Bangor High School. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

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The superintendent of the Bangor School Department told parents Saturday that they should prepare for schools to be closed through the rest of the school year and to prepare students for online learning due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“If reports from epidemiologists, virologists and other experts are any indication, it is unlikely we will return to school by the end of April, or even by the end of the school year,” Betsy Webb said in an email.

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Schools across the state closed March 16, and expected to reopen in two weeks. That was extended last week to April 27 by Gov. Janet Mills.

Initially students were given paper packets containing two weeks’ worth of work. Webb asked that work be either scanned or photographed and emailed to teachers to avoid the possible spread of COVID-19.

Going forward, learning will move online once the 350 students who do not have internet access or devices have been loaned internet capable tablets, Webb said. She said the district is seeking funding to purchase the devices.

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“Bangor educators have access to the entire suite of Google tools,” the superintendent said. “Because these tools are regularly used with students when in our school buildings, many educators would like to use Google Classroom and other G-Suite tools that are familiar. Additionally, for our younger students who may need families to share information with them, Google sites or other website platforms are a great option to share activities and information for students and families.”

Teachers are planning for students to spend half as much time working from home as they would if they were in classrooms.

The district’s food service staff is preparing and delivering 2,400 meals per day to students who need them, Webb said.