The Biddeford & Dayton School Departments will use this page to keep families informed of developments related to COVID-19 and how our schools are responding.
Most Recent Updates:
Superintendent’s COVID-19 Update: 3/27/2020 (3:00 PM)
Food Distribution: 3/23/2020
Parent/Guardian FAQ’s: 3/16/2020 (1:00 PM)
Staff FAQ’s: 3/13/2020
Previous Communications Home:
- Superintendent’s COVID-19 Update: 3/20/2020 (2:00 PM)
- Superintendent’s COVID-19 Update: 3/17/2020 (2:30 PM)
- Superintendent’s COVID-19 Update: 3/16/2020 (3:00 PM)
- Superintendent’s COVID-19 Update: 3/15/2020 (9:00 PM)
- Superintendent’s COVID-19 Update: 3/14/2020 (8:00 PM)
- Athletic Update: 3/13/2020 (3:00 PM)
- Superintendent’s COVID-19 Update: 3/13/2020 (4:30 PM)
- Upcoming After School Events – COVID-19 Announcements: 3/12/20
- Events Postponed, School Remains Open: 3/12/20 (2:30 PM)
- Field Trip Opt-Out: Sent on 3/12/20 (10:30 AM)
- Reporting Student Absences: Sent on 3/9/20
- Initial Precautions around COVID-19: Sent on 3/2/20
- Links to Biddeford School Department Social Media Outlets
Distance Learning Information:
The Biddeford and Dayton School Departments realize our families and staff have many questions about COVID-19, more widely known as Coronavirus. While we’re educational institutions, our first and foremost concern is the health and safety of our 500 employees and 2,500 students. The science remains squishy, and the situation in the United States fluid. Schools representing nearly half of Maine’s student populations have announced closures lasting between a day and several weeks.
The Maine Department of Education (DOE) and Maine CDC are working in close collaboration to monitor the state’s health climate, provide up-to-date information, and advise on matters ranging from building cleanliness to potential school closures. We encourage parents to avoid social media hysterics and turn to authoritative sources like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 page, or Maine DOE’s excellent resource page.
Our work at the school departments is three-fold: ensuring that our schools are as safe as possible, keeping families informed, and developing alternative education plans in the unlikely event of a prolonged school closure. This page is developed for the purposes of keeping families informed and is the district’s official channel and archive for information related to COVID-19 or other pandemics.
I. Authoritative Resources
- Social Distancing: This is Not a Snow Day
- Biddeford Covid-19 Provider Modifications to Services and Alternatives to in-Person Services (Food, Transportation, etc.)
- For immigrants and new Citizens: US Citizenship and Immigration Services Offices closed.
- Coping with Stress during an Infectious Disease Outbreak (via WHO)
- COVID-19 Fact Sheets: Arabic, French, Kinyarwanda, Lingala, Portuguese, Somali, Swahili
- Advice on how to talk with your kids about COVID-19 from Dr. Bordeau, D.O.
- Maine Department of Education COVID-19 page www.maine.gov/doe/covid-19
- Maine Centers for Disease Control page for updates and FAQ’s www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/airborne/coronavirus.shtml
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 page https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- Check Travel Advisories if considering travel.
- For Families of Non-native Speakers of English
- Maine’s 2-1-1 Phone System now has COVID-19 info
II. What you can do to help?
- Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
- Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.
- Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. We have installed hand sanitizing stations around our schools.
- Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives
- Tips on hand washing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers
- Hand washing resources from the It’s A SNAP program, aimed at preventing school absenteeism by promoting clean hands. From the School Network for Absenteeism Prevention, a collaborative project of the CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cleaning Institute.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
III. What are we doing to keep our buildings clean?
Cleaning and disinfecting are part of our school department’s broad approach to preventing infectious diseases in our buildings. Parents have the most significant influence on keeping our student body healthy by keeping students home when sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and washing hands often.
Here are some of what our custodial staff are doing to slow the spread of flu specifically through cleaning and disinfecting.
- We are educating our staff to know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing. Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched often. Faculty and staff are required to follow standard procedures for routine cleaning and disinfecting. Typically, this means daily sanitizing surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands-on learning items, faucet handles, phones, and toys. Some schools may also require daily disinfecting of these items. Standard procedures often call for disinfecting specific areas of the school, like bathrooms. These tasks are start-of-shift priorities.
Immediately clean surfaces and objects that are visibly soiled. If surfaces or objects are soiled with body fluids or blood, use gloves, and other standard precautions to avoid coming into contact with the fluid. Remove the spill, and then clean and disinfect the surface.
- Clean and disinfect correctly. All faculty and staff must follow label directions on cleaning products and disinfectants. Wash surfaces with a general household cleaner to remove germs. Rinse with water, and follow with an EPA-registered disinfectant to kill germs. Read the label to make sure it states that EPA has approved the product for effectiveness against viruses. Questions about chem-safe products may be directed to the Director of Facilities and Maintenance Bill Gervais.
Use disinfecting wipes on electronic items that are touched often, such as phones and computers. Pay close attention to the directions for using disinfecting wipes. It may be necessary to use more than one wipe to keep the surface wet for the stated length of contact time. Make sure that the electronics can withstand the use of liquids for cleaning and disinfecting.
- Handle waste properly. Faculty and staff must follow your school’s standard procedures for handling waste, which may include wearing gloves. Place no-touch wastebaskets where they are easy to use. Throw disposable items used to clean surfaces and items in the trash immediately after use. Avoid touching used tissues and other waste when emptying wastebaskets. Wash your hands with soap and water after emptying wastebaskets and touching used tissues and similar waste.
Additional Health Information may be found on each school’s nurse/health page: