IMPORTANT UPDATE

October 30, 2020

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Dear Parents and Guardians,


York County remains a green designation according to the Maine CDC and Maine DOE’s Health Advisory System rating (red, yellow, green) despite Maine surpassing its record daily count since the outbreak began. Just this morning as Maine reached 103 cases, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah wrote, “The surge is here. Take action now. For your sake, and for the sake of your family and community, wear a mask and stay apart. This is serious."


As we approach the holiday season with Halloween this weekend and Thanksgiving around the corner, I encourage families to prioritize health and safety by adhering to Maine CDC guidance and consider postponing or modifying family transitions this year (see NewsCenter Maine article here). Please be safe and continue to be vigilant with prevention practices to keep students, staff, and the larger community healthy.


PARENT SURVEY RESULTS

Thank you for completing the recent parent survey and providing feedback on topics related to communication, technology and internet access, student adjustment to the return, social-emotional and academic successes, and suggested improvements. Navigating these unchartered waters is a perfect opportunity to gather data-driven guidance from parents when making decisions on allocating financial and personnel resources and remote and in-person instruction which benefits our student population as a whole.


The preliminary results for Biddeford were gathered and presented to their School Committee this week and Dayton’s results will be shared at their next School Committee meeting on November 10th. If you have not yet completed the survey, you may do so by clicking one of the following links: BIDDEFORD or DAYTON.


DAYTON LUCKY TO HAVE MAINE’S PRINCIPAL OF THE YEAR - KIM SAMPIETRO

I first announced in my April 3rd newsletter that our very own Dayton Consolidated School Principal Kim Sampietro was named Maine's Distinguished Elementary Principal of the Year by The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Unfortunately, the announcement was overshadowed by the pandemic and closure of all school buildings followed by the national awards ceremony scheduled for October--National Principals Month-- being moved to virtual.


The Dayton School Department and Dayton Community Club felt this achievement deserved as much recognition as Kim’s hard work to earn the award. Therefore, on October 28th they surprised her with a celebration including a student parade in which students handed her homemade cards, posters, and thanked her personally, short comments of thanks from the administration and teachers, and a parent drive-by parade. Her family was also able to attend including her children who rode the fire truck with their mom to the school celebration. Check out the WMTW Channel 8 news story and the Student/Staff Video congratulating Kim.


Kim has worked tirelessly for students and staff in Dayton over the last six years and has unquestionably earned this prestigious honor. She has made it a priority to not only align the school’s vision with state expectations but also with the expectations and values of the local community. In fact, student satisfaction and engagement are translating into higher test scores, and more positive reports from receiving schools about the preparedness, resilience, and dynamism of Dayton’s student body. In addition, she has successfully led the way in being one of only a few schools in the State to have students back in-person five days a week this year!


SNOW DAYS

Snow Days will remain as usual this school year up to the five (5) days planned in the calendar. As discussed at School Committee this week, this will: (1) provide some normalcy for our youth; (2) be considerate of our nutrition and transportation staff safety who would be required to come in to make and deliver school lunch to students if school was held remotely; and (3) the material sent home in blizzard bags may not necessarily be relevant to the material being taught at the time a snow day occurs.


WINTER SPORTS

The Maine Principals Association (MPA) which governs secondary athletics, announced this week that the winter sports season would not start on November 16th as they are still in the process of working with multiple state agencies--all looking through a different lens-- to develop safety guidelines for each sport. Check out the full Portland Press news article.


DON’T FORGET!

Just a reminder to “Fall Back” - be sure to set your clocks back an hour this weekend and recharge with an extra hour of sleep or spend the bonus time doing something you enjoy!


If you missed a past issue or need to refer back to any of my past communications, they can be found on my Smore Newsletter page here. All important COVID-related updates are located on our website at biddefordschools.me/health and questions or concerns can be emailed to closurequestions@biddefordschools.me or by calling 207-391-6868.


Stay Well,

Jeremy Ray

Superintendent of Schools

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YOUR HELP IS CRITICAL TO PREVENT LOSS OF FUNDING

It is vital parents complete the Free and Reduced Meal Application for their child(ren) despite the free meals currently provided by the USDA. This application determines the rate of need among our student population to qualify for state funding as well as private grants. In fact, it determines the amount of funding that allows us to continue many of our amazing school programs that students enjoy. Please take the time to complete the application even if you believe you don’t qualify for free and reduced lunch.


To apply online, simply go to the District Website under Parents & Family tab and click on Food Services or follow this direct link: https://biddefordschools.me/food-services/


Click the “Apply on Paypams Site” to apply online or call the school for a paper application. By completing and returning the form, you are greatly supporting our District!

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