March 28, 2020
Dear Students and Parents,
I hope this update finds you safe and in good health. The Covid 19 virus has changed life as we knew it and is providing challenges in every aspect of daily routine. As we approached the end of classroom instruction, which was a difficult decision, I was guided then and now by two overriding initial goals; to ensure that students and faculty were safe and to provide the time necessary for families to adjust to the new normal. Meeting those basic needs, including providing food, took place first. The next phase was to provide educational resources that would allow students and families to re-engage in learning/education when they were ready at a level of commitment that was comfortable for them. Those resources, which will be updated weekly, are on the school department’s website.
Many of you have already been contacted through a number of means by your child’s teacher(s) or support person. If you have not been contacted, faculty and/or staff will be reaching out next week. It is extremely important that relationships that have been established with your student at school continue. Teachers, who have been working many hours at home regarding their role as teacher, have set aside office hours from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. daily when you can contact them through email or other means you’ve used before. That doesn’t mean you cannot reach out to them at other times, but you can be sure they will be available during those office hours.
There has been much discussion regarding middle school laptops. Preparing them for distribution will take time, but that preparation initiated yesterday (Friday) and will continue through the weekend. Information regarding the process for you to pick up middle school laptops will be sent out and posted early next week.
You may also be asked several questions when contacted by a member of your school’s faculty or staff to gather information. It will be helpful as your school and school department gear up to meet your needs in the days ahead.
Stay safe and healthy.
Superintendent of Schools
RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS TO MAINTAIN AND EXTEND LEARNING
|FIRST GRADE||STUDENT SUPPORT|
|SECOND GRADE||HEALTH AND WELLNESS|
|THIRD GRADE||FINE ARTS|
Dear Students and Parents,
I hope this finds you healthy and in good spirits. We all are experiencing something beyond anything experienced previously. So much is unknown and many of the supports that we have taken for granted are not there at this time. Food, water, and yes toilet paper are more difficult to find and are often being dispensed or limited in ways that we couldn’t imagine just a few weeks ago. Education falls into that same category. Providing distance learning for a day or two for a snow storm is much easier than building required learning opportunities for all students without the often overlooked support of trained educators to support their learning. Duplicating that practice without face-to-face interaction would be extremely difficult and in some cases impossible. It would lead to frustration for many students, parents and teachers. We are in a departure from what we all take for granted as the usual educational process.
Feeding into that frustration by providing required school work without the necessary supports in place to help parents and students accomplish new learning doesn’t make sense. It does make sense to provide resources that will guide you in maintaining and extending learning if that is your desire. As a life-long educator, I definitely believe that learning should continue. To support learning, we have posted above an educational resource catalogue that will provide suggested resources divided by grade level for elementary students and by department for Cony. Resources submitted by teachers and administrators will be posted in this location on the school department’s website.
Stay safe and healthy,
James N. Anastasio
Superintendent of Schools
Sunday evening, March 15,2020, Governor Mills declared a civil state of emergency for Maine which extends for 30 days. During the civil emergency, Maine schools cannot provide classroom-based instruction. As a result, the Augusta School Department and all Augusta schools are closed until April 27, 2020 to increase social distancing and decrease the potential impact of Covid-19 on all of you and the greater Augusta Community.
All Augusta Public Schools are closed because of COVID -19 to students, employees, and the community through March 29, reopening on March 30.
INFORMATION REGARDING THE COVID-19 VIRUS AND SCHOOL CLOSURE
This closure is in response to the call by medical professionals to implement practices of social distancing as we all work to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This closure is not the result of any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our immediate community, though we know the virus is present in Maine. We are taking this proactive approach out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 cases in Maine.
Much more information will be forthcoming on this closure, but I wanted to communicate this news to you as soon as possible so you may begin planning for child care and other concerns that will be raised by this decision.
During this closure, we ask that you assist by minimizing group meetings of students and adults. Practicing social distancing and good personal hygiene are the two greatest steps we can take to protect our community from the spread of COVID-19.
We will continue to stay in touch with you throughout these days. We understand this is a time of great uncertainty, and are here to support you and your children while at the same time doing our best to insure healthy practices for all in the community.
Thank you for your continued support of our students and our schools.
FREE BREAKFAST & LUNCH
While schools are closed March 16-27, Augusta School Nutrition will be providing FREE meals to ALL CHILDREN 18 and under.
Starting March 16, on Mondays and Wednesdays between 10 am and 11 am we will be handing out bag meals at each of the following schools and Williams Playground.
Cony High School Parking lot
Farrington Elementary School Parking lot
Lincoln Elementary School Parking lot
Gilbert Elementary School Parking lot
On Mondays, each child will receive 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches(4 meals).
On Wednesdays, each child will receive 3 breakfasts and 3 lunches(6 meals).
For more information, visit www.Augustaschools.org
or call the School Nutrition Office at 620-8086
A letter from James Anastasio regarding the COVID-19 virus.
Congratulations to Principal Heather Gauthier and Lincoln Elementary School staff. The Department of Education has showcased their innovative school vacation project that promotes literacy. Follow this link to enjoy great guest readers.
The following links will take you to surveys which you may fill out regarding our pending policies. To view these policies you may click on the attachment. After you read the policy, we invite you to participate in the survey.
GBCA: Staff Conflicts of Interest
BEDH: Public Participation at Board Meetings
IHD-R: Adult/Community Education Diploma Requirement and Regulations
The federal law, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), requires school departments to report chronic-absenteeism rates. This happens when students in grades K-12 are absent for 10% or more of the days enrolled, excused and unexcused.
Chronic-absenteeism impacts students’ educational progress often times limiting school success. The Augusta School Department tackles attendance problems on a daily basis using an array of strategies- some as simple as calling parents and others as complex as offering support services and initiating the truancy process.
During the 2017-2018 school year, the school department’s data indicated that over 18% of our students were considered chronically absent from school. These students were missing more than 17 days of school during one school year.
It is important to create a culture of school attendance and therefore we ask our school community, parents, students and stakeholders to support this effort. When kids aren’t in school, they can’t benefit from the instruction that’s being offered and learning gaps are reinforced. They have a right to be educated, let’s get it done together and build a stronger, smarter community.
Augusta Public Schools
Please click on our Legacy link if you would need to visit our previous site.
Learning and teaching are personalized to be meaningful and to promote achievement. Through Personal Learning Plans we challenge every student to develop and achieve. The environment is safe, nurturing and respects the individual. Learning is fun and possible only in a safe place. Safety means a culture of civility and respect in secure, modern facilities.
Augusta School Department