September 5, 2020
Yesterday afternoon the State shared Penobscot County remains green with the color designation. Therefore, our schools will remain with the current three pathways. However, the State will continue to monitor health factors and share designations every two weeks throughout the school year unless it is necessary for them to reassess on a weekly basis. Therefore, all must be prepared to adjust quickly and I wanted to provide more information about how the color designations would impact the pathways for Bangor students.
Green *Current situation
When the color designation is green, the Bangor School Department will run three pathways of in person five days a week, hybrid with 2-3 days in person and the other days remote, and remote learning with all days of students learning at home.
When the color designation is yellow, the Bangor School Department will run two pathways of hybrid including 2-3 days in person and the other days would be remote and remote learning with all days of students learning at home. The current remote students would remain remote and the current hybrid students would continue in their hybrid schedule. All in person students would remain in their current courses/classroom and the instruction would then shift to hybrid until the designation returned to green. When in the hybrid model in person students would then follow the 2-3 days a week in person and the other days being remote.
This past week administrators and counselors scheduled all the in person students into cohorts in the event the color designation turns to yellow. These cohorts were coordinated by families and learning needs from the current courses/classrooms. The schools will be notifying families next week of their child’s yellow schedule of either Monday and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays and with both cohorts alternating every other Friday for in person instruction. The other days of the week will be remote. Teachers and staff will be at school each day and teaching approximately half of the students for the in person instruction each day and providing learning activities for the other half of the students for the remote days.
When the color designation is red, the Bangor School Department will have all students learning remotely until the designation changes to yellow or green. When a school department is required to shift entirely to remote learning, there must be a vote of the School Committee. An emergency meeting would be called on the Friday afternoon when the State would designate the county red and remote learning would begin on the next Monday.
We realize the uncertainty of knowing the color designations until Friday afternoon is frustrating and we wanted to provide more information so that families may begin to determine back up plans and know which days their children would have in person instruction when in a yellow designation. It is our understanding the State will move counties in and out of color designations as the health metrics indicate. We thank all for your patience and support as we navigate this new normal.
The Bangor School Department has been monitoring the communication from the Maine Principals’ Association (MPA) and the State of Maine regarding fall athletics throughout the summer. An Athletic Planning Committee will be reviewing the latest information as soon as the MPA completes their revisions. The Planning Committee will then draft a plan for School Committee approval as soon as the final guidance is shared and a comprehensive plan is created for the safety and well being of the athletes and the School Department.
We also are monitoring and planning for co-curricular activities as we learn more from the State and the MPA. We will keep everyone posted.
These continue to be challenging times. Please know there are numerous resources for times when someone is struggling. If you are concerned with how your child is doing emotionally, you may contact the NAMI MAINE HELPLINE. Their number is 800-464-5767, press 1(firstname.lastname@example.org). Other helplines are listed, below:
● Maine’s Statewide Crisis Line: (888) 568-1112 (call or text)
● National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (or online chat here)
● National Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
● Trevor Project LGBTQ Crisis Line: 1-866-488-7386 (online chat here or text TREVOR to 1-202-304-1200)
There is also a NAMI MAINE teen text line, at (207) 515-8398. This is open from 12:00 pm until 10:00pm and is a peer support text line for youth 14-20 years old and staffed by individuals under 23 years of age. Please note the Teen Text Support Line is not a crisis line but a way for teens to have someone to talk to if they are anxious and just need a friendly ear. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to us or dial
2-1-1 for information on the COVID-19 crisis in Maine. We advise keeping these numbers on hand for easy access.
Enjoy the weekend.
Betsy M. Webb, Ed.D.