Area schools extend closures until late April
All five school districts in the region and most across the state have extended closures for at least another month. Closures initially slated to last for two weeks until the end of March will now last through the normally scheduled week of April vacation.
Schools in Piscataquis and Penobscot counties, Portland, Lewiston, Ellsworth and the Bucksport area were among those that said in-person classes would tentatively resume on April 27 after they initially shut down in-person classes for two weeks, until Monday, March 30.
The closures coincide with the length of Gov. Janet Mills’ emergency proclamation, which she issued on March 15 and lasts for an initial 30-day period.
“In conjunction with RSU 68, Foxcroft Academy will remain closed until at least April 27th and will continue with online instruction,” Foxcroft Academy Head of School Arnold Shorey said in a March 20 post on the school website. “This is being done with guidance from the DOE and the CDC. April 20th-24th will still be designated as ‘April Break.’
“I would like to thank parents and students for adjusting to receiving online instruction. I encourage you to email teachers if you have questions or are in need of help. Please also make sure that you contact Foxcroft Academy Counseling Services if you need assistance. I am very pleased with how the staff and faculty have responded to the transition to online learning and how the students are adapting to the new delivery of instruction.”
“RSU 68 will be extending our time with distance learning through April 17 based on guidance from the Maine Department of Education and CDC,” RSU 68 Superintendent Stacy Shorey wrote in a March 19 letter to parents and guardians.
She said pre-K to grade 8 students at the SeDoMoCha School in Dover-Foxcroft will also have the regular week of April vacation with lunch dropoff continuing April 20-24. “As of right now, students will be back on April 27,” Shorey wrote.
“I would like to thank parents and students for how well they have adjusted to distance learning,” she wrote. “Students have been working very hard this week with parent/guardian support. The amount of intense screen time is new for all of us. Remember to take breaks to go outside, go for a walk or have snacks to break up the continuous screen time. Staff have done a wonderful job of connecting with students. I encourage you to email teachers if you have questions or are in need of help. They have ‘office hours’ at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day and will be responding to your questions. Please also make sure that you contact our guidance counselors, Mrs. Reece or Mrs. Curtis or our social worker, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, if you need assistance during this very difficult time by calling (207)-564-6535.”
“I want to thank all of the students and parents for doing an incredible job this week keeping your children connected with their teachers,” AOS 94 Superintendent Kevin Jordan said in a March 20 post on the district website. “I know if we keep up the momentum it will make our transition back to school go much smoother. Based on the Governor’s Emergency Declaration and last night’s Governor’s Executive Order I am announcing that SAD 46 is officially continuing our remote learning days through Friday, April 17, 2020, with our traditional spring break the following week and regular in school learning resuming on Monday, April 27, 2020. As we move through the next few weeks we will keep all students engaged as best we can. If you have specific questions please contact me at 924-6000 or the school where your child attends. To all the families, please stay safe and healthy!”
“I am reaching out to you today to let you know that all AOS 43 schools will remain in closure status now until April 27th,” SAD 41 Superintendent Michael Wright wrote in a March 20 Facebook post about the Milo-based district and its AOS partner SAD 31 of the Howland area. “I know that some of you have been informed of the status of other districts. For us, this is a major step that our schools will undertake in an effort to respond to the coronavirus crisis and to help reduce the spread of germs.
“I will be talking with principals soon to plan for the additional closure time and we will be communicating to you with more specific information as we move forward. Generally, the same plans that we have in place for the two weeks will extend for this additional time, with perhaps some specific changes. More information will be forthcoming on several fronts.
“If you are like me, each day the surreal nature of the situation sinks in more and more. If someone had told us in December that we would be closing schools for several weeks beginning in March we would not have been able to imagine why. And yet, here we are.
“As we go through this unprecedented crisis my message to you is the same. Take care of yourself and your family, be safe and practice social distancing. Don’t go out around others for reasons which are not absolutely necessary. Take this crisis seriously. The decisions you make might make huge differences. In fact, without being dramatic, they could be life changing to you or to others.
Eesha Pendharkar of the Bangor Daily News contributed to this story.