The Waldo County Technical Center will operate as close to 100% normal capacity as possible, according to Director Kevin Michaud, both during daytime and evening adult education sessions.

In a letter to students and families posted on the school's website Aug. 13, Michaud said because of the nature of the hands-on training provided at the school, remote learning did not lend itself to the courses WCTC offers.

"While some of the academic components of certain programs can be delivered remotely, the hands-on learning and skill development phases of specialized, trade-based curricula require physical attendance, direct supervision and progress monitoring by the instructor," Michaud said. "For this reason, all enrolled students are encouraged to attend WCTC as frequently as they can be here."

He encouraged enrolled high school students, regardless of their chosen program, first- or second-year status or partner school schedule, to attend daily, beginning Wednesday, Sept. 2.

While acknowledging that transportation might be a challenge for some students, Michaud said the school had retooled its driving policies to allow as many approved drivers as possible to transport themselves (only) directly to and from the Tech Center when a bus is not available.

New traffic patterns have been established at the school with one-way traffic arrows for additional safety as part of an ongoing school improvement plan. "As always, we remind people to use caution and prudent speed when entering or exiting school property, as well as coming around corners," he said.

All staff and students will also adhere to state requirements set forth by the Maine Department of Education in collaboration with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention including face coverings, hand-sanitizing and distancing, to name a few. For a complete list of Returning to Classroom Instruction requirements, visit maine.gov/doe/framework.

These mandates are to be considered nonnegotiable and essential to keeping everyone as healthy as possible, he said.

In addition, Michaud said, "We have established school specific safety precautions and protocols, which will be explained directly to students during their safety orientation, prior to the Add/Drop period in late September."

Michaud said, "In advance, thank you for your support of WCTC, and please feel free to contact us for any further information. We’re not 'perfect,' but we are doing our very best for you and the greater Waldo county community, and will keep you updated as best we can."

For more information, contact Michaud at 342-5231, ext. 204, or kmichaud@waldotech.org.