April 05, 2020

Area school administrators scramble for order amid chaos

As area school cancellations stretched into their second straight week, superintendents were looking at many alternatives — including double sessions and having administrators teach classes — to get students back into classrooms that have heat and power.

Leonard Ney, superintendent of SAD 64 in the Corinth area, said his staff was considering running double sessions at the district’s schools that did have heat and power to accommodate students from areas where the schools could not open. During double sessions, one group of students attends a school during the morning while another group uses the same classrooms in the afternoon.

Ney said his district also was considering bringing in additional generators to get power to those schools that still lack it. Schools in Hudson and Stetson remained without power Tuesday.

Transportation across roads blocked by downed power lines and trees remained a major concern for many superintendents, especially after the weather took a turn for the worse Tuesday afternoon.

Bus contractors traveled the back roads of SAD 64 Tuesday and determined it was not safe to transport children to and from school, so schools in that district were called off again today. Central High School remains open for people seeking showers.

Schools in Union 106 in the Calais area are slated to open today, but Superintendent Peter Harvey worried that some teachers may not make it to school because their homes remain without power and must be heated with wood or other alternate sources that require frequent attention. He said aides, and perhaps even administrators, may be called upon to fill in for missing teachers.

Although all the schools in SAD 23 and SAD 38 in the Carmel and Etna-Dixmont area regained power Tuesday morning, some schools began losing power later in the day. In addition, falling limbs continue to pose a problem, so classes in both districts were canceled for today.

Lack of power remained a major problem Down East. Power was restored to all the schools in Union 104 in the Eastport area early Tuesday. But later in the day, a tree fell across a power line in Deblois and a car knocked out a utility pole in East Machias, knocking out electricity to schools in Eastport and Perry and forcing the cancellation of all classes in the rural Washington County district. In addition, the Pembroke Elementary School is likely to remain closed all week because it is being used as a shelter.

In other parts of the state, educational schedules are getting back to normal.

All schools in Bangor will be back in session today.

Schools in SAD 22 will open an hour late today to allow bus drivers more time to get children safely to school. The Newburgh Elementary School, which still lacks power, will not be open Wednesday and will not open until power is restored. A generator is currently being used to heat the school so its pipes do not freeze.

Rick Lyons, the superintendent in SAD 22, which includes Hampden, Winterport and Newburgh, said there are about 18 roads in his district which school buses still cannot travel. He advised parents who live on roads where travel is still unsafe to keep their children at home.

Classes will also start an hour late for the remainder of the week qi cchools in SAD 53 in the Pittsfield area. The Burnham Village School will remain closed Wednesday due to a lack of power.

On Tuesday, students in Pittsfield were held at their schools after classes had ended for the day while trucks sanded roads which were being iced over by freezing rain.

Many schools in Piscataquis County, which was spared the brunt of the ice storm, closed at 1 p.m. Tuesday because of heavy snow and rain.

The Waterville Public Schools have canceled classes for the remainder of the week; however, brunch will be available for all the city’s children from 10 a.m. to noon at Waterville High School. Schools in Augusta and Winslow will also be closed for the remainder of the week.

The following is a partial list of area schools that will remain closed Wednesday:

SAD 3 (Brooks, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Liberty, Monroe, Montville, Thorndike, Troy, Unity, Waldo)

SAD 34 (Belfast, Belmont, Morrill, Northport, Searsmont, Swanville)

SAD 56 (Frankfort, Searsport, Stockton Springs)

SAD 64 (Bradford, Corinth, Hudson, Kenduskeag, Stetson)

SAD 77 (Cutler, East Machias, Machiasport, Whiting) closed through Thursday

Union 34 (Glenburn, Hermon)

Union 90 (Alton, Bradley, Greenbush, Greenfield, and Milford) and no transportation to other schools.

Union 104 (Charlotte, Dennysville, Eastport, Pembroke, Perry)

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

comments for this post are closed

You may also like