Mount Abe district plans summer programs
BRISTOL — As Mount Abraham Unified School District officials iron out plans for in-person classes this fall, they are ready to go with some limited student contact this summer.
MAUSD summer programs — including Expanded Learning, Summer Meals and special education programming — will get under way later this month, albeit with significant modifications because of the ongoing pandemic.
Enrollment for the Summer Expanded Learning Program (ELP), which will begin at Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School on June 29, is already closed, according to ELP Director Mandy Chesley-Park, who spoke in an MAUSD “community announcement” video posted to the Northeast Addison Television website last week.
Because of social-distancing requirements imposed by the Vermont Department of Health to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Summer ELP will be limited to 100 students per day. Program administrators are working on developing a waiting list, she added.
Chesley-Park and her colleagues have spent the last 12 weeks honing the safety protocols required to run such a program. On Friday they wrapped up the MAUSD Essential Persons Childcare Program, which had served 45 children of frontline pandemic workers residing in all three county school districts.
The Summer Meals Program will also be transitioning from a successful pandemic program.
Between March 19 and June 10, with students learning remotely from home, the MAUSD/Addison Northwest School District nutrition cooperative delivered 104,000 breakfasts and lunches to families in the Bristol- and Vergennes-area school districts, according to program director Kathy Alexander.
The Summer Meals Program, which begins Monday, June 22, will not be making deliveries during the summer, but families may pick up a total of six breakfasts and six lunches per week — for each child 18 or younger.
Half of those meals may be picked up on Tuesdays and the other half on Fridays, at one of several sites, including:
• Mount Abraham Union High School (Bristol).
• Robinson Elementary School (Starksboro).
• Lazy Brook Mobil Home Park (Starksboro).
• Vergennes Union High School.
• Bridport Central School.
• Platt Memorial Library (Shoreham, beginning on June 30).
Special education services will also be available this summer, both in-person and remotely, according to Director of Student Support Services Susan Bruhl.
The district is taking measures to ensure that physical spaces are safe for students and staff this summer and fall.
In addition to developing aggressive disinfection protocols, the MAUSD is currently working on prototypes for face shields that can be used for student-teacher interactions, and tabletop Plexiglas protection that will be ready for the opening of summer programs, said Facilities Director Joel FitzGerald in the video.
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