RSU 18 Response and Updates to COVID-19

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MHS update from Ms. Callan 08/05/2020

August 5, 2020

Dear Parents and Students:

In my thirty six years of being an educator I never thought my Welcome Back letter would be filled with so many directions specific to the safety and well being of our students and staff. In this letter I have attempted to outline for you things that are specific to MHS. For district updates I would refer you to the homepage of RSU18 as Mr. Gartley is updating his FAQ sheet on a weekly basis. Bulleted below are new procedures for us here at the high school and I would encourage you to reach out should you have any questions or concerns. 

    • Schedules (student’s and bell)- Enclosed is your class schedule for the first semester, should you find that you need to make a change please call the guidance office at 465-4989 to schedule an appointment with your counselor. We will have two days of add/drop at the beginning of the school year.We ask that students attend all the classes that appear on their current schedule until the changes have been made. We have a new bell schedule that places tagging time at the end of the day and we did this so that those students who are being dismissed for extra-curricular activities don’t miss class time and for those students who attend MMTC can be tagged for academic assistance as well. 
    • Remote Learning– As you know we will be open for all students to participate in in-school learning. We recognize that some students will choose to remain at home and therefore will learn remotely. This will look different than it did this spring. Students will be expected to log on to their computers and attend their classes as they appear on their schedules. This means, for example, that if a student has a period 1 class they will need to log-in and be set to go at 8:00 am. Students will also be expected to participate in class discussions, complete the work assigned, take assessments, and when tagged, they will receive additional support from their classroom teacher. They will also be required to be present, meaning that they cannot use emojis or memes to identify who they are. If a student discovers that remote learning is not what they want to do they can return to on campus classes but must wait until the end of the quarter before returning. We ask that you give us at least a week’s notice so that we can make sure we have adequate spacing for their return.
    • Grading– All grading will be recorded in PowerSchool this year (for both in-person and remote learning)
    • Attendance– Will be taken on a period by period basis and recorded in PowerSchool. If your son/daughter is ill and will not be attending classes, either in person or remotely, we ask that you call the main office to report their absence. We will continue to use the robocall to let you know when your student is absent. 
    • Changing Classes- Enclosed is a map (with blue arrows) that shows the flow of traffic as the students will be changing classes. As you can see we have them going outside to move from class to class. This will give students an opportunity to get some fresh air and remove their masks for a brief period of time. 
    • Classrooms- Will be set-up to ensure that we have adequate spacing between students. Our classrooms have at least 3’ of spacing between each student and for those courses with high enrollment numbers we have moved them to a larger classroom.
    • Masks- Will be required in all classrooms and anytime a student is in the building (with the exception of lunch and outside passing. We recognize that the masks are uncomfortable and restrictive but we must follow this new protocol. I would encourage students to reach out to their teachers if they find they need a brief break (they can step out into the hallway, remove their mask, as long as there aren’t other students in the area, for a brief moment). 
    • Lunch– We have enclosed a map that indicates which spaces students can use for eating their lunch. This year we have included the bleachers, courtyard (where a tent will be set up), cafeteria, as well as many classrooms. Students will need to be at least 6’ away from their peers while eating as they will need to remove their masks in order to eat their lunch and chat with their friends. We will be meeting with the individual grade levels to go over the lunch changes as it can appear to be very confusing. 
    • Gathering Locations- When arriving at school students will be asked to report to their period one class or wait outside until the bell rings for first period. We are trying to limit the areas where students gather before and after school. 
    • MMTC- The technical center will be open for classes and we will provide transportation for both morning and afternoon students. 
    • Drop-off and Pick-up- Locations remain the same as last year.
    • Access to High School- We will remain a locked school and will not be admitting anyone to our building unless they have a scheduled appointment. Should you need to drop something off for your student we will be happy to come out to the main entrance to get the item. This seems rather impersonal but it is another layer to keeping our students and staff healthy.
    • Freshman Orientation- In the past we have held our annual Freshman Barbecue but due to the circumstances we find ourselves in, we are unable to host it this year. Instead, we are working on a virtual Open House that we hope to have finished in the next week or so. 
    • Senior Privileges– Enclosed is the form that needs to be filled out and returned to the main office during the first week of school. 
  • Important First Quarter Dates:

* September 15th- Picture Day

* September 22nd- Early Release Day

* October 7th & 8th- Parent/Teacher Conferences

* October 9th- No School

* October 14th- PSAT Testing (grades 9, 10, 11)

* October 14th- SAT testing (this testing date is for seniors only, any senior who wishes to participate please reach out to Ms. Sprague in guidance)

* October 30th- First quarter closes

If you haven’t already done so would you please take a moment to complete the survey that is located on the front page of the high school website (this was sent in a recent email). We are asking you to indicate whether or not your student will be returning to school or be participating in remote learning as well how they will be transported to school.

As we know the tides are constantly changing and as they do we will continue to share those changes with you on our webpage. I will continue to post a weekly Principal’s Pen once the school year starts on the high school’s website. We are very much looking forward to seeing your students return to school, either in person or remotely. 

See you soon

Ms. Callan

Coming Events at Messalonskee High