News Spotlight

Follow-up memo re MSAD 15 decisions

To: MSAD 15 Community
From: Craig King, Superintendent
Date: February 8, 2021
Re: Follow-Up to February 7, 2021 School Messenger Memo

Numerous people have contacted me and other administrators regarding yesterday’s School Messenger memo expressing concerns about the decisions that were made and how those decisions were made. This memo is designed to provide a little more information and clarity.

1. It appears that there has been some COVID-19 spread due to athletic contact. “Spread” means one student gave COVID-19 to another student on school grounds (in this case on school grounds during athletics).

2. We’ve had to quarantine nine students and two staff related to athletic programming.

3. The MeCDC is currently investigating the level of “spread” in these programs. If and when the MeCDC provides us information that would allow us to return to athletic and co- curricular activities, we will do so.

4. The MeCDC has given Gray-New Gloucester High School “Active Outbreak” status. A COVID-19 outbreak indicates potentially extensive transmission within a setting or organization (across all programs during and after school).

5. Based on the rate at which the cumulative case counts in Gray and New Gloucester are increasing, it appears that our communities have a relatively high infection rate.

6. For these reasons, we have taken the action we have taken regarding (a) high school academics moving to 100% remote, (b) partial move to 100% remote instruction at the middle school, and (c) the action taken regarding athletics and co-curricular activities outlined in the February 7, 2021 School Messenger sent by my office.

We are limited in both the amount of information we can give the public and the specificity we can give the public. Consequently, it may be difficult for some members of the public to fully understand the decisions we have made. Please be assured, the administrators, staff, and school board want all our students in school five days a week and fully engaged in all our academic and co-curricular programming. It is my hope, with the acceleration of vaccinations, this will happen sooner rather than later.

On a final note, I want to make it clear that all our students, professional staff, support staff, coaches, club advisors, etc. have been vigilant and dutiful in following all COVID-19 guidelines regarding social distancing, face coverings, hand sanitation, etc. both during school hours and during after school activities. As a matter of fact, I went to the high school gym late Friday afternoon with the express purpose of observing students and coaches funnel in and out of the school, the gym, participate in practice, etc. Their observance of and compliance with all COVID-19 guidelines was impressive. Nonetheless, we were obliged to make the decisions we made.