September 14, 2021
Dear Students, Families, and Staff,
I am writing to inform you of additional cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in our district. Additionally, I will explain changes in how the district will communicate positive cases and student/staff in quarantine as we move forward. Lastly, I will share the additional mitigation strategies that the district will implement due to the increased cases in our community.
Three individuals in MSAD #1 have tested positive for the coronavirus. One individual is affiliated with Presque Isle High School, one individual is affiliated with Mapleton Elementary School, and one individual is affiliated with Pine Street Elementary School. We were also made aware this afternoon that a number of girls varsity soccer players at Presque Isle High School came into contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID from a competing high school. As a result, girls varsity soccer games scheduled between now and Monday, September 20 will be rescheduled.
Members of the MSAD #1 Health Services department notified the students considered to be close contacts in the classroom, on the school bus, and the soccer field. If you have not been contacted your student is not considered a close contact. All MSAD 1 schools will remain open for in-person instruction.
MSAD #1 COVID Dashboard
MSAD #1 has created a dashboard on our website to communicate coronavirus cases as well as the number of students who are currently quarantined for 10 days in each school. This dashboard will be updated daily and can be found at https://sad1.org/covid-dashboard/. I will no longer be sending a memo to the MSAD 1 community unless we have 3 or more cases in one day. My goal in doing this is to reduce the frequency of memos from my office while continuing to provide the information to the community. Members of the MSAD 1 Health Service Department will continue to notify parents when their child has come into contact with a positive case of the coronavirus as is required by the Maine CDC .
Additional Safety Measures
The district is also taking additional mitigation steps to attempt to keep our students and staff which include the following:
- Moving from 2 students per seat on the bus to 1 student per seat (effective Monday, September 20)
- Increased spacing between students at snack and meal time.
- Implementing a pooled testing program. This is a voluntary program for students which requires written parent permission. The purpose of a pooled testing program is to identify the presence of the virus early in a classroom prior to it spreading throughout a classroom or school as well as to reduce the number of unvaccinated students required to quarantine for 10 days. This program will take a few weeks to set up. I will be sending out additional information on the pooled testing program in the next week or so.
Considering how impactful the coronavirus has been to this point in the school year, we need to utilize every strategy we can in order to keep our students and staff safe and to continue to offer in-person learning. Please remember to keep your child home if he or she is not feeling well and reach out to MSAD #1 Health Service Director, Lisa Mckenna at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional guidance prior to returning to school.