To the Editor: Feeling grateful 



To the Editor: 

This has been an extraordinary school year by any measure. We have wrapped up the year, very grateful for low rates of disease, parent and community support, and the dedication and commitment of our teachers and ed techs. We want to thank our Community Education Partners who provided enrichment, learning opportunities, support for mental health and other activities throughout the year.  

MDI Hospital provided critical ongoing health and safety information and consultation, as did The Jackson Lab who partnered with the hospital to do forums for educators and middle and high school students about COVID-19. The Acadia National Park education team provided individual science kits for students in grades K-8 in all of our schools, rangers for virtual fieldtrips and afternoon adventures for our virtual-only students. The Abbe Museum also offered a number of virtual field trips that many classes enjoyed.  

Despite changes in teaching and learning conditions (masks, pods, one-way corridors, limits on bus capacity, etc.), grade level district-wide activities were provided by the MDI Bio Lab (a virtual field trip for all fourth graders  – in addition to office space for some of our virtual teachers), Island Readers & Writers (virtual discussions for all seventh graders with the author of “Call Me American,” Abdi Iftin), and, when restrictions allowed, Camp Beech Cliff (onsite outdoor safety training for all fifth graders). Camp Beech Cliff also held a weekly Thursday Outdoor Adventure Camp, hosted the College Circle Scholarship Ceremony and provided puppetry, cartooning and other arts and enrichment activities for our virtual academy students. The Wendell Gilley Museum and the MDI Historical Society provided in person (following all safety protocols) and virtual activities for students across the district. Acadia Family Center provided office space and financial support for our second school psychologist and for the Trauma Informed Practices Study Group. College of the Atlantic provided tutors who worked virtually with our students. The Somes-Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary worked with Acadia National Park to create a virtual version of the Floating Classroom and hosted in-person classes for the Frozen Classroom.  

A big shout-out to other community organizations (in addition to those above) who assisted our teachers to better serve our virtual-only students: Artwaves MDI, Healthy Acadia and SFOA provided virtual arts and enrichment activities for the students in the Virtual Academy program – felting, tai chi, claymation or yoga anyone? The Granite Museum and the Bar Harbor Historical Society and others also provided special virtual field trips especially for our virtual-only students.  

Thank you to everyone! We are truly blessed to have partnered with you in the education of the students in the MDI Regional School System during the past year. 

 

Julie Meltzer 

Director of curriculum, MDIRSS 

Southwest Harbor  

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