Maine school districts weigh options after state gives OK to in-person learning

Maine school districts are weighing their options after the state on Friday said school districts may reopen for in-person learning.The Maine Department of Education and Maine Department of Health and Human Services released new color-coded designations for each county in the state.All 16 counties were give a “green” designation, which means the risk for COVID-19 spread in schools is relatively low and districts can reopen for in-person learning if they can been certain safety protocols.The superintendent of the York School Department said the green designation does not mean all systems go this fall.“Green does not mean everyone comes back to what it was like pre-COVID-19,” superintendent Lou Goscinski said.The color-coded system is meant as guidance for school systems and the ultimate decision on how to proceed in the fall is up to each district.“Meaning that we’re most likely going to have remote learning in conjunction with in-person learning,” Gosckinski said.Schools do not have a choice when it comes to the safety protocols created by the state, which include health screenings before coming to school, wearing face masks and hygiene, with personal protective equipment for students and staff.Schools must also have protocols for returning to school after an illness.“We think that that is the most efficient way to ensure that children and teachers and staff are protected at the ground level,” Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said.However, certain local factors have to be evaluated by each district.“We have our own weekly update in terms of what’s happening in York,” Gosckinski said.The York School Department has developed an advisory group on COVID-19 protocols. Goscinski said he has held conference calls with local health and safety officials, as well as hospital representatives.Goscinski said York’s proximity to Massachusetts where cases are higher was one of many factors that went into the hybrid learning plan, which will be presented next week.

Maine school districts are weighing their options after the state on Friday said school districts may reopen for in-person learning.

The Maine Department of Education and Maine Department of Health and Human Services released new color-coded designations for each county in the state.

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All 16 counties were give a “green” designation, which means the risk for COVID-19 spread in schools is relatively low and districts can reopen for in-person learning if they can been certain safety protocols.

The superintendent of the York School Department said the green designation does not mean all systems go this fall.

“Green does not mean everyone comes back to what it was like pre-COVID-19,” superintendent Lou Goscinski said.

The color-coded system is meant as guidance for school systems and the ultimate decision on how to proceed in the fall is up to each district.

“Meaning that we’re most likely going to have remote learning in conjunction with in-person learning,” Gosckinski said.

Schools do not have a choice when it comes to the safety protocols created by the state, which include health screenings before coming to school, wearing face masks and hygiene, with personal protective equipment for students and staff.

Schools must also have protocols for returning to school after an illness.

“We think that that is the most efficient way to ensure that children and teachers and staff are protected at the ground level,” Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said.

However, certain local factors have to be evaluated by each district.

“We have our own weekly update in terms of what’s happening in York,” Gosckinski said.

The York School Department has developed an advisory group on COVID-19 protocols.

Goscinski said he has held conference calls with local health and safety officials, as well as hospital representatives.

Goscinski said York’s proximity to Massachusetts where cases are higher was one of many factors that went into the hybrid learning plan, which will be presented next week.