Rationale on the Decision to Open our Schools

RSU1 Logo of a Compass Rose

Thank you to those of you who shared your feedback about the district’s decision to open our schools today, 11/02/17. I particularly appreciated the thoughtful emails I received. I’d like to share that the difficult decision to open our seven buildings was made after much thought and with only the best intentions to support the current needs of our community.  

With all seven buildings finally receiving power last night, I canvassed the neighborhood roads in all towns myself along with our facilities crew and had conversations with Bath Bus Company to make a decision about reopening today.  It was determined that while many of the roads were in rough shape, we should open the buildings to help provide services for the students who could get to school (over 85% attendance rate at each building today) and get them back into the school routine. Knowing that many homes are still without power and heat, we wanted the schools to be open today so students who could make it would have a place with light, heat, and warm meals.

Given the current state of several of our roads, however, there will be no penalty this week regarding attendance. If your child is unable to come to school, it will be excused given the circumstances, and they will be allowed to make up any missed work.  While it is never an easy decision to make in these circumstances, it is one I always make first and foremost for the good of the students and community in mind. The Maine Department of Education put out a press release yesterday stating that school districts that canceled school days due to circumstances surrounding the recent storm should treat those cancelations the same as any other weather-related school cancelation. This means that the three days we used will very likely need to be made up somehow. Please stay safe, and I hope we are all back to more normalcy next week.  

 

Respectfully,

Patrick Manuel
RSU 1 Superintendent of Schools  





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