TOPSHAM

School Administrative District 75 is still considering its options to make up a week of school canceled due to October’s mass power outage.

The district has released a survey for families and staff, available this week, that will help district officials determine how to make up the lost days of school.

SAD 75 is comprised of students from four towns — Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Harpswell and Topsham — with many areas without power for most of all of the week of Oct. 30 and sections of bus routes that remained impassable due to downed trees and utility lines.

The district scheduled five school closing make-up days in its calendar, and already has five days to make up — with winter yet to come.

SAD 75 Superintendent Brad Smith told the school board last month that contrary to some rumors, the state of emergency declaration did not exempt districts from meeting the 175-school days requirement. While the school could request a waiver from the Maine Department of Education if it is a tough winter, a waiver wouldn’t be considered until the spring.

The district’s goal, Smith said, is to survey parents and staff about several options that are available. He recognized no one solution will work for everyone, noting some may have already purchased travel tickets or have special events scheduled during vacations and other planned no-school days.

The district invites families and staff to respond to the survey by Friday, Dec. 8. It poses six possibilities to make up the five school closure days.

These options include:

• Making Dec. 22 a half-day for staff and students

• Canceling late starts on the first Wednesday of the month from January to May

• Making March 15 a regular school day and March 16 a half-day

• Making April 13 a half-day

• Making May 29 a regular school day

• Making June 15 a regular school day

The survey can be found on the district Facebook page or at Goo.gl/hHm5cu.

The district’s calendar committee has been called to consider the responses to the various options and make a final recommendation to the school board, possibly at its Dec. 14 meeting.

Smith emphasized the time that is made up should be worthwhile instructional time and not just adding minutes to classroom time to meet requirements. The district also hopes to minimize the impact on professional development time and to limit extending the school year further into June.

In his most recent storm update to the school board, Smith said the damage to school property totaled approximately $1,600, which included shingle damage and sewer cap damage to Bowdoinham Community School and a damaged flag pole at Harpswell Community School. The district has a $500 deductible, so it will submit a claim to its insurance company.

The district also lost about $1,100 worth of food, primarily dairy products, on which it will also make an insurance claim. Fortunately most food was able to be moved to schools with power.



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