Vassalboro school board approves 2020 opening plan

Vassalboro Community School. (source:

by Mary Grow

At their Aug. 18 meeting, Vassalboro School Board members approved the reopening plan developed by staff over the summer, in consultation with many students’ families, other state educators and state officials. Board members voted with the understanding the plan is subject to change as local circumstances or state recommendations change.

School is scheduled to begin Wednesday, Sept. 2. Teachers and other staff will be at Vassalboro Community School. Students will alternate by groups between in-school and remote learning, except those whose families have chosen remote learning only. The emphasis is on safety, including social distancing, face coverings, washing and sanitizing, health checks and other measures.

There have also been safety-minded rearrangements inside the school building, like making a waiting room outside the nurse’s office.

The reopening plan and related documents are on the school website,

Principal Megan Allen said, “We’re going to do this and we’re going to do it well. I feel good about people coming through these doors,” with a glance toward the school’s entrance.

“It could all change at any moment,” Superintendent Alan Pfeiffer warned.

In other business Aug. 18, board members approved five new appointments and welcomed the new staff members who were at the meeting. Gregory Hughes is assistant principal; Melora Norman is library/media specialist; Jenna Zemrak is literacy specialist; Teraysa Noyes is grade six and seven science teacher; and Chad Dixon is a special education teacher.

They accepted the resignations of gifted and talented teacher Julie Oliver, third-grade teacher Sally Putnam and special education technicians Amanda Caldarella and Erika Johnston.

Pfeiffer commended staff members from the former school union who work with Vassalboro, Waterville and Winslow superintendents for their help getting the plan in place. He read a letter from a former student, now in the border patrol in Texas, thanking Vassalboro Community School for giving him the opportunity to start learning Spanish.

During the public comment period, board member Jessica Clark read an email from a parent wondering whether a Covid-19 vaccination, when developed, would be mandatory. School nurse MaryAnn Fortin said making a new vaccination mandatory would probably be a legislative decision, as current vaccination requirements are.

The next regular Vassalboro School Board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, in the school cafeteria.


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