Following Waldo County’s yellow designation by the Maine Department of Education, Regional School Unit 3 is not moving forward with more in-person education as initially planned.

RSU 3 Superintendent Charles Brown wrote in a letter to the community that students in grades K-5 will continue in their current Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday cohorts until the county is classified as green. RSU 3 reported a case of the coronavirus in Thorndike’s Mount View Elementary School last Monday.

“Unfortunately, with the designation of Waldo County as ‘yellow’ and the uncertainty that surrounds the current community outbreak, we have decided to delay the return to four day in-person instruction,” Brown wrote in the letter. “As long as Waldo County remains designated as ‘yellow,’ we will delay transitioning to four days in-person.”

Children in grades K-5 were initially supposed to attend school four days per week in-person starting Nov. 2. RSU 3 services six elementary schools in its district. RSU 3 has eight schools with students from the towns of Brooks, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Liberty, Montville, Troy, Unity and Waldo.

By Wednesday, Waldo County was moved to “yellow” by the Maine Department of Education under its color-coded Health Advisory System. The yellow category indicates an increased risk. RSU 3 also canceled the remainder of the fall sports season.

An outbreak of 60 cases has been associated with the Brooks Pentecostal Church. Morse Memorial Elementary School is located in Brooks.

“While other school districts throughout Maine have been moving to remote learning only, RSU 3 has been able to maintain our ‘yellow’ model of hybrid learning,” Brown wrote. “We will continue to be proactive, consulting with the Maine CDC and DOE and working closely with local agencies as needed.”

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