CAPE ELIZABETH — The last day of regular instruction for Cape Elizabeth students is June 5 and June 12 is the final day for additional academic support for special education.

The Cape Elizabeth School Board voted on the end-of-the-year schedule on May 12, and Superintendent Donna Wolfrom sent a letter to families on May 13 with the information.

Students leave Cape Elizabeth Middle School carrying belongings and remote learning material on March 16. Gregory Rec photo/ Press Herald

Wolfrom told the public that administration has created a schedule for students to return to school in order to clean out lockers, return materials and electronic devices.

Teachers and students will enter the building in intervals on June 15-18 to get classrooms ready for next year, she said.

“Only school staff and a limited number of students will be allowed in the building at these times and anyone in the building will be required to wear a mask,” Wolfrom said in her letter. “Staff will be required to follow social distancing procedures and custodial staff will sanitize buildings during the day and following staff departure. Teachers will be required to leave the buildings by mid-afternoon each day in order to provide time for sanitizing all areas.”

Students or staff members who do not own a mask can contact their school before their scheduled time in order to make arrangements, she said.

As the 2019-20 school year winds down, Cape Elizabeth school principals told the board and the public what has been successful or challenging during a time of emergency online learning.

“The teachers and kids have a good routine going for the most part, but largely the thing I think has been most eye-opening is teacher to teacher, just how much they miss that hallway contact,” said Troy Eastman, principal of Cape Elizabeth Middle School.

Teachers have been stepping up to share ideas and a desire to be a part of the plan for returning to school in the fall, he said.

Pond Cove Principal Jason Manjourides said that the school has been trying its best to stay conscious of families who’ve had an additional strain placed on them and are struggling to stay engaged.

“We are really starting to focus on end-of-year-activity, classroom placement, budget orders, everything that we typically have to do,” he said. “I’m really proud of our teachers and our students and parents, and I think we’re gonna make it.”

For high school seniors, whose last day was May 22, a tentative in-person graduation is slated for Aug. 5, for immediate families only, said Principal Jeff Shedd.

“We’re doing a Plan B and we’re getting quite specific, which would be if we can’t have people outside, we’d do it inside vehicles, but we can have a nice location where everyone can be inside vehicles,” Shedd said.

Student schedules for next year’s classes are about six weeks behind, Shedd said, but he is confident that they will be finished “well before” students go back to Cape Elizabeth High School in the fall.

Expecting student engagement to fall after April break, Shedd said that he was pleasantly surprised that most students were just as involved as before the vacation. Teachers and staff have employed various methods to keep in touch with their children.

“I would say our kids both identify special education students and non-special education are getting more attention than they’ve ever gotten in their lives and will be very happy when that ends,” he said.

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