SKOWHEGAN — Maine School Administrative District 54 will close its schools for the remainder of the week after a student at Skowhegan Area High School tested positive for COVID-19, officials said Wednesday.

In a letter to families, Superintendent Jon Moody said that the district was alerted on Wednesday morning that several students or staff members may have come in contact with individuals from the Community Regional Charter School (formerly Cornville Charter School) who have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

The student who tested positive at Skowhegan Area High School has not been in school since last Thursday, the letter says.

“As a result of the potential exposures, and understanding that contact tracing through Maine CDC takes time, we’ve decided that as a precautionary measure we will close all MSAD 54 schools for the remainder of this week.” Moody said in the letter.

Athletic Director Jon Christopher announced in an email Wednesday that all high school athletic activities and events from Wednesday through Monday are canceled. Next week’s activities and rescheduling of canceled events from this week will be determined once a return to school and athletics is allowed.

Out of an abundance of caution, the town of Skowhegan also announced that the Skowhegan Recreation Department fall programs for ages 3 through grade 6 will be canceled until further notice.

Where possible, students in grades K-6 will be sent home with devices and school work for the remainder of this week and instructions from teaching staff regarding access to online learning.

Staff in grades 7-12 will continue to provide instruction to students remotely following their established class schedules. Meals will be provided to students at their homes for the next two days, similar to what was done in the spring.

 

“This closure gives staff and administration five days to continue an open line of communication with the Charter School, Maine CDC, and our families, to determine if there is cause for a longer closure of any of our schools,” the letter says. “As of now, should nothing change, we are planning to return to school on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020.”

Multiple attempts throughout the week to reach officials at the charter school have not been successful as of Wednesday afternoon.

Prior to Wednesday, students in kindergarten through grade six were going to school in person every day, whereas students in grades seven through 12 have been learning under the hybrid model. MSAD 54 serves the communities of Canaan, Cornville, Mercer, Norridgewock, Smithfield and Skowhegan.

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