Citing a delay in the arrival of personal protective equipment needed to battle the coronavirus pandemic in Winslow Public Schools, Superintendent Peter Thiboutot announced the district is delaying its start date by a week.

Winslow schools Superintendent Peter Thiboutot Morning Sentinel file photo by Michael G. Seamans

Thiboutot also confirmed that a parent survey indicates the school system has adequate transportation for those students who will need to take a bus.

In an email message sent to parents Tuesday night, Thiboutot announced the first day of school is now Tuesday, Sept. 8, eight days later than initially scheduled.

“We have recently learned that some of our PPE is on back order due to the number of requests being made by all schools in the state (and country for that matter),” Thiboutot wrote to the community. “The supplies (or an acceptable alternative) will not be available to us for another week.

“I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause all of you. I know we are all anxiously waiting for a return to school but it is imperative that we do so with the utmost concern for the safety of our students and staff.”

Winslow students are to be split into two cohorts — Cohort 1 with last names A-La and Cohort 2 with last names Le-Z.

Cohort 2, starts school Sept. 8. Cohort 1 will attend school Sept. 9 and the cohorts will alternate for the remainder of the week and through Friday, Sept. 25.

The Winslow School Board next meets at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, at Winslow High School.

Thiboutot also expressed concern last month about the busing situation, which has since been rectified. In an email to the Morning Sentinel Thursday, Thiboutot shared the results of a parent transportation survey.

Thiboutot reported 1,003 families replied to the survey. There are approximately 1,200 students in the district. Of those to reply, 83% said they wanted their children to report to school in-person and 56% said they would not need transportation.

“As a result of that information, we feel quite confident that we can transport those  students in need of transportation to school,” Thiboutot wrote.

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