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Breaking News - Update from RSU # 71

posted Oct 23, 2020, 11:18 AM by Bruce Bailey

October 23, 2020

Dear RSU 71 Students, Families, Staff, School Board and Community Members, 

I write again today to share the news that due to the coronavirus outbreak in Brooks, Maine, the state has changed our color-coded designation from GREEN to YELLOW. This news changes the recommended status of our schools in RSU 71. 

I visited each of our K-8 schools today and had tears of joy and deep respect in my eyes and love in my heart as I witnessed our students’ and teachers’ genuinely outstanding work in action. Students are continuing to do a FABULOUS job working hard, learning lots, and teachers are engaging them in rigorous and inspiring learning. So it indeed grieves my heart to share the specifics of we will need to do in response to the coronavirus outbreak in Waldo County. 

BAHS -  This high school is already in the yellow/hybrid plan and will continue to be so. When a county is coded yellow, all sports and co-curricular activities are suspended. Fortunately, our student-athletes have been involved in sports for many weeks and months. The administration will work diligently to create intramural activities using the swimming pool, the weight room, the gym, and playing fields. The high school musical can go on next weekend -- the show must go on! -- but outside and for family members only.

THMS - The middle school is prepared to move to the yellow/hybrid phase of our plan beginning Monday, October 26. The administration will be in touch with families over the weekend.

K-5 Schools (except for Ames Elementary) - CASS, East Belfast, Nickerson, and Weymouth will begin the yellow phase of our plan on Tuesday, October 27. We need a day to get 1:1 devices to our families and photocopy and prepare packets for families to pick up. Ames Elementary will stay in the red/remote phase of our plans and reopen for in-person instruction in the yellow phase on Monday, November 2. Ames teachers have all been in school and teaching remotely from their classrooms throughout this period of required quarantine, with a 95% student participation attendance rate.

Food Service - Beginning Monday, October 26, free meals will be available for all students. Families can pick them up at their respective schools or can stop by the school closest to home.

K-5 Special Education - In a few exceptional cases, students in self-contained classrooms may be able to come to school four of the five days of the week, beginning Tuesday, October 27. Special education staff will be in touch with families.

Finally, I wish to share the truth that there are two additional cases in RSU 71 that the Maine Center for Disease Control and our school nurses are investigating.

Please feel free to be in touch with me, school nurses, and administrators.

Mary Alice

Mary Alice McLean
Superintendent of Schools, RSU 71
(207) 338 - 1960