Education Commissioner: plan on remote learning for rest of school year

Published: Apr. 7, 2020 at 11:20 PM EDT
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Maine's schools should plan on teaching through remote or distance learning for the rest of the 2019/2020 school year.

In a letter sent to educators, Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin says schools have been following CDC guidelines of an eight to 20 week timeframe to avoid in-person or group teaching.

"I am recommending, with the support of the Governor, that you begin to plan to replace classroom/group instruction with remote/distance learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year." Makin wrote.

The commissioner also reminded students that the SAT tests will not be required or offered to this year’s 3rd-year high school students. The SAT will not be required for admission to any of Maine's colleges or universities.

"It is difficult to make such a recommendation, recognizing the profound challenge of reinventing public education and the many culminating events and rites of passage that educators and students anticipate all year long." Makin wrote. "I also realize that this recommendation will be difficult for families to hear, given the challenges of childcare and managing school expectations on top of the other significant impacts of this state and national emergency."

The commissioner says the Department of Education is available to help schools and teachers make these distance learning plans.