September 21, 2021

To the RSU#38 Community, 

I am writing this letter to, first of all, acknowledge the anxiety and frustration we are all feeling  as we are all doing our best to navigate through this difficult time, and secondly to, hopefully,  clarify how decisions around Covid protocols in our schools are made and who is responsible.  

Although we do have some degree of local control, the Maine Department of Education (DOE)  provides us, and all Maine school districts, with Standard Operating Procedures( SOP) that we  are expected to follow. The DOE’s SOP for Covid protocols are based on recommendations  from the Maine Center for Disease Control ( CDC). (This can be found on our website). It is our  job as a School Board, and as a community, to follow the rules set out by the DOE, whether we  agree with them, or not.  

It is also our job as a community to support our school staff, at all levels, who are also trying to  follow the rules. It is not the Superintendent, the nurse, the teacher or any other staff member  who decides on these rules, yet they all have to enforce them. 

I am asking that when you speak to any of our staff members, or board members, that you keep  that in mind, as well as the fact that the person on the other end of the line is feeling  similar frustration and anxiety as you are. We all deserve to be treated with kindness and  respect, especially during this highly stressful time.  

Thank you all for taking a step back and a deep breath, as we all work to live our mission to be a  “caring community dedicated to excellence”. 

Cathy Jacobs, Chair RSU#38 Board of Directors