SCARBOROUGH — The school district is planning to reopen schools fulltime in Scarborough this fall, requiring additional staff members as well as a reconfiguration of spaces.

Although CDC guidelines have shortened the required distance between students from six feet apart to a three-foot distance, additional teachers and classroom limits are necessary for buildings to accommodate all students, said Superintendent Sanford Prince on May 6.

Primary schools will have a maximum of 16 students per class; grades three through five will have a maximum class size of 17; middle school classes will be capped at 18 students, and high school classes will have a maximum size of 19 students, Prince said.

A total of 17 additional teachers will need to be hired this fall, he said.

Each school will repurpose space to meet CDC guidelines and Department of Education requirements, Prince said. Every school building will need a respiratory clinic as well as a regular school clinic.

Some specialty teachers will need to float to different classrooms with a cart, he said.

One of the district’s biggest challenges will be meal times, Prince said. Students are still required to sit six feet apart from one another during meals.

“We need to repurpose space for additional classrooms, and this is a challenge particularly with certain buildings, but we know we can do it and the work will be completed over the summer,” Prince said. “(Todd) Jepson, our facilities director, is already making plans, and we’re going to be able to do this.”

Each school building will have its own committee comprised of parents and staff to continue planning for reopening, he said. These meeting materials will become available on the school district’s website.

Because of the needs for additional staff as well as a lack of time to refit existing spaces, schools are unable to reopen fulltime for the remainder of the current school year, Prince said.

“We’re pretty tight within the schools and we need the time over the summer to refit and get those spaces ready for September,” he said. 

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