hopefully, we can inspire and model and just understand that we need to work together and that part of that is making sure that everyone is as safe as possible.”

Webb said there will be times during the day where students won’t have to wear a mask.

She said officials are expected to release their plans to the Bangor School Committee on Wednesday night.

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