I write to you to announce that after great consideration, we have decided L’Ecole Française du Maine will be reopening on May 20, 2020, with very strict conditions and procedures in place. We are extremely fortunate at this time in history to be a part of a small school. There is definitely safety in small numbers and EFDM provides just that environment. Our school does not face the challenges of many larger schools and we can adjust more easily to this situation.
We recognize with the state reopening many of you must return to work and we know you depend on us for childcare. As a licensed childcare center, we are considered essential services and are allowed to reopen. We have decided to offer you this option to have your children return to school – with strict conditions, which are outlined below in this letter.
If you personally feel you are not comfortable with having your child return to school at this time, we certainly understand. Of course, the safest thing for us all is to remain at home. To accommodate families who choose for their child to continue to stay at home, we are going to continue offering the Zoom lessons as another option for the remainder of the school year. The Zoom sessions the teachers have provided these past weeks have been great, and we commend them for their creativity and flexibility with such short notice during this crisis. If you wish to continue with this method, it will still be available although some modifications will be made.
We assure you we will do everything possible to first and foremost safeguard the health of our students, staff, and the greater community. We feel confident that with strict precautions and procedures, we are able to welcome the children back to school, but we will be depending on the cooperation of families in following our reopening guidelines and procedures. The following practices are aligned with the Maine CDC guidelines for childcare facilities. Here is how we will be functioning:
Pick up and drop off procedures
During the school day
School Cleaning and Maintenance
Enhanced Health Screening and Expectations
Other programming- Enrichment Activity Considerations
L’Ecole Française du Maine is planning to fully reopen again in the fall and hopefully, things will be even better by that time. If not, we will adapt accordingly and are actively planning scenarios for different levels of mitigation and taking into account the ever-evolving considerations and information about the COVID-19 virus.
In coming to the decision to reopen, we have benefitted from a worldwide perspective. I have been attending regular meetings with Heads of School and other educational leaders worldwide, thanks to our affiliation with professional organizations such as The French Ministry of Education, AEFE, The Mission Laïque Française, and The Maine Department of Education. The experiences of schools in France, Germany, and Canada that have already reopened have provided a wealth of practical information in our decision-making and in shaping the safest practices possible for moving forward. Through these conversations, it has become evident how fortunate we are to be located in a rural setting, in a single floor building with large windows and multiple entries and a vast playground. Thanks to these advantageous conditions of our physical space and the low population density of the school and Maine, we are already better positioned than many schools, public or private anywhere, can hope to be.
In our final preparation for this transition, the school is currently undergoing a deep cleaning, inside and out. The teachers have also requested that there be no Zoom classes on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 as they finalize their preparations for the arrival of the students. Once you have considered these school options and made a decision about how you would like to proceed, please email Emily at email@example.com with your intentions so we can plan accordingly. Finally, we are considering remaining open for childcare over the summer. If this option would interest you, please email Emily. Based on the level of interest, a decision will be made whether we offer summer day camps/summer childcare.
These last few weeks of school in session will certainly help us to prepare even further for the upcoming year, and we look forward to seeing you all again.
Willy LeBihan, Founder and Head of School