The Star-Herald

SAD 42 to begin early release days for remainder of second quarter

MARS HILL, Maine — With quarantines removing students from in-person learning, the Central Aroostook school district is putting time into the calendar to help teachers get the right amount of attention to each student. 

On Thursday, Superintendent Elaine Boulier sent a letter to parents stating that beginning Wednesday, Dec. 1, the Mars Hill school district will release students early on Wednesdays, with the school day concluding at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday was chosen because it is in the middle of the week. 

According to Boulier, this decision came from the most recent SAD 42 school board meeting, where directors approved changes to the school calendar to help teachers. 

We decided to do an early release day every week for the remainder of quarter two to help teachers,” Boulier said. “Trying to juggle the various re-entry times and trying to ensure that the students are on pace and understand the content is challenging, especially when there’s little time built into the current schedule. The administrative team felt it was important to carve out some time to support teachers.”

Some students may still be asked to stay with teachers for additional instruction. Students in grades 7-12 may opt to stay in school for the rest of the day to get additional help with work, or have a structured study hall. 

Students who opt to stay may leave at the normal end of the day on the afternoon bus. These early release days will not affect pre-K and kindergarten, and classes for those grades will begin and end at normal time.

“Our goal continues to be the growth of our students,” wrote Boulier. “We are hopeful that this extra time will support all students, especially those learners who are in need of a more focused intervention strategy and/or more time to work with a teacher.”

Information about SAD42 policies, as well as the superintendent’s letter, can be found on the SAD 42 website.

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