April 30, 2021
Dear RSU 1 Community and Staff,
As most of you are aware, Governor Mills updated the outdoor masking guidelines for Maine this week. Upon review of the changes with our district physician, Dr. Amina Hanna, and our nurse team leaders Katrina Barter and Ricki Waltz, we would like to share the following updated safety guidelines with you.
Firstly there is no change to the protocol that all students and staff must be masked indoors unless on a specified mask break or during lunch. Outdoor school-based mask wearing can be most easily categorized by the level of movement of staff and students during the activity.
In situations of outdoor instruction where students and staff can consistently maintain 6 foot distancing and the activity is relatively stationary in nature, no masks will be required. Any student or staff member who chooses to wear a mask during this time may still choose to do so.
In recess and physical education settings where students are freely moving and playing, and 6 foot distancing is not easily or consistently maintained, masks are still required for staff and students.
Rationale for School-based Guidelines:
There are always situations that are harder to predict and prepare for that may occur outside. For all school-based activities, school staff will continue to use the best practice questions in making safety decisions around our outdoor mask requirements.
Is there adult supervision and management of social distancing amongst students?
Is 6 foot distancing able to be consistently maintained?
If 6 foot distancing is not consistently maintained, are the accumulated minutes staff and students within 6 feet of one another less than 15 minutes?
After School Activities: Athletics, Clubs, and Intramurals:
On April 28th, the Maine Principals’ Association updated their guidelines in accordance with state agencies and these recommendations align with the Maine Community Sport Guidelines.
RSU 1 will follow their recommendation that masks will no longer be required for outdoor practices and competitions for student athletes. They also recommend that spectators are not required to wear a mask at outside events if they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance.
Masks will be required when individuals go inside (e.g. to locker rooms, restrooms, or on a bus).
RSU 1 will require that athletes and coaches wear masks while in dugouts or sitting on a bench unless they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance.
The one exception to this will be boys lacrosse players. Due to the nature of the sport and their helmets, any active players will not be required to wear masks while on the bench or sidelines and will be required to maintain at least 6 feet of social distance at all times.
Any RSU 1 player who chooses to wear a mask has the right to do so.
Masks will be required anytime an individual goes indoors (including for indoor practices, locker room use, bathroom use, etc.).
All sanitization and disinfection protocols will be followed as usual.
Thank you for your continued support and patience as we change our policies in accordance with state and local guidance.
Superintendent of Schools
View the formal update here: https://5il.co/s5fb