IMPORTANT UPDATE

May 22, 2020 (12:00 PM)

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Dear Parents/Guardians,


The weather is finally improving and with that always comes the struggle for students to stay focused. I imagine this will be magnified with distance learning but we are almost there! Simply do your best in reminding them to finish strong, join us in watching the virtual celebrations with them to celebrate their accomplishments this year, and consider focusing on some outside learning opportunities. I have included a great website to enjoy nature nearby here.


SCHOOL BUSES BECOME ICE CREAM “TRUCKS”

  • Biddeford: Next Wednesday, May 27th at 5:30 PM school buses will depart Biddeford Middle School to become Ice Cream "trucks" for our students. The administrative team has personally purchased ice cream cones for 3,000 students, and it will allow us to see our students before the end of the school year. The rain date with be Thursday, May 28th.

  • Dayton: Next Thursday, May 28th at 5:30 PM school buses will depart Dayton School to become Ice Cream "trucks" for our students. The administrative team has personally purchased ice cream cones for 600 children of all ages, and it will allow us to see our students before the end of the school year. The rain date with be Friday, May 29th.


DEVICE RETURN

Please review the weekly newsletter(s) for your child(ren)’s school(s) for specific processes surrounding the pick-up of student possessions and device return during the week of June 8-12. It is important all borrowed devices are returned, especially 8th-grade Macbooks, to ensure we have time to disinfect them properly for use in the fall.


SUMMER SCHOOL: ONLINE AND IN-PERSON

We received guidance from the Maine DOE and have determined that we will take a hybrid approach to our summer programs. Any programming offered in June and July will be online only; in August, we will take a socially-distant, phased in-person approach based on any updated guidance between now and then. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that the only constant during this time is change and we must be flexible! Each individual program will reach out to participants with details. If your student will participate in any summer program (including BLAST), please do not return their device to the school during the week of June 8-12.


FALL PLANNING

This week the CDC released guidelines for schools opening in the fall. It is quite extensive and School Administrators continue to develop contingency plans around these guidelines to protect students, teachers, administrators, and staff. The main categories cover promoting behaviors that reduce spread, maintaining healthy environments and operations, and preparing for when someone gets sick. The below image is a snapshot overview but I encourage families to be fully informed and read the recommendations in full. Please continue to be patient as we research all aspects including academic impact on students, the financial impact on taxpayers, childcare impact on parents, and workforce impact of our own staff. Although we may not know the final “education model” until the Maine CDC makes their recommendations and the governor releases the guidelines for Phase IV, we want to ensure we are prepared to respond accordingly.


UPCOMING VIRTUAL AWARDS & CELEBRATIONS

Please join us to watch the premieres of the below virtual awards and celebrations at the dates/times listed. We will publish the links on the district website, the relevant school website, and social media platforms. The link will be provided to Biddeford Public Access but it may run at a later time depending on current programming (with the exception of graduation which is scheduled.)


  • BHS Pride Ceremony: Next Wednesday, May 27 at 6 PM, BHS will premiere the 4th Annual Tiger PRIDE virtual ceremony. BHS staff will honor students who were nominated for upholding the values of Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Dependability and Empathy.


  • Dayton Consolidated 5th Grade Clap Out: Tuesday, June 2nd at 6 PM. Fifth-grade families will meet at the Town Hall by 5:55 PM and remain in their car with students sitting on the passenger side. Families are encouraged to make signs and decorate their cars if they choose and the event will be streamed via Facebook Live.


  • BHS Scholarship Awards: Tuesday, June 2nd at 6 PM. Local Scholarships will be announced.


  • 8th Grade Awards Ceremony: Thursday, June 4th at 8:45 AM. The majority of awards will be given to students by their academic teachers. Team Sebago and STEM will be hosting their awards ceremonies separately and Zoom links provided only to those students.


  • Senior Assembly: Thursday, June 4th at 2 PM. BHS Department awards will be presented. Class historians will deliver the class story and the senior slide show will be shown.


  • BMS 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony: Friday, June 4th at 6 PM. BMS Principal Scott Descoteaux will present a couple of high-profile awards (State of Maine Citizenship Award, NELMS Scholar Leader, Tiger Awards, and the BMS Principal Award) and celebrate the 8th graders on their achievements.


  • Senior Night & Candlelight Ceremony: Friday, June 5th at 6:30 PM & 7 PM. Community members are invited to go outside in Biddeford and Saco and make as much noise as possible for 30 seconds to recognize all seniors. Let’s show our seniors how proud we are of their accomplishments and share your photos with the hashtag #SeniorsUnite2020. Shortly following this recognition, the Candlelight Ceremony will be held virtually at 7pm.


  • Class of 2020 Graduation: Graduates will march and walk the stage in advance with smaller groups for producing a film, have their photos taken professionally, and then celebrate as a full group at the premiere on Wednesday, June 17th at 9 PM at the Saco Drive-In. Due to the limited capacity of one vehicle per graduating student, the school department will broadcast simultaneously on the website, social media platforms, and Biddeford public access at 9:00 PM for community viewing as it streams live at the drive-in.


For the most up-to-date information, please stay connected with us at biddefordschools.me/health, and direct questions to closurequestions@biddefordschools.me or 207-391-6868.


Stay Well,

Jeremy Ray

Superintendent of Schools

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Two Biddeford Students Win SBSI Art Contest

Congratulations to BMS 8th-grader John Gatchalian and BHS 9th-grader Chloe Harding who each placed first in their grade division for Saco Biddeford Savings Institution's "Sketch Your Summer" contest! Their photos are below respectively. For a list of all winners, please visit SBSI's Facebook page.

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