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3.23.2020, 6th Parent Letter, Phase II Academics
3.23.2020, 6th Parent Letter, Phase II Academics
Gregg Palmer
Monday, March 23, 2020

3.23.2020

Dear Brewer Schools Families,

I hope this note finds you doing well in these circumstances that still feel otherworldly. With that said, I was out walking with my wife this weekend and we saw neighbors and other families out enjoying the weather and being together. As long as that’s true, I thought, things are going to be okay. 

This letter is designed to give you a sense of Phase II of the Brewer Academic program. We focused, during the first week of the closure, on getting students and staff home and giving everyone time to adjust their lives to this new normal, deep cleaning our buildings, establishing our breakfast/lunch program, creating a page to provide students with some Optional Home Learning Activities, and analyzing and meeting to discuss the best ways to deliver at-home education. 

Today, in fact, we held three virtual meetings, one with our teachers and staff in grades pre-K through 4, one for grades 5 through 8, and one involving our 9 through 12 educators in order to discuss the best ways to engage our students who are at home. Because we know that these learners represent a wide range of strengths and needs, learning styles and differing perspectives, our plan is based on creating work that is accessible for everyone while establishing flexible but clear timelines. We also want to have the work be incentive-based, where students can benefit and improve but not be penalized if their circumstances are untenable for any given period of time. This all summed up in the following goals:

  1. Provide activities & work for student to focus on, on a weekly basis

  2. Give feedback 

  3. Create time to virtually or otherwise connect with classes on a weekly basis

  4. Reach out to families on a weekly basis

We will use the work to monitor student progress. No student will stay back because of this new format, and all our current seniors will have every opportunity to graduate in June of 2020. Also, IEP meetings will be happening virtually, through both video and audio calls. Our special education staff will reach out.

Teachers are collaborating this week and all grades will have work available from teachers on Monday, March 30, 2020. Where necessary, building administrators will be sending a one-call to give specific directions for pick-up of any needed materials. 

Our pre-K through grade 4 teachers will be making take home packets. Computing devices will be given to any students in grades 5 through 8 who don’t have a computer or other device at home that can be used. Our high school students should have their devices with them, already, and their teachers will also be reaching out with work to be done at home. 

The Brewer School Department is proud of our students and teachers and what will be a consistent system that builds incentive and presents work that all students can access and that also allows us to monitor student progress. We stand ready to help any families as they access this system. 

Sincerely,

Gregg Palmer, Superintendent of Schools

  1. Resources to help discuss the current health crisis with children:

Talking to Children, Coping with Stress, The Yucky Bug Video, Be Honest With Your Kids

How to Talk to Your Kids about COVID-19, Managing Anxiety & Stress

  1. Additional Resources:

We want every student to be healthy and to manage their worries and any anxiety they might be feeling. If you are concerned with how your child is doing emotionally you can contact the NAMI MAINE HELPLINE. Their number is 800-464-5767, press 1 (helpline@namimaine.org). Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at the Brewer School Department as well, at (207) 989-3160. You can also use the number 2-1-1 to get general information regarding the Coronavirus outbreak. 

  1. Contact Information:  If you need assistance please first call the central office (207-989-3160). This office will be open throughout the closure. You can also call our High School (207-989-4140) or Community School (207-404-5700). Their office hours are 9:00 am - 12:30 am Monday through Friday. You can also email us: 

gpalmer@breweredu.org (Superintendent of Schools)

ggardner@breweredu.org (Director of Finance)

amoore@breweredu.org (Director of Special Education)

rward-downer@breweredu.org (Director of Instruction & Technology)

dbrooks@breweredu.org (Assistant to the Superintendent)

bslowikowski@breweredu.org (BHS Principal)

swalker@breweredu.org (BHS Assistant Principal)

akahkonen@breweredu.or(Elementary School Principal, BCS)

jrichards@breweredu.or (Middle School Principal, BCS) 

spangburn@breweredu.org (BCS Assistant Principal)

shodgins@breweredu.org (Food Services Director) 

bmacdonald@breweredu.org (Facilities Director)

cwarmuth@breweredu.org (BCS nurse)

csherman@breweredu.org (BHS nurse)