Community Update--May 4, 2021
Dear Thornton Academy Families: We are pleased to announce, with the support and leadership of the Thornton Academy Board of Trustees, that planning is underway to ensure all Thornton Academy high school and middle school students will return to five days of on campus, in-person instruction this fall.
Guidance from Maine CDC requiring three feet of distance between students in classrooms, and six feet of distance when eating lunch, has been and continues to be the primary barrier that prohibits TA from having all students on campus each day. While it remains unknown whether Maine CDC will alter social distancing requirements between now and the start of school in September, our plans for a return to five-day, in-person instruction are based on adherence to current guidelines. As we have done since the start of the pandemic, Thornton Academy will continue to follow the most current CDC guidance and will maintain the safety of our students, staff, and broader community as our top priority.
To make our plan possible, we are exploring creative ways to utilize our existing classroom and ancillary spaces on campus. While creativity and flexibility are important to allowing all students to return to five days of in-person instruction, we are committed to keeping every student here, on campus, to minimize disruption to the traditional academic day. We are also fully committed to maintaining the quality and breadth of academic offerings that make the TA experience so unique.
In the last month, the school has become eligible for coronavirus relief funds that may be used to make necessary changes to existing classroom set ups and add temporary additional space to our campus. This will allow us to maintain social distancing among students during instruction and lunch blocks, which has been the largest barrier to us bringing all students back to campus under the current CDC requirements.
There is still much planning to do and more information to share with you in the coming weeks and months. I thank you for your continued patience as we near the end of a very challenging year, and I look forward to planning for the return to a safe and traditional in-person instructional experience for every Thornton Academy and TAMS student next fall.
Rene M. Menard