Covid-19 and remote learning update

To: MSAD 15 Students, Staff, and Families
From: Craig King, Superintendent
Date: May 6, 2022
Re: COVID-19 and Remote Learning Update

COVID-19 cases have increased across the state and Cumberland Country is again designated as being high-risk for community spread. Our schools have not been spared from this surge. Since returning from April vacation, MSAD 15 has had 44 positive COVID-19 cases reported among staff and students. Of these, 29 were present at school during their infectious period. As a result, over 500 students and staff have had to adopt quarantine protocol measures due to exposure this week and last week.

We hope this spike in COVID-19 cases is temporary. We are not prepared to change our health guidelines at this point. We anticipate we may receive new guidance from the Maine Department of Education or the Maine Center for Disease Control and prevention, in which case we will follow those recommendations.

This message is not meant to be alarmist; however, I believe it is important we pay a little more attention to the following points over the next few weeks:

Masking. While we are not requiring universal masking, we highly recommend staff, students, and visitors consider wearing masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Particularly for individuals who have any cold-like symptoms, even if they have tested negative for COVID-19, masking will help slow the spread of other viruses and prevent COVID-19 spread if they later test positive. Surgical, KN95, and N95 masks are available for all staff and students. If you have questions about accessing these masks, please contact your school main office.

COVID-19 Home Tests. Per our health guidelines, home tests are currently being accepted as proof of positive and negative COVID-19 tests. The state has issued MSAD 15 2,500 boxes of COVID-19 home tests for staff and students. Each box contains 5 individual tests. Staff can expect to have a box of home tests issued to them on Monday, May 9, 2022. Families can expect to receive communication from their student’s school(s) by Monday, May 9, 2022, about how to access free home tests. If you have questions about accessing home tests, please contact your school main office.

Remote Learning. We are prioritizing every student, in-person, every day. However, if more than 15% of a class, grade, or school are ill, we may have to move to remote status for that group for a period of time. Further, as staff are impacted by this surge, staffing shortages may require remote learning for short period of time. We ask families to be prepared that remote learning may be a reality for at least some students between now and the end of the school year.