News From Paris Elementary School

November 23, 2020

A Time of Thanks

Dear PES Families and Friends,

I wanted to reach out to let you know how thankful I am to be a part of Paris Elementary School and this community. The pandemic has certainly made for many challenges here at school, in our community, and in our own personal lives. However, I am so grateful for the ongoing support of our staff at school who have worked tirelessly to ensure they are doing all they can to keep students healthy, safe and engaged academically. I am also grateful to the support of our community and families at PES. I know this is not the year you were hoping for, but your ongoing support and positive words of encouragement are very much appreciated.

While the upcoming holidays may look and feel a little different for all of us due to the restrictions COVID-19 imposes, I hope you all will take some time to reflect on what is most important to each of you. For me, I am thankful to be able to come to work each day and see students and staff. I love being in the car loop each morning and afternoon and connecting with parents while they drop off and pick up their children. I am proud of what our staff has been able to accomplish with the new guidelines in place for in-person instruction. I am grateful to the school district for allowing students to opt for remote learning if this best fits their families' needs at this time. Most importantly, I am grateful to our PES families for working with us regarding the many changes we have needed to implement. I do look forward to the time when we can welcome families back to our building, and we can ease the restrictions in place for students and staff.

Despite the challenges we all face, it is important to reflect on all that is good in our lives. We will get through this pandemic and we will be more resilient because of it. I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Warmest Regards,

Lori Pacholski

Holiday Travel Plans?

The infectious disease experts want to strongly encourage people NOT to travel for Thanksgiving. If you are planning to travel to any state other than New Hampshire or Vermont, you need to follow the guidelines below in order for your child to return to school.

  1. Quarantine for 14 days upon return to Maine, OR

  2. Quarantine until receiving a negative test result.

The test must be taken either:
  • in the state you are visiting and no more than 72 hours prior to your return to Maine, or

  • once you return to Maine.

  • Any staff or students who have travelled to restricted states will not be permitted inside the school building until either the negative test result or 14 days has occurred.

  • This is not dependent on the length of time spent within the restricted states, meaning that a day visit still requires any person to quarantine for 14 days or until a negative test result is confirmed. All members of the household who travel must test or quarantine if over 12 months old.

  • For local testing call Western Maine health at 393-3200. Testing offered at the airport will be accepted. Rapid tests from Walgreens will not be accepted. Further testing site information for Maine can be found here.

  • Any person who is quarantining should stay home and not have in-person contact with others unless there is an emergency.

It is imperative that if you travel you are very vigilant about mask wearing, physical distancing of 6 feet, and hand hygiene.

A non-traditional Thanksgiving can be hard on all of us, and the CDC has some suggestions on healthy alternatives and precautions to consider that can be found here.

Please stay safe, and help us to keep our school community safe and able to provide for the students we serve. Please call if you have any questions or concerns.

Happy Holidays,

Victoria Knight RN, School Nurse

Upcoming Dates

Tuesday, November 24th

Wednesday-Friday, November 25th-27th
  • Thanksgiving Break-No school for students PreK-12

Monday, November 30th

  • In-person students return to school

Friday, December 4th

  • End of first trimester Prek-Grade 6

Tuesday, December 8th

  • Dr. Alison Roy-Session # 2 for parents-see flyer below

Tuesday, December 22nd

Wednesday, December 23rd

  • Report Cards sent home
  • Early Release Day

December 24-January 1

  • Winter Break-No school for students PreK-12

Monday, January 18th

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day-No school for students PreK-12

Cold Weather and Warm Clothing

While I know it is hard to think about the cold days ahead, they are coming. Students do continue to go outside for recess and will also be taking mask breaks outdoors. Please be sure to send your child with a warm jacket, hats, and mittens/gloves for the chilly days ahead. They will also need to have snow pants and boots for snowy weather.

Students in fifth and sixth grade often choose not to wear a jacket when outside despite the lower temps. Teachers will send home a form for parents to sign indicating whether or not your child has permission to remove their jacket when at recess if the temperature is above 20 degrees. If you want to allow your child to be without a jacket, you will need to sign and return this form. Otherwise, we will expect your child to keep their jacket on while outside.


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Symptom Screening Before Coming to School

Students (parents/caregivers) and school staff must conduct self-checks for symptoms prior to boarding buses or entering school buildings each day.

We recognize the strain it puts on families when children need to stay home from school. However, we must follow the district and CDC guidelines regarding illnesses which does mean students and staff cannot come to school if they have at least one of the most common COVID-19 symptoms which are:

  1. Cough
  2. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  3. Fever of 100 or greater
  4. Chills
  5. Sore throat
  6. New loss of taste or smell

Students and staff must also stay home if they have two or more of the less common symptoms such as:

  1. Muscle pain
  2. Nausea or vomiting
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Fatigue
  5. Headache
  6. Congestion/runny nose

If you answer 'yes' to any of the 4 questions on the Pre-Screening Tool below, please keep your child home and call your Primary Care Provider for guidance. Any person showing symptoms must report their symptoms to the school and must not be present at school. Please call the the school nurse, Victoria Knight, if you have any questions. Please be kind to our school nurse who is simply following protocols when she needs to call home.

Please be available by phone and make arrangements for your child to be picked up from school as soon as possible when they are ill.

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Visitors to the Building

Due to the current COVID-19 guidelines, we will not be able to allow visitors into our school this year. This includes the parents and guardians of our students. In an effort to maintain a safe and healthy learning environment for all, only staff and students will be allowed to enter the school building.

Please know that this is a safety precaution and we will miss seeing our parents, volunteers, and guests inside the building this year. We hope we can invite you back into the building soon!