April 9, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff,

I want to begin by thanking everyone for your support and commitment to making remote learning possible. This is a new environment and I believe it is remarkable that, in just a few weeks’ time, our staff developed a new system of delivery—one that is manageable, sustainable, and responsive to the needs of students and their families.

On the evening of April 7, Commissioner Makin released a Priority Notice recommending, with the support of the Governor, that we begin to plan to replace classroom/group instruction with remote/distance learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  In accordance with this notice and for the foreseeable future, MSAD 49 will continue to use the remote learning format until we receive notice from Governor Mills, Commissioner Makin, and the Maine CDC that it is safe to re-open our school buildings. 

Our Nutrition Program continues to provide meals to families. Though the kitchens will be closed during April vacation, we plan to distribute bulk meal packages for the week (April 20 – 24) by Friday, April 17. Our thanks to the many support staff who have worked so hard to sustain this important service.

 We are so fortunate to have one-to-one computing in place for all students grades 2-12. We are grateful that the District was technologically in a good position to meet this new challenge. Special thanks to our local police departments for their assistance in getting these devices to our students.  Please contact your child’s school if your child needs a device, or if you have questions about any matter relating to our program—we are listening and learning from you all as we continue to refine our plan.

Our staff, our students and their families are working through this new online learning environment—with creative approaches, we are making progress with access and comfort with this platform. However, it is of course the people who provide the support, the teachers who are finding creative ways of keeping the educational experience going, and the students and families interacting with schools that make learning possible. Please know that the well-being of our school community is at the heart of every decision we make.

 Stay safe and be well.

Roberta Hersom

MSAD 49 Superintendent of Schools