Letter to the Editor: Thank you to community partners 



To the Editor: 

I want to give a big shout out to our community partners. Many visitors and summer residents may not know how closely our community partners work with the students and staff of the MDI Regional School System (MDIRSS) in normal times. I am certain most do not realize how much support these partners have continued to provide since COVID-19 caused us to go to remote teaching and learning on March 13. In the fall before COVID-19, K-12 students went on field trips in Acadia National Park, middle schoolers participated in the Floating Classroom at the Somes Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary and fourth graders went to the MDI Biological Laboratory to look at simple organisms under the microscope. Seventh graders read Trouble for the 7th Grade Read, participated in activities related to the book and met the author, sponsored by Island Readers & Writers. Middle schoolers and high school students went to Camp Beech Cliff multiple times for leadership training. The MDI Regional School System worked with the community-wide team under the leadership of Healthy Acadia and MDI Hospital to complete a regional comprehensive health needs assessment, ensuring that the needs of our students, staff and their families were taken into consideration.  

Then COVID-19 arrivedDuring the spring, the Wendell Gilley Museum, Camp Beech Cliff, Artwaves MDI and SFOA came to our aid as we developed a virtual family arts camp for the April vacation week. The MDI Historical Society and the Seal Cove Auto Museum reached out to see if they could provide virtual field trip experiences. Acadia National Park and Friends of Acadia are pairing up to support teachers to develop outdoor classroom activities and to provide elementary and middle school students with science kits this fall. The Jackson Laboratory, MDI Hospital and members of the Downeast COVID-19 Task Force are working closely with Dr. Goussesuperintendent of schools, to safely reopen schools and develop a proactive employee testing program. Acadia Family Center is collaborating with us to make possible additional social-emotional and mental health support to our students, staff and families. We are deeply grateful for these partnersas well as the many individual members of our community who stepped up to help with a wide variety of activities from food preparation and distribution, and participation on the Safe Return to School Advisory Group, to applying to serve on the Anti-Racism Task Force and assisting with school opening preparations. Our students, staff, programming, facilities and preparedness are much the better for your support.  

 

Julie Meltzer 

Director of curriculum, assessment and instruction 

MDIRSS (AOS 91) 

Southwest Harbor 

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