The Skowhegan-based school district began a meal program distributed by bus along existing bus routes Thursday and all town buildings were closed to the public until March 29.

Maine School Administrative District 54 Superintendent Brent Colbry issued a statement earlier this week addressing the recent school closure in response to coronavirus.

The district announced Sunday that all schools would remain closed for two weeks as a way to protect students, faculty and staff from the highly contagious COVID-19. Closures and implementing social distancing practices help “flatten the curve” of cases in Maine, according to medical professionals.

Colbry said in his letter that though the buildings are closed, office staff, including office assistants, principals, guidance counselors and social workers, are available by phone.

“It is important that all families continue to practice and enforce strict social distancing during this time,” Colbry said. “Although we are in hopes to return to school as soon as possible, we will continue to expand and develop plans to support our children and our communities moving forward.”

On Thursday, the district began a meal distribution program delivered by buses and following existing bus routes. The buses are equipped with meals and educational packets for students who do not typically ride the bus. Information on this can be found at msad54.ord/bussing-information.

School staff also worked to create home learning material for students to work on remotely. Information can be found at sites.google.com/msad54.org/msad54-distance-learning/home.

“As of now, we do not know when our schools will reopen,” Colbry said.

MSAD54 serves the towns of Canaan, Cornville, Mercer, Norridgewock, Skowhegan and Smithfield.

In Skowhegan a website has been created that compiles a list of updates and resources that are available to residents dealing with coronavirus.

As of Thursday, the municipal building is closed to the public, though services including registration renewals, building and plumbing permit applications and passport renewal applications can be done online. There is also a drop box located inside the front door of the municipal building.

The Transfer Station is open, but the building is closed and recycling bins will be located outside.

Skowhegan Town Manager Christine Almand said in the notice that all town buildings are closed to the public through March 29. All non-essential functions are suspended through this time. Events at the Community Center scheduled for the next two weeks are canceled.

“The situation continues to change rapidly and our priority is to keep our community informed, safe and healthy,” Almand said. “We are erring on the side of caution in order to do our best to slow the spread of this virus.”


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