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Desk shortage delays some schools from reopening as planned

Some schools are waiting for desks to arrive.
Some schools are waiting for desks to arrive.(KY3)
Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 7:18 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON/EDDINGTON, Maine (WABI) - Add this to the list of things we’ve seen a shortage of in 2020: desks.

It’s causing schools to come up with different plans.

“The biggest challenge that we ran into was that a lot of our schools transitioned to tables," says Brian Race, RSU 40 Facilities Director.

Many schools have been using tables in classrooms for collaborative learning in classrooms but with spacing requirements to keep students safe during the pandemic, schools have now been forced to order new desks and chairs.

“The total is about 1,500 desks and chairs we’re waiting for," says Race. "Really what this is going to allow us to do is put more students in classrooms once we get the desks.”

Administrators in RSU 40, which covers the Waldoboro area, decided to delay the start of school by a week but say they will have enough desks for returning students.

“It’s not that we want to do this, it’s for health and safety reasons," says Nancy Stover, Principal of Prescott Memorial School.

Over at RSU 63 in the Holden area, Superintendent Susan Smith says they too are waiting for more desks -- which played a part in using the hybrid model for classes.

“It’s only one of the reasons but we also have needed time going over policies and procedures,” she says.

Smith says they were notified by the state this summer they would be getting extra money.

“Which is great and we really appreciate the additional funds but we knew that number on July 22nd and we were preparing for school July 26th.”

As for the demand for desks, she says, “I think some of that is because a lot of places needed desks and that takes a while and desks were some of the things we were warned ahead of time we went in knowing that and understanding that.”

And that’s true for supplies in general like PPE and cleaning products.

“It’s all a learning process and its going to continue to be. We’re up for a challenge," says Stover.

School starts next Monday for RSU 40.

They say they do have enough desks for the number of students coming back to the school.

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