AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Education released Thursday a draft framework to assist schools in planning for return to school scenarios in the fall.
The framework was developed with input from multiple stakeholder groups, including the Department of Education’s Student Cabinet, community health experts, and educators representing the many roles in schools, according to a news release.
“Although we have worked on this for over two months, it will remain in ‘draft’ form due to the unpredictable and constantly evolving nature of the COVID-19 situation” said Commissioner of Education Pender Makin on Thursday. “We will be responsive to changing conditions and recommendations from medical science, and our team will consider received feedback to make improvements.”
Decisions regarding when it is advisable for schools to return to classroom-based instruction will be made by Maine DOE, in partnership with Maine Emergency Management Association (MEMA) and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Decisions around specific models, schedules, and configurations for returning to the classroom setting, given the health and safety guidelines around social distancing, maximum group sizes, and hygiene, will be made by local school administrative units.
The framework includes minimum expectations for remote learning programs and remote instructional days to assist in this development process.
“We continue to be humbled by the resilience and innovation shown by educators, students and families across Maine during this emergency period,” added Makin. “We remain committed to providing support for the ongoing efforts to ensure an equitable and safe education for all Maine students.”
The draft framework can be viewed on the Department of Education's website here. In addition, a responsive survey is being finalized, through which the public will be able to provide feedback.