Maine School Administrative District #1

Presque Isle • Mapleton • Chapman • Castle Hill • Westfield

Education in MSAD #1 will empower students to reach their potential as critical thinkers, problem solvers and effective communicators.

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September 8, 2020

Dear MSAD #1 Students and Parents, 

I am writing to share some good news with the MSAD #1 community.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that they have extended a number of waivers through December 31, 2020 which will allow all MSAD #1 students to have breakfast and lunch at no cost through December 31, or until federal funding set aside for this program is no longer available.    

All MSAD #1 students are eligible for this program effective immediately. Students wishing to participate in this program will simply request breakfast and/or lunch when they arrive at school in the morning.  Remote learning students who wish to participate in this program should contact MSAD #1 Food Services Director, Kathy Allen via email at kathy@sad1.org or by phone at 764-0792.

We are pleased to be able to offer this benefit to the students and families in our district.  Please feel free to contact MSAD #1 Food Services Director, Kathy Allen if you have any questions.

Sincerely, 

Ben Greenlaw   

Superintendent


September 4, 2020

Dear MSAD #1 Students and Parents, 

I hope you all are doing well.  The staff at MSAD #1 anxiously awaits having students back in all of our schools on Tuesday.  It has been a long time since we have had in-person instruction in our district and I know that many are looking forward to resuming a bit of normalcy.

I am writing to remind parents of the challenges associated with transporting our students on our buses this year. We are still developing our transportation routes and we need to have some time to refine and finalize these routes. We plan to operate our buses at 50% capacity and many parents have volunteered to drive their children to school to assist us in safely getting all students to school.  Typically, we transport students in the district wherever they need to go, especially after school.  In the past, we have transported students to friends’ houses, community centers, and various events, all with an approved note from a parent or guardian.  Since we are operating our buses at 50% capacity, we are asking parents to restrict bus changes unless it is absolutely necessary.  We understand that a student may need to be dropped off at a grandparent’s house for supervision-related reasons.  What we are trying to avoid is parents asking to have students dropped off at locations for after-school related activities.  

We hope that this change is temporary and something that we may be able to adjust as the school year progresses and the amount of COVID-19 cases stays low.  

I wish you all a safe and successful 2020-2021 school year.

Sincerely, 

Ben Greenlaw
Superintendent


July 24, 2020

Dear MSAD #1 Students, Parents, and Staff; 

I am writing to provide an update to the MSAD #1 Reopening Plan approved by the MSAD #1 school board and sent to our community last week. Shortly after our plan was sent to our community last Friday, Governor Mills held a press conference which outlined new health and safety guidelines for schools in the Framework for Returning to Classroom Instruction document distributed by the Maine Department of Education. The most significant change outlined by Governor Mills requires face coverings (masks or face shields) to be worn by students and school staff in classrooms, on buses, and when transitioning from one class to the next.  MSAD #1 will update our district plan to comply with this requirement for reopening schools. In addition to requiring face coverings on buses and when transitioning from one class to the next, we will require face coverings in the classroom. We will provide frequent breaks for students throughout the day to allow for students to take off their face coverings. Students are encouraged to bring their own face coverings to school each day. MSAD #1 will provide face coverings for students who need them.

On Friday, July 31, we will be sending out a detailed reopening plan for each school as well as additional information regarding expectations for remote learning.  We will also be providing a survey for families to complete which will ask whether or not their child will be planning to return to in-person learning at our schools or opt for remote instruction.  This information will allow us to effectively plan for a safe reopening of our schools.    

Information related to the coronavirus and it’s impact on our state and community is ever-changing, as are the health and safety guidelines for our schools. We will continue to communicate with the MSAD #1 community as things change. We ask that our students, families, and staff remain flexible and adaptable during this time.  

Best wishes and good health to all.

Sincerely, 

Ben Greenlaw
Superintendent    


July 17, 2020

Dear MSAD #1 Students, Parents, and Staff; 

   I hope this letter finds you well.  MSAD #1 administrators, teachers, and staff have spent the past few months preparing for our schools to reopen for in-person learning for the 2020-2021 school year. As we make decisions of how best to open our schools safely for students and staff, we continue to monitor the number of COVID-19 cases in our community, county, and state.  MSAD #1 plans on returning to in-person learning when school resumes at Presque Isle High School on Wednesday, August 19, and to resume in-person learning for our Pre-K to Grade 8 students on Tuesday, September 8, as scheduled.  

   The rationale behind returning to in-person instruction is based on the fact that the five communities in MSAD #1 have yet to identify a single case of the coronavirus.  Currently, there are four active cases of coronavirus in Aroostook County, and the State of Maine continues to see a downward trend in coronavirus cases over the past few weeks.  We will continue to monitor the number of cases in our communities, county, and state and utilize this information to determine the safest option for educating our young people.

   MSAD #1 plans to have three detailed plans in place for educating our students. These plans are dependent on the level of spread of the coronavirus in our communities and prioritize the health of  our students and staff.  

   We plan to begin the year with our “GREEN” plan which involves in-person learning as an option for all students.

GREEN – In-person learning for students that utilizes health measures like social distancing and increased cleaning measures in our buildings.  Remote learning will be an option for families who decide to keep their children home at this time.  This plan will remain in place provided that we continue to have low coronavirus case counts in our communities and county.

YELLOW – A combination of in-person learning and remote learning.  Students would spend two days a week of in-person learning and three days a week of remote learning.  In-Person class sizes would be reduced by 50%.  This phase would be used as a temporary transition period between remote learning and in-person learning and not a long term solution.

RED – At home learning with learning materials being available online for students.  We are working on establishing clear expectations for students, families, and staff in order to maximize learning opportunities for students.  We would put this plan into place if we saw a significant increase in cases in our communities and county.

What will a return to school look like for my child?

MSAD #1 created its reopening plan based on the Interim Guidance for Administrators of US K-12 Schools and Child Care Programs  document created by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Framework for Return to Classroom Instruction submitted by the Maine Department of Education. Our plan contains a number of priorities that may look different depending on the age and educational level of our students.

  1. Eliminating large gatherings of students.  We will not be utilizing our gymnasiums, cafeterias, and playgrounds for students to congregate before and after school.  When a student arrives at school in the morning, s/he will go directly to his/her regular classroom.  Students will eat breakfast and lunch in their assigned classroom.  School assemblies will be postponed until we are given guidance to safely resume meeting in large groups.
  1. Keeping class cohorts together.  Our plan at the elementary level is to keep students within their regular classroom and with the same students each day.  Individual classes will go to recess together, eat breakfast and lunch together, and be dismissed from their classrooms at the end of the day.  We are not planning to require students to wear masks when they are in their classrooms.  Students will also be scheduled for Art, Music, and Physical Education as they have traditionally and will be walking with their classmates to those learning spaces.

It is more difficult to keep our middle and high school students together throughout the day due to a diverse curriculum and varied course offerings.  At both schools we have reduced the number of periods in an effort to reduce transitions between classes.  Principals at the middle and high school levels will be sharing details regarding the new bell schedule in the coming weeks.

  1. Increased emphasis on hand hygiene, cleaning, and disinfecting surfaces.  The school district has placed hand sanitizer dispensers in each classroom and we are currently establishing a beefed up cleaning schedule to ensure that all classrooms, bathrooms, and “high touch” areas are cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis. 
  1. 50% capacity on school buses.  On school buses, students will sit one student to a seat and immediate family members will be encouraged to sit together.  We will be requiring students to wear masks when riding a school bus.  Parents are encouraged to transport their children to school to help with transportation during this period of reduced bus capacity.  MSAD #1 will transport any student who needs a ride to school.  A survey will be sent to parents in the coming weeks inquiring about parents’ intentions regarding the transporting of their children.
  1.   Masks and Social Distancing.  We will be requiring students to wear masks on the bus, when they enter and exit the school building, and when they transition between classes.  Students will not be required to wear masks in their classrooms unless social distancing is not possible.  Students are permitted to wear masks and/or shields in the classroom if they choose to do so.  MSAD #1 will provide masks or shields for students who do not bring their own from home.

All desks in all classrooms will face in the same direction and will be distanced as far apart as possible.  We are unable to achieve six feet of distance between desks as it would only allow us to have 10-12 desks in each classroom.  

What Happens Next?

MSAD #1 will be posting our detailed reopening plans for each school building prior to the end of July on our website (www.sad1.org).  Parents and students will be contacted via email and our district notification service when our plans are posted.  We plan to survey parents to ask whether or not they plan to have their son or daughter return to in-person learning when school resumes.  We also plan to ask whether or not bus transportation is necessary for their child.  This information will be imperative for us as we determine how best to educate our students when school resumes.  

As we have continued to plan for a safe reopening of our schools, we have encouraged stakeholders to remain flexible and adaptable.  We do not know what the future holds for our region as it relates to the coronavirus.  We will adjust our plans as necessary to ensure the safety of our students and staff.  I look forward to having students and staff safely return to our schools.   

Best wishes and good health to all.

Sincerely, 

Ben Greenlaw

Superintendent    


July 1, 2020

Dear Parent or Guardian,

Subtitle B of Title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.) amended and reauthorized as part of the No Child Left Behind Act ensures educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness.

As Superintendent of MSAD #1, I have designated Lisa McKenna, MSN, RN, as the local education agency liaison for homeless children and youth.
Ms. McKenna may be reached at the MSAD #1 Central Registration Office, located at the Presque Isle High School, or by telephone at 764-8105, extension 1155.

Sincerely,

Benjamin J. Greenlaw,
Superintendent of Schools


All children age 18 and under are welcome.
No Application needed!

Lunch served Monday-Friday
March 16,2020 – June 30, 2020

The regular Summer Feed Program will start July 1,  a new schedule will be out soon!

Site                                    Lunch                                    
Micmac Drive                                     11:00-11:30                        
Birch Street Apartments                11:00-11:30                             
Ray View Manor (Carmichael)     11:00-11:30                                 
Helen Noreen Apts.                         11:00-11:30                                 
Sargent Family Recreation           11:00-11:30      
Westfield                                           11:00-11:30   Town Office
Presque Isle High School              11:00-12:00 Lobby by Nurse’s Entrance
Pine Street Elementary                 11:00-12:00  Pick up at Main Entrance
Mapleton Elementary                    11:00-12:00    Pick up at Main Entrance
Zippel Elementary                          11:00-12:00   Pick up at Main Entrance

Lunch and the following day’s Breakfast will be served at time of pick up. Meals for Saturday & Sunday will be provided on Fridays.

Meals are “Grab and Go” and may be eaten away from the delivery site.

For more information contact
MSAD #1 Food Service Director,
Kathy Allen
Phone: 764-0792

The federal Food Service Program is an equal opportunity provider. In accordance with federal law, U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, and state law, this institution is prohibited from discrimination on basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation or disability.


May 15, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian:

I am hoping you are healthy, and that your family is doing as well as possible in this very difficult time of state and national emergency. My warmest thoughts and concerns go out to you at this time.

When I first wrote to you on March 23rd, I was hopeful that we would be back in school within a couple of weeks.  We now know that this will continue through the current school year which will end on June 5, 2020. 

I have been amazed by the work being done by our special education teachers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers, educational support staff and you.  The collaboration between home and school has been impressive.  Together we are working to meet the needs of every child, considering these unprecedented circumstances. 

It is my understanding that every family has been contacted by their child’s special education service providers and that a plan is in place to provide educational opportunities.  My hope and expectation is that these opportunities will allow your child to benefit meaningfully from the programming. I want to assure you that we will be addressing student needs and determining whether our children with disabilities have lost ground, and ways to remedy any such losses.

ESY (summer programming) is the next challenge we will be facing.  At the moment, we are planning to provide in-person ESY services, although for a shorter session. Precautions will be taken to help keep our students and staff safe.

Due to the lack of access to printing we are sending all paperwork electronically.  If we do not hear otherwise, we will presume permission to send all special education paperwork electronically. 

We will continue to hold IEP meetings until the last staff day which is June 12, 2020. 

I have included a link to a four question survey.  Please take a moment to complete the survey.  Your responses will help me to determine if there are any unmet needs.  If you prefer to contact me directly please feel free to email me at stanleym@sad1.org   If you would like to have a phone conversation, please provide me with your phone number via email or in the comment section of the survey.  

CLICK HERE for SURVEY: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfqN2Su240vmGcbUf5y3IsPeyUVy4hABp-J1g_FA-ZKKl7Wjw/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1


May 15, 2020

Dear MSAD #1 Students, Parents, and Staff: 

I am writing to inform you all about the final phase of learning packet pick-ups.  Learning materials will be available for pick-up on Tuesday, May 19 and Wednesday, May 20 at Mapleton Elementary and Zippel Elementary Schools only.  All other schools will continue to send learning materials electronically, have previously supplied learning materials for the remainder of the school year, or will be sending packets by mail.  This is the last packet pick-up of the school year as our last day of instruction will be Friday, June 5.  Our last official day of school will be Friday, June 12 for pre-K through grade 8 and Monday, June 15 for Presque Isle High School.  

As we have during the previous rounds of packet distribution, we will implement a system where parents will drive into the school parking lot, be met by a school employee, and packets will be delivered directly to the vehicle.   If a learning packet is not picked up, we will arrange for the packet to be delivered.  Please see below for packet pick-up times and instructions for students at Zippel and Mapleton schools:

Mapleton Elementary School 

Tuesday, May 19

  • Pick-Up times for specific grade levels are as follows:
    • Pre-K through Grade 2 – 8:00am to 11:00am
    • Grade 3 through Grade 5 – 11:00am to 2:00pm 
  • Pick-Up areas will be the curb in front of Mapleton Elementary School.
  • Parents/Guardians should pull up and wait for a staff member to bring materials to the vehicle. 

Wednesday, May 20

  • Pick-Up time for those unable to make it on May 19
    • All Grades – 9:00am – 12:00pm

Zippel Elementary School

Tuesday, May 19 and Wednesday, May 20

  • Pick-Up time from 8:00AM – 10:00am, 11:00am – 12:00pm and 4:00pm – 6:00pm for all students.
  • Pick-Up areas will be the main entrance of Zippel Elementary School.
  • Parents/Guardians should pull up and wait for a staff member to bring materials to the vehicle. 

We have drop boxes for completed homework at each school building.  If you have questions regarding learning materials being picked-up or dropped off, please contact your child’s teacher or principal.  

I wish you a strong finish to the school year.  Best wishes and good health to you all.

Sincerely, 

Ben Greenlaw
Superintendent


May 1, 2020

Dear MSAD #1 Students, Parents, and Staff;

I hope this letter finds you well.  I understand that these are challenging times for students and families.  Please know that your students are missed by the faculty and staff of MSAD #1.  I am writing to provide some clarity regarding how we plan to end the school year in the district.

During her press conference on April 28,2020, Governor Janet Mills extended Maine’s Stay-at-Home Order through May 31, 2020.  This order requires that we continue social distancing practices and prohibits gatherings of ten people or more.  Due to the extension of the Stay-at-Home Order, MSAD #1 will continue remote learning through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. We will not be resuming face to face, in person instruction in our schools.  I held out hope that we would have the opportunity to come back to school this year, but a safe return is not an option at this time.  We are now shifting our focus to planning for the end of the 2019-2020 school year and considering options for opening our schools for face to face instruction for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Please see below for end of school year dates and procedures:

Mapleton Elementary, Pine Street Elementary, Zippel Elementary, and Presque Isle Middle School will continue remote learning through Friday, June 5. The following week (June 8 – 12) will be utilized for students to complete make-up work and allow teachers to do the work necessary to conclude the school year.

Presque Isle High School seniors will conclude remote learning on Friday, May 29. June 1 through June 3 will be utilized for make-up work and allow teachers to finalize grades so that school officials can prepare for graduation.  We are planning on holding an in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020, with social distancing guidelines in place, on Friday, June 5 and Saturday, June 6.  In the coming weeks, there will be more detailed information for the Class of 2020 from Presque Isle High School principal, David Bartlett.

Presque Isle High School students in grades nine through eleven will conclude remote learning on Friday, June 5, with the last official day of school being Monday, June 15.  We will use the remaining days after June 5 to allow students to complete the necessary make-up work and teachers the time needed in order to conclude the school year.  There will be no final exams given at Presque Isle High School this school year. 

As we near the end of the strangest school year I have ever been a part of, I ask that we continue to be kind and understanding of each other considering the circumstances we are in.  Students, teachers, and parents have all faced unprecedented challenges during this time. We have been out of school since Friday, March 13, and left school that day not knowing it would be our last “regular” day of the year.  We will resume normalcy at some point. It is my hope that we will come out of this wiser and more resilient than before. 

Best wishes and good health to all.

Sincerely, 

Ben Greenlaw
Superintendent    


April 24, 2020

Dear MSAD #1 Students, Parents, and Staff:

I am writing to inform you all about the next phase of learning packet pick-ups.  Learning materials will be available for pick up at students’ schools on Tuesday, April 28.  Please read carefully as learning packet pick-up times vary by school.  As we did during the last round of packet distribution, we will implement a system where parents will drive into the school parking lot, be met by a school employee, and packets will be delivered directly to the vehicle.   If a learning packet is not picked up, we will arrange for the packet to be delivered.  Please see below for packet pick-up times and instructions for each school:

Mapleton Elementary School 

Tuesday, April 28

  • Pick-Up times for specific grade levels are as follows:
    • Pre-K through Grade 2 – 8:00am to 11:00am
    • Grade 3 through Grade 5 – 11:00am to 2:00pm 
  • Pick-Up areas will be the curb in front of Mapleton Elementary School.
  • Parents/Guardians should pull up and wait for a staff member to bring materials to the vehicle. 

Wednesday, April 29

  • Pick-Up time for those unable to make it on April 28th
    • All Grades – 8:00am – 12:00pm

Pine Street Elementary School

    Tuesday, April 28

  • Pick-Up time from 7:30AM – 12:00PM for all students.
  • Pick-Up areas will be the main entrance of Pine Street Elementary School.
  • Parents/Guardians should pull up and wait for a staff member to bring materials to the vehicle. 

Presque Isle High School and Presque Isle Career Technical Center

  • Most student materials will be provided electronically.
  • There will be no packet pick-up for PIHS and PIRCTC Students.
  • Packets will be delivered directly to students on Tuesday, April 28 and Wednesday, April 29.

Presque Isle Middle School 

  • Most student materials will be provided electronically.
  • There will be no packet pick-up for PIMS Students.
  • Packets for students who have been utilizing them will be mailed or delivered directly to students on Wednesday, April 29.

Zippel Elementary School

    Tuesday, April 28 and Wednesday, April 29

  • Pick-Up time from 8:00AM – 10:00am and 4:00pm – 6:00pm for all students.
  • Pick-Up areas will be the main entrance of Zippel Elementary School.
  • Parents/Guardians should pull up and wait for a staff member to bring materials to the vehicle. 

I will remain in contact with you in the coming weeks regarding plans for the end of the school year and whether or not a return to school is a possibility.  We will continue to monitor the recommendations of the Maine CDC and orders of Maine Governor Janet Mills.

Best wishes to good health to you all.

Sincerely, 

Ben Greenlaw
Superintendent