Well, the first week of November has not been a quiet one, both within and outside of our borders. I continue to be proud of the effort and caring that all are putting forth to keep the ship that is the South Portland Schools moving forward as we navigate uncertain waters.

While it has been hard for me to be out and around the district these days, on Tuesday, Nov. 3, I had the opportunity to visit all of our elementary schools to deliver special COVID-19 coloring books for all students. We had books translated into French and Spanish as well. The books were a project of the health office in the city of South Portland and we are grateful for the 1,400 coloring books that they provided for our students.

Written by Clovis Lemba, and with artwork by our own Luis Ventura, Before and After Care counselor at Dora L. Small Elementary School, the book reinforces the critical health messages we have been giving our students all year: Wash your hand, watch your distance and wear your face covering.

As the book notes, “Si todos seguimos estas precauciones y somos considerados en nuestras acciones, podemos mantenernos y neustra comunidad seguros.” or “If we continue to do these things and be mindful of our actions, we can keep ourselves and our community safe.”

As we move into the colder time of the year, this is what I urge all of us to do.

Observe the three W’s.

Keep up to date on latest health guidance. If you have been directed to quarantine by a medical professional following CDC guidelines, for the benefit of all of us, please quarantine. We each have a personal responsibility to act in a manner that mitigates the risk to us all.

If you have questions or concerns, speak to your school nurse or your principal. We need all of us together in this effort.

Maine’s executive order on travel

On Nov. 3, Gov. Janet Mills announced an update to the travel guidelines. The governor announced that, effective Nov. 4, 2020, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey are no longer exempt states. As a reminder, anyone who is traveling to Maine must either quarantine for 14 days or Maine will allow adults who have a negative COVID-19 antigen or molecular (PCR, NAAT, or isothermal) test collected no more than 72 hours before arriving in Maine to forgo the 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Maine.

If you are hosting friends or family from out of state (excluding New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts) for the holidays, it is your obligation to enforce this requirement. If you travel, it is your responsibility to follow this requirement under the governor’s executive order.

Take care and be well.

Ken Kunin is superintendent of schools for South Portland. He can be reached at [email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.