March 13, 2020
Dear Students, Parents, and Staff,
In light of the concern regarding the novel coronavirus, I am writing to clarify how MSAD # 1 plans to proceed in the coming days and weeks. I want to reassure you that MSAD #1 continues to consult regularly with the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the appropriate steps to take with our students and staff in order to ensure their safety and health.
The Maine Department of Education and the Maine Center for Disease Control is recommending that public schools (Pre-K to 12) remain open to students and staff. At this time, students are attending our community schools where there is no outbreak. Unlike college students who are often traveling from all over the United States and the world, public school students are less likely to travel to areas with a higher concentration of novel coronavirus cases. Given our current circumstances, allowing students to continue their education, as well as to be guaranteed to eat two meals each day in our schools, is of utmost importance. We will continue to work with our local health agencies and to monitor our absenteeism due to illness in order to do what is best for our students and community.
Governor Mills and the CDC are recommending that schools and communities refrain from planning nonessential, large indoor gatherings. As a result, we are postponing or cancelling all after-school non-essential large indoor gatherings through Saturday, April 4. After-school practices and meetings will still take place, but after-school events open to the larger community will be cancelled or rescheduled. These events would include the following:
- School dances
- Club and team regional competitions
- School assemblies
- Athletic events (The Maine Principals’ Association announced today that spring sports at PIHS are now slated to begin on April 27, 2020. We will plan for middle school spring sports to start on April 27, 2020 as well.)
Please call, email, or visit the Facebook page of the host schools concerning these events if you have any questions.
If circumstances change and our community is affected by the novel coronavirus, MSAD # 1 plans to take additional measures to reduce the spread of the virus in our community. In the event that our schools are closed due to the novel coronavirus, we would do so following consultation with the Maine Department of Education and the Maine CDC. At this time, we are not planning to offer fully online courses or virtual coursework for students to complete in the event of an extended school closure. We feel that our efforts would best be applied to supporting students in the classrooms with our excellent teaching and support staff when they are able to return to school.
Please continue to heed the advice of our medical professionals who are encouraging all of us to take the following precautions:
- Keep your children home if they are sick, particularly if they have a fever over 100 degrees.
- Cough or sneeze into your shoulder or elbow
- Wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizers
Additional information on the novel coronavirus can be found online on the Maine CDC website, by dialing 211, or emailing info@2l 1maine.org. This service is provided by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and is available 24 hours a day.
Best wishes and good health to you all.