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Announcements


Food Service Changes

posted Oct 15, 2021, 10:14 AM by Vincent Vanier

empty cart
Date: October 15, 2021
To: All Parents, Guardians and Staff
From: Melanie Lagasse VUESC Food Service Director
RE: Change in School Lunch Calendar

Due to school lunch staff shortages and the disruption of the food chain that has resulted in food supply deficiencies across the state of Maine that we are now experiencing weekly, starting with the November calendar, we will be moving to a 2 week meal plan. Every 2 weeks, the new calendar will come out until further notice. Thank you for your understanding and your patience. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at mlagasse@vuesc.org. 

Sincerely, 
Melanie Lagasse
VUESC Food Service Director

ESSER Survey

posted Sep 13, 2021, 10:31 AM by Vincent Vanier

ESSER survey
Several weeks ago an initial stakeholder feedback survey went out to allow the various Madawaska School Department stakeholders to have meaningful input to our ESSER American Rescue Plan use of funds.

In order to determine additional stakeholder demographics, we are once again looking for your feedback as it relates to student groups you may represent.

Please follow this link and provide your feedback on how you feel we should use these resources.  Thank you

Reintegration Plan

posted Sep 10, 2021, 1:05 PM by Vincent Vanier

reintegration
The Superintendent's School Reintegration update can be found at the following address.  There you can find a great deal of information on a variety of topics related to COVID and having students back in the classrooms.  The information is presented in an easy to understand format.  Take a look at the information at:  https://vuescsuper.blogspot.com/2021/09/school-reintegration-2021-22-update-for.html

October Vaccination Clinics

posted Sep 10, 2021, 3:58 AM by Vincent Vanier   [ updated Sep 10, 2021, 4:02 AM ]

clinicsOctober 2021 School-Based Vaccination Clinics

With all Valley Unified schools now in session, the Valley Unified Education Service Center continues to work with St. John Valley Pharmacy to host school-based Pfizer vaccination clinics for students age 12 and older as well as staff.

The next set of voluntary clinics for students and staff who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 is set for October 7 and 8 (first dose) and October 28 and 29 (second dose).

For details on the dates, times, and locations of the clinics in your school unit, go to bit.ly/3njazAx or click on the image below.  The deadline to register for the clinics is next Friday, September 17.

Close Contact Determination

posted Sep 9, 2021, 3:56 PM by Vincent Vanier   [ updated Sep 9, 2021, 4:01 PM ]

Unlike last school year, when all individuals identified as a close contact to a positive COVID19 person, this year, there are several factors that can eliminate the need for a close contact to quarantine.  Those factors include full vaccination, natural immunity to COVID19 due to a previous infection,  pooled testing, and universal masking.  

We understand how confusing and frustrating this information can be, especially when it impacts you and your children.  For that reason, we have created the following close contact flow charts to better help communicate why some close contacts must quarantine while others may not have to.  

The first chart is the Student Required Quarantine Chart for Close Contacts.  Please note that the term "School Setting" refers to anywhere on school property, including gyms, fields, buses, etc.  The term "Classroom Setting" refers only to a classroom.  

Click here or the image above for a larger view. 


The second chart is the Staff Required Quarantine Chart for Close Contacts.  Please note that there are a few differences between staff and students, especially in the case of serial testing.  

Click here or the image above for the larger view.

We hope these charts help answer the close contact questions you have.  If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your school nurse.  When doing so, we ask for kindness and patience.  It is very much appreciated. 


Pfizer Clinic

posted Sep 7, 2021, 9:55 AM by Vincent Vanier

clinic
The Valley Unified schools will be holding a Pfizer vaccine clinic on September 13th.  For more information, you can click on the attachment below or click here for more information:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DXeSSL1XDShDml1aavNUannqV3AL1y_V/view?usp=sharing

Pre-Screening Tool

posted Sep 3, 2021, 5:57 AM by Vincent Vanier   [ updated Sep 3, 2021, 5:58 AM ]


pre-screening tool

Deciding on whether or not to send your child to school in the morning when they are feeling under the weather can be a daunting decision, especially when allergies and other common illnesses may be involved.  We want to ensure that we are helping you make that decision using the best tools that we have. 


The following is the updated Pre-Screening Tool for School Attendance.  Answering yes to any of the three questions is a reason for your child to stay home; however, if you answer no to all three, they should be in school.   If you are still uncertain, contact your school nurse and they can guide you.  We hope this helps! 

Contact Tracing and SARA Alerts

posted Sep 2, 2021, 1:21 PM by Vincent Vanier

letter
Dear Valley Unified Parent(s)/Guardian(s):

We hope to maintain full in-school instruction throughout the school year by maintaining a safe environment for our students, employees, families, and communities. To support those goals, we will follow guidance and requirements from both the Maine Department of Education and United States Center for Disease Control. One requirement we must follow is to conduct contract tracing if one of our students or staff is diagnosed as
COVID-positive.

If your child is identified as a close contact of a person who has been found to have COVID-19 in school, you will be contacted by your School Nurse, who also will have to upload your child’s names to the SARA Alert system for symptom monitoring. Once your child’s name is uploaded into the system, you will receive a “Welcome” text message from (844) 957-2721, and a contact tracer/symptom monitor will call you, if needed.

Please note, if your child is vaccinated or taking part in a school pooled testing program, then (s)he will not be uploaded into this system. You either have recently been contacted or soon will be contacted about how to enroll your child in the pooled testing program at your school. If your child is neither vaccinated nor participating in a school pooled testing program, and you do not want to participate in the SARA Alert system, you can refuse
to take part by blocking the ”Welcome” text from (844) 957-2721. Even blocked text messages, though, will receive one phone call from a contact tracer/symptom monitor with the Maine Center for Disease Control to check in. A contact tracer/symptom monitor will also call those families without a cell phone number.

We understand you may have concerns about privacy, and want to assure you that only basic information concerning your child and your contact information is entered into the SARA Alert system, and that it is removed immediately after your child’s period of quarantine ends. In the past, parents could sign a form refusing to participate in the follow-up process. Under new guidelines, this is no longer a choice. Again, though, you can choose not to participate in this process by blocking the ”Welcome” text from (844) 957-2721. With questions about the SARA Alert system, please contact your School Nurse. Stay safe and be well.

Respectfully,

Benjamin Sirois
Superintendent of Schools

Pool Testing

posted Sep 2, 2021, 11:06 AM by Vincent Vanier

Pool Testing

Here's a video produced by our school nurses, Melyssa Pelletier and Lynn Wetmore explaining the pool testing program in place at the Madawaska schools.  This pool testing program has already started to show its value.  Take a look at this YouTube video to see what pool testing is all about in simple terms.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsGCAPZ4Ijo


Update 9-2-2021

posted Sep 2, 2021, 8:18 AM by Vincent Vanier   [ updated Sep 2, 2021, 8:30 AM ]

covid
Here is an update from our Superintendent of Schools Benjamin Sirois regarding a positive result at MMHS.  Please read the following letter at https://bit.ly/2VdI7EG

September 1, 2021

Dear Madawaska School Department Staff and Family Members,

This is a notification that we have learned one (1) individual associated with the Madawaska School Department has tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This positive test came from a positive pooled testing result. All of the individuals in that pool were brought in for the following testing and the positive individual was discovered. The individual was last at a school-sponsored activity on Tuesday, August 31. The individual is currently in isolation at home and will not return to school until they are cleared to do so by their Primary Care Physician or the CDC.

Although close contact is defined by the CDC as being “within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period”, the standard for close contacts in school is different for fully vaccinated individuals, individuals who have previously had COVID19, individuals in a pooled testing program, and/or individuals in a classroom when fully masked. Any individuals who may have come in close contact have been determined. Those who are vaccinated do not have to quarantine, and those in the pooled testing program can continue with school activities.

If you were not contacted yesterday, you or your child was not a close contact. The Madawaska School Department continues to support COVID19 vaccination and we also encourage families to enroll their children in the Pooled Testing program at your school. Please contact your
school nurse if you want more information on PooledTesting will go out soon to families. Staff are also encouraged to follow the same layered strategies to keep them at work.

We hope to continue working closely with the community on layered strategies to help keep all children in school during this period of high community transmission.

Sincerely,

Benjamin Sirois Superintendent of Schools
Madawaska School Department

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