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Madawaska Schools Closing

posted Mar 15, 2020, 10:31 AM by Vincent Vanier   [ updated Mar 15, 2020, 10:35 AM ]
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March 15, 2020

Dear Valley Unified Parents and Community Members:

Our three Upper St. John Valley School Administrative Units (MSAD #27, MSAD #33, Madawaska School Department) together with other Aroostook County school units, the Maine Department of Education, and the Maine School Management Association, have been closely monitoring the news and best practices regarding the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). After reviewing all of our options, we have determined it is both wise and necessary to take the precautionary measure of closing our schools for the next two weeks, effective tomorrow, Monday, March 16. There will be an emergency meeting of the collaborative boards of MSAD27, MSAD33, and the Madawaska School Committee tomorrow evening @ 6:30pm to share plans and details.

The closure affects all school programming, including before-school and after-school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, and all weekend events. This is not a decision we take lightly. We realize school closures pose challenges for many families in our region. Still, closing schools to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 will help lessen the burden on local healthcare entities and emergency service responders, if either confirmed cases or a local outbreak should occur.
We are not aware of anyone in our region who has been infected or exposed to the coronavirus. This is a purely precautionary measure to help safeguard our communities. District teachers and staff have been developing and will continue to prepare Remote Learning Plans for our
students. Your teachers will be providing more information soon. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s building principal.

Arrangements to provide individualized services to children identified with special needs will be made by teachers who will be contacting families soon. If you have questions, please contact your child’s teacher or your school unit’s Director of Special Education.

We are making arrangements to continue providing school lunch services at school and community sites throughout our region, with the possibility of bus delivery. We will be making these plans public and providing this service by Wednesday, March 18.

This two-week school closure is a precautionary response. We will continue to monitor news about and consider best practices relative to COVID-19 and will update you on a regular basis concerning our plans for continuity of learning and services for our students moving forward. Updates will be forwarded via our SwiftK12 Message System and will be posted on school, school unit, and Valley Unified social media platforms.

Sincerely,

Benjamin Sirois
Superintendent of Schools
Valley Unified Education Service Center
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Vincent Vanier,
Mar 15, 2020, 10:31 AM