Wiscasset schools on vaccine, testing, masks; meeting Aug. 24

Fri, 08/20/2021 - 12:00pm

Superintendent of Schools Terry Wood’s Aug. 17 letter to families is posted at wiscassetschools.org:

I hope this letter finds you enjoying the last days of summer. I would like to start by saying a huge thank you to you all. Last year was a challenging year for everyone, however, with your help and understanding, we managed to have a productive and safe school year for our students. We could not have done this successfully without the cooperation and help of every family member. It is a testament to the strength of this community.

I wanted to provide you with an update as we plan for the start of the school year. We are returning to full-time, in-person learning this fall in Wiscasset Schools. The district is not providing a hybrid model. We will provide physical distancing to the greatest extent possible. Distancing efforts will not impede us from offering full-time, in-person instruction for all students. Students will not have to wear masks outdoors and we will be providing many opportunities for outdoor learning.

The first day of school for all students is Sept. 7 and we will be operating normal school hours. The 2021-2022 school calendar is on the website for easy access. School bus schedules/routes will be posted on the website and in the local newspaper in the near future based on the latest requirements. Please note that the CDC is requiring masks of all persons on school buses/vans.

Based on new data related to the delta variant of the coronavirus, federal and state health authorities recently recommended that all students and staff wear masks inside of school, regardless of vaccination status. The Wiscasset School Committee will be voting on the Return to School Plan at a special board meeting on Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. I encourage you to attend the meeting, or provide written public comment prior to the meeting. The School Committee will gather input at this meeting and approve the details of the reopening plan.

At their May meeting, the Wiscasset School Committee approved pooled testing. Pooled testing is being offered because it will result in fewer quarantines when positive cases of COVID-19 are detected. This is optional for students and staff, and we will provide more detailed information, including consent forms, in the near future. You can learn more about pooled testing here:


The Wiscasset School Department is not requiring students or staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, though it is strongly encouraged to help keep our schools as safe as possible. We will continue to organize additional vaccine clinics in the district, as we did last year, if needed for families.

Though we will still face some challenges this year, I know that we can work together again to make this a smooth school year entry for our students. We are anxiously awaiting their arrival and looking forward to welcoming all students and staff back from their summer breaks. I will keep you posted as new updates are received from the CDC and the Maine Department of Education.