BANGOR, Maine — Parents of students in Bangor were able to see the initial reopening plans Wednesday during a remote public meeting of the Bangor School Committee. Superintendent Betsy Webb condensed the 208-page document into a presentation on options the school might take to keep students involved in the curriculum, whether that is from inside or outside the classroom.
Webb told members of the committee there are three pathways for the upcoming semester. Depending on the results of the Maine Department of Education color-coded regional rating system, the classes could be held in person, hybrid in-person/remote, or completely at home. Webb says the MDOE findings should be released on July 31.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, temperature scanners may greet students as they walk into the building, the hallways may be divided into two-way paths, six feet or more apart. Students will not be able to use lockers, masks will be mandated, and eating will take place at their desk, which is distanced from your nearest classmates. Isolation rooms will be used to temporarily keep those displaying symptoms away from others, under nurse of staff supervision. Webb said money for many of the precautions is provided through CARES Act relief funds.
The Reopening Planning Committee, made up of 31 people ranging from administration to parents, meets every week to reevaluate the plan. Webb wants to remind her district that if a student or staff member tests positive, the plan will be to immediately fall back to remote learning, and they will follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and reentering.
The conceptual reopening plan was unanimously approved. The complete plan is posted on the Bangor School District’s website.
At the beginning of the meetings during public comment, the issue of racism within the district was brought up by most of the speakers. NEWS CENTER Maine will continue to follow this part of the story.
The school committee did unanimously approve the hiring of an Affirmative Action Officer to assist in investigations or to be another resource for those facing any type of injustice. Money for that position comes from another open position, according to Webb.