Welcome to Regional School Unit 13

November 21, 2020

 Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that an individual associated with Oceanside Middle School recently tested positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with our Health and Safety Guidelines after consulting with Maine CDC, Oceanside Middle School will be closed until November 30, 2020. 

 While the CDC has determined that there are no close contacts affecting OMS at this time, please still monitor yourself/your student for signs and symptoms. Call a health care provider if symptoms start. It is important that you call a health care facility before you show up in person. Stay home if you are sick.

 COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that ranges from mild to severe. It can be more severe in adults 60 years and older and in those with underlying conditions. The virus mainly spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes and an uninfected person breathes in the virus. Signs and symptoms include:

• fever or chills

• cough

• shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

• fatigue

• muscle or body aches

• headache

• new loss of taste or smell

• sore throat

• congestion or runny nose

• nausea or vomiting

• diarrhea

 Please keep in mind that many things can cause respiratory illness, so students and staff should be up-to-date on influenza and routine vaccinations.

 Maine CDC recommends prevention measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These measures include proper handwashing with soap and warm water, which is especially important after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. When soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with

at least 60 percent alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

 Questions for the school can be directed to principal William Gifford by emailing wgifford@rsu13.org or calling the school (207-354-2502) on Monday or Tuesday.  For general COVID-19 questions, dial 211 (or 1-866-811-5695). You can also text your ZIP code to 898-211 or email info@211maine.org. Call a health care provider for questions about your symptoms. More information can be found at www.maine.gov/dhhs/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Yours truly,

John C. McDonald

Superintendent of Schools

                                                                                                                                   November 21, 2020




We were notified today that an individual at OMS had a recent positive Covid-19 test.  We have followed all district, state, and CDC protocols regarding a positive case within our school.  Given the protocols, we identified that there were no close contacts with that individual and others within our building, however, out of an abundance of caution, the district has made the decision to move OMS to virtual days for 11/23 and 11/24. OMS will be closed 11/23 and 11/24.


Our plan for a virtual setting will allow our blue and white cohorts to participate together in their learning over the two days.  There is a schedule attached at the end of this letter to help support both parents and students over the two days.


We understand that this could create some challenges for families.  I hope you understand that this decision was made in the best interests of the entire OMS community.  


If you have any questions please contact myself or Stefani Lund at 354-2502, or by email.  If you have questions for Tracy Smith, OMS school nurse, you can contact her at school (extension 222) or call/text 701-1370,


In closing, we wish all of you a safe holiday vacation and look forward to reopening our school after the Thanksgiving break.




Bill Gifford

OMS Principal



November 6, 2020
Letter to RSU 13 Families and Community Members

October 30, 2020
Letter to Families and RSU 13 Community Members

October 16, 2020
Letter to RSU 13 Families
Amended 2020-2021 School Calendar

October 13, 2020

As outlined in our ReOpening Plan, it is mandatory that all staff and families use this PreScreening tool to screen for symptoms each morning.

Please see this updated screening tool updated on 10.9.2020 by the Maine Department of Education and the Maine CDC.





October 1, 2020

School Board Meeting streaming link


September 30, 2020
Family Letter to RSU 13 Community

September 5, 2020

Parents who are unable to transport their children, please see these links for the Fall 2020 Bus Routes:

Bus runs will be very similar to last year to begin.  Please be ready even if your specific address is not listed.  Masks and physical distancing is required at the bus stop.  The Bus Garage phone number is listed on the links above. 

September 1, 2020

Family Letter to RSU13 Community

August 25, 2020

Family Letter to Our RSU 13 Community

August 14, 2020

Dear RSU 13 families, 

Please take the time to again review the RSU 13 Re-Opening Plan that was approved by the school board last night.  Consult our FAQ (particularly the new additions in the “Remote Learning” tab) in order to help you make as informed of a decision as possible.  We need responses by ALL FAMILIES by August 20 in order to best plan and prepare for your children.  We thank you for your time and support, look forward to welcoming your children on September 8, and are here to help you with any further questions that you may have.

Survey in English 

Survey in Chinese  

Survey in Portuguese

Survey in Spanish  

RSU 13 Reopening Plan:


School Reopening Plan FAQ Guide

RSU 13 has taken the time to put together a Frequently Asked Question Guide for our families, community, employees, and board in order to address some of the common questions discussed by the board or posed by the public.  We know there will be more, so we will continue to update this document and date any new additions.  We hope that you find this to be a clear, concise, and helpful tool as we continue to move forward. 

FAQ Guide:

The Plan in Brief:

The current reopening plan approved by the Board is for a full 5 day per week in-person reopening for PreK-5 (with the exception of South PreK, which will be 4 days).  A hybrid consisting of a rotation of a day in school in person and a day remotely at home alternating for each cohort of students approximately half of the student body) is proposed for OMS.  A hybrid consisting of a rotation of two days in person following a blue day block schedule on the first day and a white day block schedule on the second day in person then a blue day block schedule remotely following by a white day block schedule remotely is proposed by OHS.  RSU 13 will offer a full remote option to all students from families preferring that option K-12. Families choosing to do so may also choose to homeschool. Please see the FAQ Guide for more clarifications and contact building principals or the Superintendent’s Office at 207-596-6620 with any questions. 

August 5, 2020
RSU 13 2020-2021 Reopening Plan

A successful opening will be a safe opening.  RSU 13 has been immersed in the important committee work of developing recommendations.  Committee members have been involved in the following activities:
  • Consulting with other state and area leaders and field experts
  • Referencing documents from not only the Maine DOE and CDC but also other state reopening documents
  • Analyzing end of the year as well as the early July survey results from both staff and families
  • Paying attention to research on school openings from other countries.  
While we are proud of the work that has taken place in order to develop our Re-Opening Draft, we recognize that there is no perfect answer that will meet the needs of every family, particularly if we have to make shifts in our scenario over time.  That is because decisions were made in light of our priorities as outlined in our Planning Document shared with the board, employees, and public earlier this summer: 
-Provide social and emotional support to all students, specifically building connections with students and fostering students’ connections with each other
-Provide sound academic instruction through proficiency based education
-Ensure health and safety of students, staff, and community
-Ensure that we have a system in place to respond to an anticipated increase in student mental health needs
-Ensure equity for students
We feel that the plan presented in the document linked below provides the best balance of these priorities.  We recognize that each shift in a scenario, which may be necessary as time goes on, will result in one or more of the priorities being compromised in some way.  We ask that as you read and eventually discuss the plan, that you keep these important priorities in mind. 
Respectfully Submitted:  RSU 13’s 2020-2021 Reopening Plan

RSU 13 Reopening Plan:


July 2, 2020 - Letter from the Superintendent  

Dear Families of Our RSU 13 Community:

I am writing to update you all on our planning process for the reopening of schools in the Fall, and to offer you an opportunity to participate in the planning process by participating in a survey. This is designed to give you a voice in our thoughtful consideration of the reopening of schools, and hopefully give us some insight into your ideas and concerns as we move forward.  Read More

Charts of the survey results are here.

2020-2021 Budget Information maybe found at http://rsu13.org/Budget 


 May 22, 2020 - Letter from the Superintendent  

Dear Families of Our RSU 13 Community:

This very challenging school year is rapidly drawing to a close, with the last day of Emergency Learning for students being Friday, May 29. You should note that students may keep their devices over the summer and do not need to turn them in, with the exception of members of the senior class. We will be providing opportunities for the safe turn in of devices for the seniors, so please watch for dates, places, and times for this.  Read More

April 10, 2020 - Letter from the Superintendent  


To Our RSU 13 Families:

As of this week, and referenced as a possibility in last week’s letter, we now have a clear picture of how long our buildings will remain closed, which will be through the end of this school year.  If we are given any other options, families will be notified, but this recommendation by Commissioner Pender Makin allows us to make decisions and focus on long-range plans.  We know this recommendation leaves families with many other uncertainties in their lives, but we want to assure you that RSU 13 continues to work tremendously hard to address the needs of our students inclusive of both their well-being and nutrition as well as their education.  While we do not have all of the answers yet, we hope that this letter provides families with some clarity around serving our students.  Read More  

April 3, 2020 - Letter from the Superintendent  

Dear Families of Our RSU 13 Community:

It has been three weeks now since we have closed our school buildings in response to the pandemic and by order of Governor Mills. For our teachers, staff and administrators, however, work has continued with much determination, energy and creativity in the task supporting our students and families.  With very short notice, we mobilized and not only have been providing meals for children on a daily basis, but have designed emergency learning opportunities for students, and maintained connections with them in ever increasingly creative ways. Much credit goes to our staff in rising to meet this very challenging situation, and my thanks go out to you, the parents and care givers, in working with us to help support the children during this difficult time. Read More


 ***Technology SUPPORT HOTLINE (207) 466-8000 or support@rsu13.org***

***Social & Emotional Support and Resources***

***Instructional Plans for Continued Learning***

March 16, 2020 - Letter from the Superintendent  

To Our RSU 13 Families:

We are asking that all families please complete this survey (more details below): 

At this point, we do not have a clear picture of how long our schools will remain closed, and from Commissioner Pender Makin’s message to schools following Governor Mills’ declaration of a civil emergency last night, schools will be closed for “an indefinite period of time.”  It will likely be a period of time up to April 27th.  Read More


March 13, 2020 - Letter from the Superintendent - New Guidance
Dear Staff, Parents and Community Members:

Late yesterday we received new guidance on social distancing at school from the Governor’s office and Maine School Management. After a review of their new guidelines, the following actions will go into effect beginning Monday, March 16, 2020.  Read More

March 12, 2020 - Letter from the Superintendent

Dear Members of the RSU 13 Schools Community:

I am writing to update you with current information on our preparations for any potential outbreak of Corona Virus, or COVID-19. Over the last two weeks, we have been meeting with State and local officials, including Knox County EMA, representatives from the Maine Department of Education and the Maine CDC, as well as our own administrative team, to plan and prepare for a number of different scenarios. Please understand that the situation is changing rapidly, and though at the time of this communication there are no confirmed cases in Maine, all indications are that there will be in the near future. The following are some recommendations and determinations.  Read More


Envisioning the Schools of Our Future 2.0
Community Conversations About Our Future

Dear Participants in RSU 13’s Community Conversations:

We are writing to you to express our sincere appreciation for your recent participation in our series of events, Community Conversations – Envisioning the Schools of Our Future 2.0.  The active interest, energy, and enthusiasm that you brought to these discussions, and the thoughtful insights and recommendations offered, contributed significantly to the features that have now been highlighted in the Summary Report

As promised, this summary report was shared with all who participated, whether by attending one of our on-site events or by offering your input via the RSU 13 website survey option.  This report was also shared with all School Board members and faculty, and will be a valued perspective informing the continuing work of RSU 13 as we continue planning for and designing the schools of our future.

Soliciting and actively valuing community input has been a hallmark of what has contributed to the success of recent development efforts within RSU 13. We thank you for continuing that tradition and be assured that your collective voice matters as we continue to strive to do our very best, for every student, every day. Please also know that we will continue to remain in frequent communication with our community-at-large as this important work continues. Thank You!

With sincere appreciation,

John C. McDonald, RSU 13 Superintendent                                         

Loren Andrews, RSU 13 School Board Chair