SAD 41 moves to remote learning following jump in COVID-19 cases

School Administrative District 41 in Milo has switched to remote learning following a rise in COVID-19 cases just weeks into the new school year.

Students will learn remotely through Wednesday, when district administrators will determine what the remainder of the week looks like, according to a Facebook post from Penquis Valley High School.

After school shutdowns and pandemic learning posed major challenges to education — and for some students, upended life as they knew it — some families anticipated this year would be more normal. It’s unclear how many COVID-19 cases SAD 41 is dealing with, but the district’s transition to remote learning shows the lingering effects of the pandemic on schools in Maine.

Superintendent Michael Wright was not immediately available to comment on Tuesday. SAD 41 serves Milo, Brownville and LaGrange.

In a letter to parents shared on Facebook, Penquis Valley Middle School Principal Tina Dumond thanked parents for their understanding and said she was one of the recent positive COVID-19 cases.

Dumond shared a schedule and expectations for the week, noting students’ assignments will be posted on Google Classroom and teachers will have office hours from 1:25 to 3 p.m. Students will be counted as present for the day if they communicate with teachers and are getting work done, she said.

An Outing Club trip scheduled for Wednesday was canceled, she said.

The district is providing bagged lunches during the remote learning period, but students or parents have to pick them up at the high school kitchen. Schools held laptop pick-up hours Monday morning for students who had left their devices at school.

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