Will the Ecology Learning Center still open September 1 if Maine officials recommend remote learning?
Yes, we will open September 1, even if we must hold classes remotely. Our teachers are experienced in adapting a place-based, hands-on curriculum to a virtual format.
What precautions will the Ecology Learning Center take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if Maine officials allow in-person learning?
Our faculty will implement strict hand-washing policies (using earth-friendly soaps).
We will set up classrooms and hallway spaces to ensure a 6' distance between students. Our new building is over-sized; the maximum occupancy is 220 people and our enrollment cap this year is 48 students. We will take full advantage of our spacious building by spreading out chairs, cubbies, tables, and student work spaces.
Faculty and students will work together to wipe down surfaces using earth-friendly disinfectants between classes.
We will spend maximum time teaching outdoors, maintaining a 6' distance, so students benefit from fresh air.
We will require students to wear face masks on field trips to public indoor spaces.
How will you communicate with students and families about COVID-19?
We will provide regular updates on our website and newsletters (via email or paper copy if requested) with recommendations and mandates from the CDC and Maine DOE. In the first weeks of school, we will invite students to share and reflect upon how COVID-19 has affected them and their families since March. The topic of COVID-19 will be addressed in all subjects - statistics in Math, the biology and chemistry of the virus in science, the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic in social studies and English. We view the pandemic as an authentic learning opportunity that will require students to respect one another's boundaries and values.