Principal Updates

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Mt. Ararat Middle School

66 Republic Avenue, Topsham, ME 04086

Phone:  (207)729-2950     Fax: (207)729-2964

Website:  mams.link75.org

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August 7, 2020


Dear Parents and Guardians,


I hope everyone is enjoying their August so far.  I have a couple quick ReOpening updates:


The Draft ReOpening Proposal continues to be worked on by our district ReOpening Working Groups, administrators, and staff.  The MSAD 75 Board of Directors continues to provide feedback on the process as well, including at last night’s meeting.  The most recent draft of the ReOpening Proposal can be found on the ReOpening Website.

When Will All of These Tentative Details Become Finalized? We know how important it is for parents to thoughtfully plan for their own family’s schedules at the start of school, especially with younger children and their own work plans.  Our plan is to release much more detailed information after the MSAD 75 Board of Directors approves the ReOpening Plan next Thursday, August 13.


Which Days Will My Child Attend School in Plan B (Hybrid)?  This is a question that our school district has spent much time examining.   And, we know how important it is that parents know this as soon as possible.  Our proposed plan calls for children attending school two days a week in the Plan B - Hybrid Model to start the year.  The most recent draft plan (pending Board approval) proposes each school divide students into two groups (adjusted as needed):

  • Group A will attend Monday and Tuesday.

  • Group B will attend Thursday and Friday.

  • Wednesday will be reserved for cleaning.

  • School classroom lists created by last name/households

  • Siblings and/or students living in the same household are grouped together.


After August 13, each school will send a notice to each family indicating which cohort their child will be placed in.  We also hope to provide a clear process for families to request to move to the other cohort if there are extenuating circumstances to be considered.  


The decision to propose an AA/BB schedule was made after consultation with the Maine Department of Education.  Their guidance we received from then was that having Group A attend Monday and Tuesday, while Group B attends Thursday and Friday seems a better way to limit potential disease exposure between the groups.


Did I Read a Newspaper Article That Said Something Different?  Yes, unfortunately, we noticed incorrect information about MSAD 75’s plans in a recent Times Record article, Bath-area Schools Announce ReOpening Plans from August 4th.  While the article was about another school district, it briefly referenced neighboring school school districts, including Brunswick and MSAD 75.  In that article, it said MSAD 75 is going with the AB/AB, Monday-Thursday/ Tuesday-Friday cohort schedule.  THIS IS INCORRECT.   Not only has this not been finalized yet (until Board approval on August 13), this is not what is tentatively in our proposed plan (see above).  Please always check our ReOpening Website for the most up to date and accurate information.


Much, much more to come.  I will do my best to keep you informed of big and small details throughout the month.  You can also expect continued communication from Superintendent Chabot.  Because the final approval of the plan falls to the MSAD 75 Board of Directors, we cannot release many of the details of the plan until this approval occurs.  Thank you, greatly, for your patience.


If any questions, comments, or suggestions arise, please feel free to send me an email at: ottowj@link75.org.  I know how emotionally straining this all is for everyone. If a phone call  to talk through some of this would be helpful, please let me know.  I have spoken over the phone with dozens and dozens of parents over the past two weeks, and the conversations seem to be helpful to them.  They are certainly helpful for me to know what parents are thinking about right now.  Never hesitate to reach out -- I can make phone calls happen any time day or night. 



Sincerely,

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Josh Ottow

Principal

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