December 30, 2020
Dear Students, Families, and Staff,
I am writing to provide an update to the MSAD #1 school community regarding our plan to return to in-person instruction on Monday, January 4. All MSAD #1 schools will resume in-person instruction on Monday, January 4.
We are basing the decision to return to in-person instruction on the following criteria; there are no active coronavirus cases within our schools, and we have an appropriate number of staff members to safely and effectively provide in-person instruction. Of course, we will continue to monitor the number of active coronavirus cases in our community in order to inform our instructional plans as we move forward into the new year.
Currently, there are no active cases among students or staff members in MSAD #1, and while case counts have increased in our region over the past few weeks — especially the past few days — the increase of positive cases has primarily been attributed to nursing homes outside of the MSAD #1 community. Aroostook County remains one of the lowest areas of per capita coronavirus cases in the State of Maine. There are very few examples of the virus spreading rapidly in schools. Because of the safety protocols that schools have in place — including wearing masks, social distancing, and regular hand washing — research indicates that schools are some of the safest places for students to be. Additionally, most research about COVID-19 cases in schools indicate that when the virus is found in schools it is primarily due to a student or staff member coming into contact with the virus outside of school.
It has been nearly a month since we have held school in-person, and I want to remind you of the importance of notifying MSAD #1 Health Services Director, Lisa McKenna at firstname.lastname@example.org if any of the following apply:
- You have been in direct contact with a COVID-19 case, or if you are notified by the Maine CDC that you are considered a close contact of a COVID – 19 case.
- If you or anyone in your household is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.
- If you have been determined to be a positive COVID-19 case.
- If you have traveled outside the state of Maine (other than to New Hampshire or Vermont) since school vacation began on December 23.
I believe it is important to maintain in-person instruction for as long as we can safely do so.The in-person, social interactions in our classrooms and school buildings are vital to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of our students. Please continue to follow the health guidelines of the Maine CDC which encourages people to stay home when they are sick, wear a mask/face covering, wash their hands frequently, and to maintain social distancing.