The Bangor School Department 2021 Electronic Reopening of Schools Plan can be found here.
Q – Has Bangor decided about pooled testing of students and staff? If the decision was no, could you please explain the rationale?
The Bangor School Department will participate in the COVID-19 pooled testing services provided by the state of Maine starting October 4.
Pooled testing provides an additional layer of protection against the virus. In combination with vaccination, social distancing, and wearing masks, pooled testing will give students the opportunity to access as much in-person education as possible. In addition, students who participate in pooled testing will not need to quarantine from Co-curricular and Extracurricular activities due to a close contact in a school setting unless they test positive.
Q – As case numbers rise and more children are affected with the COVID-19 delta variant, for our unvaccinated students under 12, could you comment on the rationale behind not continuing social distancing, specifically not limiting indoor interactions between students in different classes at lunch and specials.
A – The BSD will continue to socially distance students when possible. Classrooms and activities are being planned for student safety. Staff are working to maximize lunchroom safety, cleaning procedures and spacing for students. Lunch times will cycle students through the lunchroom by class allowing us to keep track of students and their close contacts at the elementary school level. Each school is setting up different procedures based on building space and population of students.
Q – Are there options to wearing a mask?
A – Face shields may be an alternative for those students with medical, behavioral, or other challenges who are unable to wear masks/face coverings. Face shields worn in place of a face covering must cover the eyes, nose, and mouth, and extend below the chin and back to the ears.
Q – Are remote learning options available?
A – The BSD will offer in person learning for all students during the 2021/2022 school year. We will provide limited, interim remote learning through synchronous learning only when needed due to cases of the virus that impact our schools. Families who are looking for a long-term, full remote program next year should explore external options like Maine’s virtual charter schools, national virtual learning companies, or homeschool (for more information on these options, contact the Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Kathy Harris-Smedberg at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Q – How can I ensure that my student with an IEP is succeeding?
A – Parents may reach out to the principal of their student’s school or to the office of pupil services by contacting Christy Babin at email@example.com
Q – What is the communication plan in the case of remote learning days?
A – There will be multiple modes of communication. The best way to stay abreast of current conditions and updates is the Bangor app, the official Bangor School Department social media sites, and the principal newsletters. Please make sure you are relying on accurate information. When in doubt, check with your student’s teacher or principal. For a remote day that affects the entire school department you will receive a phone call from the Alert system. https://www.bangorschools.net/for-parents/alert-messaging-system/
Faculty and staff are prepared to move to remote learning if needed. Families should have a plan in place for remote learning. Students in middle and high school should bring their school issued laptops home each night.
Close contact: In general, being within 6 feet of a person infected with COVID-19 (with or without a face mask) for at least 15 minutes (cumulatively in a day).
Community transmission: Occurs when individuals acquire COVID-19 through contact with someone in their local community, rather than through travel to an affected location.
Confirmed case: A person who has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection (the virus that causes COVID-19) using a molecular test.
Contact tracing: Process of identifying and notifying individuals who have had close contact (see definition above) with someone infected with COVID-19.
Cohort: A consistent group of students and staff who interacts with each other but not with members of other groups on a regular basis. When in a cohort, each group must physically distance themselves from each other and from other cohorts.
Fully vaccinated: 2 weeks after the second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.
Incubation period: The time between exposure to an infection and the appearance of first symptoms. SARS-CoV-2 has an incubation period of 2-14 days.
Infectious period (asymptomatic cases): 2-days prior to the date the specimen/swab was collected, until federal CDC
criteria to discontinue isolation are met.
Infectious period (symptomatic cases): 2-days before any symptom onset within 10 days prior to positive test result until federal CDC criteria to discontinue isolation are met.
Isolation: Process of separating individuals who are infected with COVID-19 from others.
Outbreak investigation: Greater than or equal to 15% absenteeism among students or staff in a single day
where the majority of those absent are due to COVID-19 illness.
Pooled testing participant: An individual who is participating in school pooled testing that has either tested in the most recent pooled testing or was absent and used an antigen or molecular test in place of pooled testing.
Probable case: Individual who has a positive antigen test or is a symptomatic close contact of a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19.
Quarantine: Process of separating and restricting the movement of persons who were in close contact with someone who tested positive or had symptoms of COVID-19.
Symptomatic individual: A person who is experiencing one or more of the symptoms of COVID-19 as defined in U.S. and Maine CDC guidelines.
Testing: Three types of tests are available for COVID-19: molecular, antigen, and antibody tests. Molecular and antigen tests indicate if you have a current infection while antibody tests indicate a previous infection. In this SOP, ‘testing’ refers to molecular or antigen-based tests to diagnose a person with COVID-19 infection.
Universal: A policy of requiring consistent and correct usage of well-fitting masks in indoor masking spaces for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors, and across all school-based and school-sponsored activities. A universal masking policy allows for removal of masks while eating/drinking in designated spaces, but not for indoor “mask