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Maine EastMaine WestMaine South
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August 11, 2020
Q&A on 2020-21 Opening of School

This document contains parent questions about the opening of school for the 2020-21 school year given the plan for a slower start to the at school learning announced on Aug. 3. If you have a question that is not already listed here, please submit it utilizing the form at the bottom of the page. Please know that individual questions will not be answered; however, questions will be posted and answered here. Many questions are addressed in the overview document created by the district.

Q. What reassurances can you give that in home learning will be better than remote learning that started in March and lasted until the end of the year?

There are three major differences between the model used in the spring from this model.  

  • First, learning will be synchronous.  Students will be required to attend class following their class schedule and participate in synchronous learning during their school day.  Parents and students can expect to begin their day with their first period and be engaged each period of the day for which they have class.  
  • Second, unlike in the spring, the State directive to hold students’ grades harmless is not in effect; therefore, students will earn grades as they would in a traditional classroom setting.  D207 will use a grading system of A through F and assign scores to assignments and assessments as would be typical in a fully in-person model of schooling.  
  • Third, most students will have the option to be on campus at some point during Full Home Learning.   Students will have the opportunity to be on-campus if they are in a special population that requires a high degree of in-person support, if they are in a population whose home circumstances requires them to attend campus more frequently, if a student is in need of social and emotional support that cannot be delivered virtually, and when students are encouraged to complete hands on activities with specialized equipment (i.e. lab activities).  
  • Additionally, buildings will hold in-person orientations for each grade level in the first 2 weeks of school to help students transition to this very different school year and learning environment.

These are significant changes that we believe will positively impact student engagement this school year.

Q. When does school start?

The start of school will look much different than previous years and is outlined below:

Tuesday, August 18 – Freshmen Orientation

Wednesday, August 19 – Freshmen Orientation

Thursday, August 20 – Freshmen Orientation

Friday, August 21 – Freshmen Orientation

Freshmen Orientation will be completed in person for those who elect to come to school; alternative participation for students will be offered for those who elect not to come to school; more details about time, agenda and which specific students will participate which days will be shared by the individual schools.

Monday, August 24 – Senior Day
Senior Day will be completed in person for those who elect to come to school; alternative participation for students will be offered for those who elect not to come to school; more details about time and agenda will be shared by the individual schools.

Tuesday, August 25 – Junior Day and At Home Classes Begin for All Students

Wednesday, August 26 – Junior Day and At Home Classes for All Students

Thursday, August 27 – Sophomore Day and At Home Classes for All Students

Friday, August 28 – Sophomore Day and At Home Classes for All Students

Junior and Sophomore Days will be completed in person for those who elect to come to school; alternative participation for students will be offered for those who elect not to come to school; more details about time, agenda and which specific students will participate which days will be shared by the individual schools.

Monday, August 31 – No School

Tuesday, September 1 – Full Home Learning Schedule is implemented

Q. What if I don’t want to send my child for any in person activities?

For any in-school opportunities, there will be alternative non-in-person options made available.  

Q. Will my child have the option to participate in sports and other activities at school during at home learning?

Yes. During at home learning, we will also allow IHSA sports that will take place during the fall season to participate, and we will ask for other clubs and extracurriculars to operate as we normally would, just in a mostly virtual environment. As conditions change and we are able to bring more students back to school, we will use every opportunity to do so if we can achieve it safely. 

Q. Since PACE is not running buses, how will my child get to school?

The district has posted information about routes that students can use to get to school using PACE even though the specific school routes aren’t running. https://maine207.org/transportation/

Q.  Are the special education transportation options still in effect with the PACE decision?

Yes, special education transportation will be running for students who need to get to school.

Q. How much homework should I expect for my student as part of “at home learning”?

Students should expect homework will be the same as if students were learning at school. Teachers will be assigning homework on the days students are in class with them and most homework will be due on days they have class as well.

Q. How will test taking be administered to ensure the student enrolled in the class is taking the exam (i.e. avoiding cheating on tests)

Teachers will be using a variety of assessment practices and/or tools to check for understanding. Teachers may have students take an assessment in front of them on a Google Meet or Zoom or even take the exam online or on paper (then take a picture to upload).  Google forms allows teachers to lock down the browser in quiz mode. Teachers are encouraged to create assessments that are authentic or novel in nature for higher-order thinking to also help avoid cheating.

Q. How will PE classes be taught?

PE classes will meet virtually yes and adaptive PE will be held in the building to support students with IEPs. PE classes will be synchronous and asynchronous based on the daily lesson and interaction with the teacher and activities provided to students..

Q. Will AP classes be conducted with the same rigor as they would if they were being conducted in person?

Yes, AP classes will have the same rigor as in person. AP teachers are still using the College Board learning objectives to create their assessments and daily lesson plans.

Q. If District 207 moves to a hybrid or in-school model after the first quarter, will parents be given another chance to decide which is the best option for their child?

Yes, another survey will be sent.

Q. How will you provide for the social-emotional needs of my child in a fully remote environment, can they meet with a social worker or psychologist either in person or virtually? 

We recognize that these times may be challenging for a number of families. If a family is experiencing a personal trauma, we offer a range of services and supports to meet your students needs. Please reach out to your child’s counselor and refer to our website for additional resources.

Students who need additional support for academics, assistance with social emotional concerns, or guidance related to college and career planning will be able to access virtual support services offered by D207 staff members.

Q. What if my child has a problem with technology or internet access?

Please contact the ChromeDepot in your school for assistance.

  • Maine East – https://east.maine207.org/resources_and_programs/chrome-depot/
  • Maine South – https://south.maine207.org/resources_and_programs/chrome-depot/
  • Maine West – https://west.maine207.org/resources_and_programs/chrome-depot/

Q. What if my student would just be able to concentrate better at school and would do better with some structure? Can we send our kids to work at school, not home?

Parents can share this request with the school as we plan to allow a limited number of students to be at school during at home learning.

Q. Will teachers be available beyond the schedule virtual school day for academic support, tutoring or direct help?

Yes, teachers are available much like when school is in session to respond to emails or requests for help from students. Teachers also have scheduled office hours Tuesday-Friday from 3-3:30 p.m. to support students.

Q. Since the district is not sure if driver’s education behind the wheel will be held, how would I go about getting a refund for fees already paid?

For parents who no longer want to participate in driver’s education through school (for whatever reason), please contact your child’s counselor to unenroll the student from drivers’ education. After that is complete, please contact the school bookstore for a refund.

Q. What is happening with internships?

Please check with your school’s career and college counseling office as they are working to still provide as many internships as possible.

Q. I still have a question not listed above, how do I get that answered?

Many questions are addressed in the overview document created by the district. If you don’t see your answer there, you can submit a question through this form