SKOWHEGAN — Maine School Administrative District 54, based in Skowhegan, will continue with in-person learning Monday, according to officials.

Superintendent Jon Moody wrote Friday in a memorandum to families that students from two of the three classrooms at Canaan Elementary School were quarantining at home after an employee tested positive for COVID-19 and a student was deemed a probable positive.

All told, 47 students and nine staff members from the school were quarantining at home.

Moody said Sunday each probable case at Canaan Elementary School had tested negative, and all 56 who were quarantining Friday will be able to return to school Monday.

“This situation at Canaan Elementary School has taught us to trust the process when students or staff are being asked to quarantine,” Moody wrote in the letter. “In the words of one of the health professionals we spoke to today — “this is an example of the process working,” explaining that rapid action and testing both help to prevent the spread of the virus and keeps kids safe and in school.”

“Although these instances certainly do cause disruption, they are an important aspect of keeping our students in school, something we believe is essential especially at the elementary level,” Moody wrote.


Each case of COVID-19 that the district has seen has reportedly been a result of contact with an individual outside of school, Moody said last week.

On Friday, the Department of Education deemed Somerset County “yellow” under their reopening advisory system.

MSAD 54, which includes Canaan, Cornville, Mercer, Norridgewock, Smithfield and Skowhegan, was already operating under a hybrid-cohorting approach, and Moody said administrators did not anticipate changes due to the “yellow” designation for Somerset County.

Earlier this month, the district sent students home to work remotely for two days after a student at Skowhegan Area High School tested positive for COVID-19. Two days later, a student at Mill Stream Elementary School in Norridgewock tested positive. In both cases, it was determined the students’ contact with the virus occurred outside of school.

Students in prekindergarten through sixth grade are learning in person five days a week, while grades seven through 12 are learning under a hybrid model divided by last names.

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