Mix of concern, excitement among Maine parents at the thought of sending kids back to school

Parents across Maine have mixed feelings about sending their children back to school this fall.At S.A.D 17, which encompasses 8 towns including Oxford, Paris and Norway, 37 percent of parents said in a school survey they feel some level of discomfort sending their kids back to school. Eight percent said they won’t even send them until there is a vaccine for COVID-19.At the same time, parents and students alike are wary of diving back into a remote learning setting, which is how all Maine students ended their school year in the spring.Logan Komulainen, a 10-year-old student at Paris Elementary School, said he didn’t like learning from home, saying it started out well but the experience “went down” after that.”I’m anxious to see my friends because I haven’t seen them in a while,” Komulainen said.His grandmother will also be happy when the kids go back to school.”I think as long as they social distance and pay attention to the hand sanitizing and that sort of thing make sure they do it, it would be safe,” Kellie Lima said.Meanwhile, school officials are working hard to iron out a plan.”Kids will be back. They will have to wear masks. Teachers will have to wear masks. There will be screenings, distancing, classrooms won’t look the same. Teaching will look a little different, but we’ll have kids back,” S.A.D. 17 Superintendent Rick Colpitts said.Colpitts said there will be a remote learning option for parents who are wary of sending their kids into a school building.The survey also found that even though many parents could bring their kids to school, one in five families rely on the bus service. Colpitts admits the school district is still figuring out how bussing will work. A committee will review the superintendent’s plans before a vote on August 17. School starts just two weeks after that on Aug. 31.

Parents across Maine have mixed feelings about sending their children back to school this fall.

At S.A.D 17, which encompasses 8 towns including Oxford, Paris and Norway, 37 percent of parents said in a school survey they feel some level of discomfort sending their kids back to school. Eight percent said they won’t even send them until there is a vaccine for COVID-19.

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At the same time, parents and students alike are wary of diving back into a remote learning setting, which is how all Maine students ended their school year in the spring.

Logan Komulainen, a 10-year-old student at Paris Elementary School, said he didn’t like learning from home, saying it started out well but the experience “went down” after that.

“I’m anxious to see my friends because I haven’t seen them in a while,” Komulainen said.

His grandmother will also be happy when the kids go back to school.

“I think as long as they social distance and pay attention to the hand sanitizing and that sort of thing make sure they do it, it would be safe,” Kellie Lima said.

Meanwhile, school officials are working hard to iron out a plan.

“Kids will be back. They will have to wear masks. Teachers will have to wear masks. There will be screenings, distancing, classrooms won’t look the same. Teaching will look a little different, but we’ll have kids back,” S.A.D. 17 Superintendent Rick Colpitts said.

Colpitts said there will be a remote learning option for parents who are wary of sending their kids into a school building.

The survey also found that even though many parents could bring their kids to school, one in five families rely on the bus service. Colpitts admits the school district is still figuring out how bussing will work.

A committee will review the superintendent’s plans before a vote on August 17. School starts just two weeks after that on Aug. 31.