The biggest question on the minds of Mainers who have school-aged children is "will my children be returning to school in the fall".  For many, this question is not just about safety and education.  For many, depending on the answer, it means they will need to plan for additional daycare and deal with technology concerns.

According to a post on the Augusta School Department Facebook page, Superintendent of Schools James Anastasio has released a statement regarding the reopening of the city's schools.  In the statement, he explains that they have formed four committees to deal with the plans for reopening schools.

The four committees are charged with handling:

  • Physical health and safety considerations
  • Social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health
  • Academic programs
  • Expectations for remote and/or hybrid learning models

According to the statement, current government  guidelines on social distancing (etc) make a complete return to school impossible at this time.

While nothing is set in stone, it appears the Augusta school department is leaning toward a "hybrid" learning method.  In this plan, one group of students will go to school Monday and Tuesday, the other students wills go to school on Thursday and Friday, and Wednesdays will be used to thoroughly clean the school between the groups.  Wednesday will also be used as a teacher planning day.  Cleaning crews will also completely clean the school over the weekend.

While it is not specifically stated, there is a good chance that students would have word that needs to be done outside the classroom.  Again, not stated in the message, but the "hybrid" method typically refers to a mix of in-class and out-of-class learning.

The initial plan will be completed on July 31st - the same day that the state releases it's first round of county color codes (red, yellow, green).  It is expected that the plan will be presented to the school board on August 5th.

Below is an update from the Augusta Superintendent of Schools regarding the start of school. The DOE Framework for Returning to Classroom Instruction may be found at:

Posted by Augusta School Department on Friday, July 24, 2020

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