June 2, 2020
I hope you are all doing well and staying healthy and safe. We miss being here at school with your children! Thank you for all your support and participation in our district distance learning plan. It has been quite a learning experience for all of us and we appreciate your patience and feedback along the way. As the close of the 2019-20 school year approaches, I know none of us could have anticipated this unusual ending, and I want to provide some details about the end of the year:
Laptop Drop off: You may drop off your child’s laptop & charger at school on June 8th & June 10th from 8:00-1:00 p.m. If unable to make it during those times, you may also drop off your child’s laptop & charger at Gardiner Area High School on June 10th from 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Meals: The last day for MSAD 11 meal distribution will be Monday, June 15th from 11:00-1:00 p.m. and each bundle will include 5 meals.
Report Cards: Report cards for the 2019-20 school year will be mailed to you on June 17th. The third trimester report card will look very different. Your child will receive a P or I for each content area. The P means that your child was able to consistently participate in learning activities provided by the teachers. The I means that, due to COVID-19, your child was not able to consistently participate in learning activities provided by the teachers. Any student who receives an I will be monitored carefully when we return to school to address any additional learning needs. Your child’s teacher for next year will not be printed on the report card.
Next Year’s Teacher: Because of the uncertainty of how our school year will look as we begin next year, all elementary students will find out who their teachers will be in mid-August. When we place students in classes, we work hard to create balanced classrooms. We consider the number of boys and girls, academic and behavioral needs of students, and student friendships. Because of the uncertainty of how schools will open, we want to give our staff flexibility in creating these lists as we learn more about the start of the school year.
Supply Lists: Every grade level will put a list together of supplies students may need for school next year. Your child’s grade level supply list for next year will be included with your child’s report card. Please know that if you are unable to purchase these supplies, we will make sure there are extra supplies in each classroom.
K Screening: If you have a child entering kindergarten in August and if your child did not attend a public preschool, we will conduct kindergarten screening for your child on August 24th. We will use recommendations from the Maine Department of Education in order to comply with the Governor's Orders and make the experience a safe one!
PreK Screening: For children entering pre-kindergarten in August, we will conduct their screening the week of August 30th-September 3rd. Again, we will use recommendations from the Maine Department of Education in order to comply with the Governor's Orders and make the experience a safe one!
Memory Books: Our Memory Books for 2019-20 are expected to arrive some time in June. Thanks to our PTA, every student will receive a gifted copy of the Memory Book free of charge! If the Memory Book does not arrive before the final day of school, we will make arrangements for them to be picked up or mailed home to you.
End of Year Drive-Through Parade: All families are invited to participate in an end of year drive-through parade on Wednesday, June 10th at 4:00. We miss our students and want to see everyone before saying goodbye for the summer! The parade will travel from Rte. 126 down Spears Corner Road (toward Four Corners Store). Staff members will be wearing masks and standing 6 feet apart along Spears Corner Road. You will see AND hear us sending best wishes to our students and families! For safety, all families must remain in cars distanced from others. You are invited to decorate your vehicles, hold signs and make noise during the parade!
5th Grade Celebration: Although we cannot be together here at school in the traditional way, we are planning to celebrate our 5th graders and wish them well as they transition to middle school next year. We will share a virtual message for our 5th graders and hope to come together (in person) in August to celebrate the year.
Return to school: Currently, Superintendent Pat Hopkins is organizing committees to plan for the reopening of schools in the fall of 2020-21. The committees will help us form a comprehensive and safe plan for school in the fall. We look forward to welcoming your children back in the fall and will continue to keep you informed of decisions and plans throughout the summer.
Thank you again for your patience, continued support, and for working closely with us during this final trimester of the school year. At Helen Thompson School, we all wish you and your families a safe, fun and healthy summer! We are so eager to come back together in the fall once it is safe to resume teaching and learning in the school building.
In the spirit of growing and learning,