Health & Safety

Public Health Resources

The following links will take you to the Center for Disease Control's websites. These sites are updated regularly with current information about the coronavirus (COVID-19). The links have information on how to decrease the spread of the virus at home, school, work and in the community. The sites look to provide answers to many of the questions that we all have regarding health and safety.

Additional Resources

The following link from the American Academy of Pediatrics provides parents with ideas on approaching children about the coronavirus and gives information on who is at risk and good hand hygiene techniques.

Our Health Team

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

The nursing team in Waterville is working and available if you have questions -please feel free to reach out via email.

Information from the Waterville Public Schools

Our schools are working in consultation with the Maine Center for Disease Control and are actively monitoring the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). This page contains resources and communications designed to raise awareness of prevention and preparedness efforts in our district. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.

May 21, 2020 - 11am - Good morning all, I hope this message finds each of you and your families doing well and enjoying the beautiful weather we are experiencing right now. We are changing the food service delivery schedule next week because Monday, May 25 is a holiday. We will change from Monday/Wednesday/Friday to Tuesday/Thursday for this week only. Tomorrow, Friday, May 22, 2020, we will deliver meals for Friday, Saturday and Monday. Next Tuesday, May 26 we will serve meals for Tuesday and Wednesday and next Thursday, May 28, 2020, we will deliver meals for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Monday, June 1, 2020 we will go back to our normal Monday/Wednesday/Friday delivery schedule.

Eric L. Haley

Superintendent of Schools

April 13, 2020 - 3pm - Good afternoon all, I hope this message finds you and yours well and doing okay with the stay at home order. I know that tree branches laden with heavy wet snow crashing to the ground and taking out power lines didn't help matters so I hope you got through that without too much hassle as well.

After consultation with the School Board Chair, Joan Phillips-Sandy, and a week-end of thinking about the issues around continuing remote learning for the rest of this school year, I think it is time to say, yes, we are going to continue remote learning through the end of this school year unless we receive notice from the CDC that it is safe to re-open our school buildings. Hopefully this will give each of you a better idea of what to plan for and how long to plan it for. Obviously that means we (the school) have a lot of planning to do as well and will keep you informed as decisions are made.

On another note, I also wanted to inform you that during the week that was going to be our April break, April 20th through 24th, we are changing the food service delivery schedule because Monday, April 20 is a holiday. We will change from Monday/Wednesday/Friday to Tuesday/Thursday for this week only. This Friday, April 17, we will deliver meals for Friday, Saturday and Monday. Next Tuesday, April 21st we will serve meals for Tuesday and Wednesday and next Thursday, April 23rd, we will deliver meals for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The week of April 27 we will go back to our normal Monday/Wednesday/Friday delivery schedule.

Eric L. Haley

Superintendent of Schools

April 7, 2020 - 3pm - Good afternoon or early evening parents,

At the Board of Education meeting last night I asked the Board to cancel the April vacation (April 21, 22, 23 and 24) and the May 22 professional development day and to convert all five days to seat days. In return for this change we would shorten the end of the school year by four days (we need one day to cover the extra snow day we used on February 13, 2020) The Board unanimously voted to change the 2019/20 school calendar to reflect these two changes. In return school for students will end on June 10, 2020 and school for staff will end on June 11, 2020. I polled the staff for their opinion on doing this before approaching the Board and over 97% of them supported this change. In a nutshell their reasoning for supporting this change came in three avenues, 1) this change would allow us to continue feeding the children through what was supposed to be the April break, 2) we have just gotten the momentum going for on-line learning and it would be too bad to all of a sudden stop it and have to re-start. They felt you and your children, our students, were just getting into a schedule and it was starting to "fit", and 3) the change would de facto give you as a family and them as a teacher to have more time off in June when perhaps some of the restrictions, both we have imposed on ourselves and mandated via the state of Maine might be lessened and would afford everyone a better chance to use vacation for what it is meant to be used for, sharing time with friends, enjoying time with distant family members and celebrating family birthdays, anniversaries and the like.

Now the thanks, many of you have taken the time to send us an email or call regarding our plans for on-line learning, some of these correspondences have been positive and some have been constructive criticism, all have been heartfelt and sincere in regards to how this is effecting you and or your children. I want to thank each and everyone of you that took the time to let us know how it felt to be on the receiving line of our messages and plans. Do know that we take all such correspondence very seriously and we are virtually meeting as an administrative team every week and tweaking our plans and improving consistency between our five school buildings (MMTC included) based on what the principals are hearing and information you have provided us. Please continue to inform us of how things are going on the receiving line and don't hesitate to ask for help. We have a tremendous amount of contacts in the Waterville area and if you need something we probably have a contact in the field we could reach out to on your behalf. We are Maine people and we will get through this , just like we have with other state wide disasters in the past, by leaning on each other and by counting on each of us to do our part. Thank you for doing your part and helping us do our part to bring some normalcy to the children.

Eric L. Haley

Superintendent of Schools

March 27, 2020 - 10am - Good morning everyone, I wanted to inform you that the Waterville Public Schools are changing the delivery schedule for meals such that we will be on the road Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting on Monday, March 30,2020. We will be able to deliver 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches to each student on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and thus they will be covered for breakfast and lunch on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you know of someone who is 18 years old or younger please encourage them to participate in our meal delivery program. In normal times and especially during this difficult time we know how important proper nourishment is for every student. Yesterday we delivered 1,626 meals which is our high so far, let's serve even more next week by encouraging our neighbor's children who haven't participated before to start. I hope you are all well and getting by in these very difficult times. Together we will get through it, so stay strong, seek out help if you need it and remember the school is here for you. Please don't hesitate to call if we can do anything to help you. I can't wait to see your children, our students, entering the schools again but only when it is safe to do so. Try to have a great week-end and hug your children an extra few times today and remember what a precious child each and every one is.

Eric L. Haley

Superintendent of Schools

March 24, 2020 - 11am - Good morning all, as most of you probably know by now, the School Board at its meeting last night voted to extend the closure of Waterville Public Schools until April 27, 2020. Given this extended time it was decided by the administrative team this morning that we need to have a more formal plan for our learning expectations during this time. Building principals will be talking with their Leadership Teams today in regards to what this will look like for each school. Thinking about the possibility that this closure could be longer we also decided that at grades 6-12 we would expect a second semester grade only i.e. no third quarter grade and no 4th quarter grade. In other words all the student work going forward would be done to obtain a second semester grade by the end of this school year. In grades K thru 5 we would expect a third trimester grade or standards completion assessment. Having never done this sort of thing before we know we will make mistakes and when we do we will have to back up and re-start or change direction but I have faith in my professional staff and this professionalism, effort and creativity will make this a worthwhile endeavor for your families and our students. Stay safe and stay well everyone.

Eric L. Haley

Superintendent of Schools

March 18, 2020 - 4pm - Good afternoon Staff and Parents

Realizing how important food and nourishment is for children we have sought and received permission from the State Department of Education to distribute food using our normal bus runs during the school shut down. However please know that it may not be the normal bus number you are accustomed to. Starting tomorrow morning (Thursday, March 19, 2020) between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. buses will be traveling and stopping at all our bus stops to deliver both breakfast and lunch. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to ease the burden this epidemic has caused. Please note that the buses will not start delivering until 9:00 a.m. which means they will not be at your bus stop as early as usual. Being that tomorrow is our first time doing this we do not know what time buses will be at each stop. Please keep watch for them and the buses will honk their horn at each stop. Meals will also be available at the GJMS and the WJHS for pickup if that is easier for you than using bus stops.

In addition to this the Alfond Youth and Community Center will be providing cubside meal service in Waterville at the AYCC, 126 North Street and Winslow at Fort Halifax on U S 201, Monday thru Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Drive up to the volunteer server, stay in your vehicle, indicate the number of meals you need and you will be handed that many individually boxed servings. Also available on Thursday and Friday at the Waterville location are weekend meal backpacks.

Eric L. Haley

Superintendent of Schools

March 15, 2020 - 2pm - I am writing to inform you that Waterville Public Schools will be closed starting Monday, March 16 and will remain closed through Friday, March 27. At that time, we will consider a decision on a potential longer closure based on the facts available. On Monday of this week, staff will report to work as usual and will participate in professional development activities so that we may provide the best possible distance learning opportunities for students. Please see the letter from Curriculum Director, Mary Boyle copied below.

This closure is in response to the call by medical professionals to implement practices of social distancing as we all work to minimize the spread of (COVID-19). This closure is not the result of any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our immediate community, though we know the virus is present in our state. We are taking this proactive approach out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 cases in Maine.

We know distance learning will not fully replace the classroom settings that students experience each day. We know there will be flaws with distance learning, but we are determined to continue to provide learning opportunities for all students, and we ask for your patience and flexibility as we work through this process.

Please be on the lookout for follow-up letters from your child’s principal. For students who receive special services, parents will be receiving information from our Co-Assistant Directors of Instructional Support, Tabatha King and Amy Benham.

Much more information will be forthcoming on this closure, but I wanted to communicate this news to you as soon as possible so you may begin planning for child care and other concerns that will be raised by this decision.

During this closure, we ask that you assist by minimizing group meetings of students and adults. Practicing social distancing and good personal hygiene are the two greatest steps we can take to protect our community from the spread of COVID-19.

We will continue to stay in touch with you throughout these distance learning days. We understand this is a time of great uncertainty, and we are here to support you and your children while at the same time doing our best to insure healthy practices for all in the community.

Thank you for your continued support of our students and our schools.

Sincerely,

Eric L. Haley

Superintendent of Schools

Waterville Public Schools

Click here for the letter from Curriculum Director, Mary Boyle.

March 13, 2020 - Good morning everyone, the Waterville Public Schools leadership team met again this morning to discuss the recent developments and decisions made statewide to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Waterville Public Schools have made the following decisions that will take effect starting Monday, March 16, 2020:

A) All after school activities are cancelled for the foreseeable future. This includes, athletic practices, clubs meetings etc. There will be no late buses after school;

B) The use of Waterville Public Schools by outside groups are cancelled;

C) Evening adult education classes are cancelled

D) All non - essential meetings are cancelled;

E) As much as possible all essential meetings will be done online or by phone. Where physical meetings are required the setting will be set such that each individual has at least three feet of space from other participants;

F) Parent/Teacher conferences, scheduled for next week, will only take place on line or by phone. There will be no parent/teacher physical meetings;

G) Parent drop-off and pick-up will be done at the front doors. Parents and Caregivers will not be allowed in the buildings. This restriction also applies to Before and After Care;

H) There will be no school assemblies or large group use of our buildings;

I) All buses will get extra sanitizing on a daily basis;

I will continue to update you at a minimum of once a week but probably more as new events and decisions are made. Folks, we all are in uncharted waters but our first priority is our staff and students health. These are not easy decisions to make but we feel strongly they are needed. Remember to take care of yourself and your loved ones, give up that good old Maine "have to go to work" ethic for once and stay home if you are sick. More to come as we work through this.

Eric Haley

Superintendent of Schools

March 12, 2020 - I know you have been following the spread of the coronavirus since we heard about its start in China. It is certainly something to take seriously and watch carefully. I want you all to know that the Waterville Public Schools Leadership Team has been watching this closely as well. We are fortunate that to date there are no documented cases in Maine but that certainly doesn't mean it won't get here.

Shelley Phillips our Facilities Director has ordered a more intense daily cleaning of all touchable surfaces at every school, even at the expense of not getting all of our custodial work done on a daily basis.

Melanie LeCours - Lead Nurse has been in daily contact with the CDC and has been advising us through the medical issues associated with the coronavirus. Washing one's hands and covering your mouth when coughing is still the best advice for not contracting the flu or the coronavirus.

The Board of Education has discussed this situation and is prepared to take quick and drastic action if the need arises.

We will continue to massage our plan and monitor what is happening around the world, the USA and locally. We will keep you up to date on a regular basis.

Eric Haley

Superintendent of Schools


March 4, 2020 - Important information from our Nursing Team regarding the Flu and the coronavirus.