Parents, teachers express last-minute concerns as remainder of schools reopen

Some last-minute concerns among parents and teachers are popping up in the school districts that are reopening this week and next Monday.In Saco, there is concern over the air quality at the middle school.Sarah Trumman and her husband, who both work from home, are choosing to home-school their middle school-aged daughter and two younger kids, opting out of the two days a week of in-person classes under Saco’s hybrid plan.”I’m high risk, and one of my other children is high risk,” Truman said.Saco Middle School teachers staged a “sit out” on Tuesday to show their concern over the ventilation system. The district spent $176,000 cleaning and upgrading its ventilation systems in its three elementary schools, the high school and the middle school.The middle school’s system was tested on Wednesday.”I just feel like there needs to be more transparency to show that those have been done, what the report says the air quality is,” Truman said.In Portland, where classes begin on Monday, the student orientation at King Middle School was canceled because of a teacher shortage. The school needs more special education and English as a second language teachers. Ten of the school’s 50 teachers have opted to teach remote-only or have taken a leave of absence.”We’re feeling confident that we will be ready for Monday, but we just weren’t ready for today,” said Portland Superintendent Xavier Botana.Botana says the school district is looking to fill 20 substitute teacher positions.Meanwhile, most of the personal protective equipment has arrived.”There are some things that are on backorder, you know, some of the ventilation improvements that we’re doing have been ordered, but we’re close to being ready to go,” Botana said.

Some last-minute concerns among parents and teachers are popping up in the school districts that are reopening this week and next Monday.

In Saco, there is concern over the air quality at the middle school.

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Sarah Trumman and her husband, who both work from home, are choosing to home-school their middle school-aged daughter and two younger kids, opting out of the two days a week of in-person classes under Saco’s hybrid plan.

“I’m high risk, and one of my other children is high risk,” Truman said.

Saco Middle School teachers staged a “sit out” on Tuesday to show their concern over the ventilation system.

The district spent $176,000 cleaning and upgrading its ventilation systems in its three elementary schools, the high school and the middle school.

The middle school’s system was tested on Wednesday.

“I just feel like there needs to be more transparency to show that those have been done, what the report says the air quality is,” Truman said.

In Portland, where classes begin on Monday, the student orientation at King Middle School was canceled because of a teacher shortage. The school needs more special education and English as a second language teachers. Ten of the school’s 50 teachers have opted to teach remote-only or have taken a leave of absence.

“We’re feeling confident that we will be ready for Monday, but we just weren’t ready for today,” said Portland Superintendent Xavier Botana.

Botana says the school district is looking to fill 20 substitute teacher positions.

Meanwhile, most of the personal protective equipment has arrived.

“There are some things that are on backorder, you know, some of the ventilation improvements that we’re doing have been ordered, but we’re close to being ready to go,” Botana said.