August 26, 2020
Dear Woodside Families;

I am writing to you today to invite you to participate in a welcome back to school question and answer session for Woodside families to be held virtually this Friday evening, 8/28 at 6:00 p.m.  Please send along your questions in advance to

We will also hold follow-up sessions on consecutive Wednesdays beginning Wednesday Sept 2nd, and again on Wednesday Sept 9th.  We hope to see you (virtually) there.


For those students that are returning to school in Option #1: In persons (Hybroid) School

Woodside In Person Learning, by the numbers:

284 the number of planned “in person” learners for the Fall.

54, Our largest in person class at 5th grade.

43, Our smallest in person class is 2nd grade.

141 and 143, we have a nearly even split between cohort A and B with 141 and 143 respectively.

15, the number of homeroom teachers we’ll have.


Homeroom Assignments:  We are currently finalizing homeroom rosters. 2020-2021 Homeroom placements will be communicated to families on Friday, August 28th.  The letters will also include a minimal list of requested school supplies.  Please note that purchasing school supplies is purely optional. The district will provide school supplies for any students that need them.  (See a link to that list below.)


First Day/Week In-person School starts on Tuesday September 8th as half-days for the first week.  More details about the return to school schedule will be discussed and decided at this week’s school board meeting (see for details), and I will address those at Friday’s virtual meeting.


General Schedules & Routines: Daily schedules and routines (Ex. arrival, dismissal, lunch, etc.)  are being finalized based on the adjustments to our classroom and staffing needs. We’ll communicate these changes via School Messenger, upcoming newsletters, virtual meetings, and will also update parent handbook as soon as practical.

Kindergarten Screening

We have been working hard to call and schedule our Kindergarten screening appointments for students not previously screened by CDS.  Please see this important letter regarding what to expect at “K-Screening”, as well as a parent questionnaire link we are asking all “K parents” to fill out.  We cant wait to see many of our in person Woodside Cubs next week.  Please contact Mr. Dedek at 725-1243 if you have any questions.

Kindergarten Screening Parent Letter

Kindergarten Parent Questionnaire.


For those students that are returning to school in Option #2: Remote Learning School

Woodside Remote Learning, by the numbers:

63,  the number of Woodside students electing the remote only option.

422,  the total number of remote learners in the district.

4, the number of Woodside teaching positions transferred to “remote only.”

7, the Woodside grade with the least number of remote elections (1st grade).

16, the Woodside grade with the greatest number of remote elections (3rd grade)

Thanks for the extra week...we needed it! With over 60 students whom chose Option #2 (full remote learning) for Trimester #1, Woodside staff (and all schools) have needed to make some big adjustments to prepare for the start of the school year. We really appreciate that our school board heard our need for that time, and accommodated by delaying the start of school by one week. Whether its Imagining outdoor learning opportunities and securing safe spaces, re-adjusting classroom designs, sizes, SOP’s, classroom placement, or even designating some teachers as remote only, there has been a lot to do. I’m pleased to say that two of my close colleagues, Chris Lajoie (Bowdoinham Principal) and Anita Hopkins (Harpswell Principal) will be working closely with all our Elementary remote teachers to put together our response to the need to provide remote only teaching and learning plans.  If you have elected a remote only option, your child is still considered a Woodside student and will be included in all communications and special events coordinated by the school.  However, many of the day to day needs will be managed through Mr. Lajoie and Mrs. Hopkins.  I know you will hear more from these tow outstanding educational leaders in the coming days and weeks.

Details....details! The school district will communicate the many details related to Option #2 (ex. teacher assignments, schedules, student expectations, etc.) over the next days and week. Thank-you for your continued patience as the many details are being finalized.

Wait, is my child still a Woodside Student? YES!!! Woodside students that are participating in Option #2 will very much still be considered a part of our school community.  We love all of our students and want to stay connected with them.  Students will be invited to attend any school wide zoom meetings and activities that will take place throughout the year. Your child will be assigned a remote teacher, not necessarily from Woodside, but this educator will be responsible for your child’s academic programming during the duration they are participating in Option #2, full remote learning just as if they were attending in person here at the school.  Any questions pertaining to academic programming should be directed to the remote teacher and either the K-2 or 3-5 supervising principals.  

For ALL students-Option #1 (In Person) and Option #2 (Fully Remote):

Chromebooks:  These 1:1 learning devices will be distributed to all students K-5.  Details regarding the distribution for students participating in either learning option will be shared over the next days and weeks. (There are still some fur-balls to work out.)

Grading and Attendance: Unlike last Spring, report card grades and attendance will be a mandatory part of returning back to school.  More details on how this looks for each option will be communicated as we progress through the coming weeks and as part of our return back to school.  We thank you for your continued patience and support as we to commit ourselves to providing the very best education that our community deserves.

Reminder:   We still don't have all the answers...but we are working diligently to provide the best and safest school experience for your children, whether in person or remote. We will co-host our Zoom Meeting with Woodside PTO on Friday, August 28th from 6-7 p.m. with expressed intent to hear your questions and provide information. Mark your calendars for follow-up meetings on Wednesday Sept 2nd and Sept 9th, also from 6-7 p.m.

Thank you, and take care!
Mr. Dedek
Woodside Principal



August 2020

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Woodside is a non-profit, public school organization · 42 Barrows Dr. · Topsham, Me 04086 · USA

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