South Portland High continues remote learning because of staff shortages

South Portland High School will continue with remote learning Tuesday during a surge of COVID-19 cases in southern Maine.

The school switched to remote learning most of last week and Principal Michele LaForge sent a note to families Monday afternoon to say remote learning will continue at least through Tuesday. She blamed staff shortages, saying “so many of us are sick that there are not enough of us to safely supervise the students who are present.”

South Portland Principal Michele LaForge is hoping students can return for in-person learning on Wednesday.  The Forecaster

LaForge said in the letter that she, too, has COVID, and is at home.

LaForge said teachers would be available to students for each 80-minute block that teachers have with students. During remote learning, teachers generally use only part of the block of time for direct instruction and that the rest of the time is for students to work on what they are learning.

However, LaForge said if a teacher is sick, they won’t be teaching and students should check with their Google Classroom accounts for their assignments.

Students should log in for block 1 classes at 8:10 a.m., she said.

She also said parents should make sure that their children aren’t spending all day in front of the computer.

“We know that staying online all day is not healthy and allowing students some time away from the screen is important,” LaForge wrote.

The school is taking each day as it comes, she said, but is expected to return to in-person learning on Wednesday.

She said Life Skills Classes would be held in person and buses would pick those children up. PATHS also is open, she said, but students need to arrange their own transportation. If they are unable to do so, she said, students are excused.

Lunches can be picked up at the high school’s front bus loop from 11:15 to 11:45, she said, and the main office will be open.

Athletics will continue as planned, LaForge said in her letter.

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