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Sanford Students Back in School 4 Days a Week

Sanford’s high school and elementary students were back in school four days this week as the School Department works toward increasing in-person learning as much as possible. “It kind of felt like the first day of school again,” said Superintendent of Schools Matt Nelson about seeing classrooms filled up on Monday.

The pandemic reared its ugly head toward the end of the week, however, as positive Covid-19 cases at Ledgemere Transportation resulted in no buses being available for middle and high school students. School was open, but families had to provide their own transportation or have kids learn remotely at home. Some elementary school bus routes were also affected with a one-hour delay.

The Middle School is also working gradually toward four-day in-person learning, which is planned to begin with some students on Monday, March 22. SMS staff members are making phone calls this week to notify parents, and additional chairs, tables and dividers have been ordered. Mr. Nelson told the School Committee that administrators are optimistic they will be able to allow all students who are currently attending in-person two days a week to increase to four, but may not be able to accommodate all students who are currently on full remote learning, due to space issues at the school. All state Covid guidelines, including 3 foot spacing between students in class, 6 foot spacing between teachers and students, and 6 foot spacing between kids while eating lunch, must still be maintained at all schools.

The Distance Learning Academy being operated by the YMCA at Lafayette School is now only running on Wednesdays for elementary school students, but for now is continuing at five days a week for grades 5-8. It may stay on this schedule if all Middle School students can’t be accommodated.

Mr. Nelson said that some funds from the American Rescue Plan, passed by Congress last week, will be dedicated to getting students back in school more, perhaps through acquiring additional space and staffing.

Assistant Superintendent Steve Bussiere said that due to transporting additional students the additional days, Ledgemere is short of bus drivers and is really in need of anyone with a license in hand that can get on the road immediately. He asked that anyone interested reach out to them directly.

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