LISBON, Maine — Many school districts across the state are planning to return under the hybrid model of in-person and remote learning. Parents of students in the Lisbon School system will have the choice of sending their kids back to school full time on September 8.
There are nearly 1,300 students in the Lisbon school district and there are numerous safety precautions against the spread of COVID-19 that are being put in place.
The district is tapping into federal funding from the CARES Act to upgrade its air filtration systems at all four campuses and is hiring a trauma coach to help students deal with any issue they may have coming back to school full time. Twenty percent of parents in a recent survey said they plan to continue with remote learning or home schooling options.
Crews have been preparing to install carport-like structures to hold classes outside on the grounds of the high school and middle school campuses that are next to each other.
Precautions include mandatory face masks, minimal contact in the hallways, spaced out desks, and students will have to maintain a six feet distance classrooms and during lunch periods, which will be taking place outside on picnic tables, in the cafeteria, and in designated classrooms.
Students will arrive on a staggered schedule using one entrance. Both students and staff will be scanned by thermal cameras, which can read temperatures within one-tenth of a degree.
"The profile of that student is sent off to the nurse and the building administrator so then they can do another temperature scan with that student, to make sure they are well enough to be in school," Julie Colello-Nichols, the Curriculum Director for the Lisbon School District, said.
Teachers who may be uncomfortable with returning to the classroom can take unpaid leave for a year. Only one educator has chosen that option, so far.