Theater students at the Maine Arts Academy in Sidney use Zoom to meet Sept. 9 with Jeri Pitcher, left, the school’s theater director. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file Buy this Photo

SIDNEY — The Maine Arts Academy charter school in Sidney shifted to remote learning Nov. 4 and will continue with it until Nov. 23, following a positive COVID-19 case involving a person associated with the school.

Head of School Heather King wrote in an email she closed the school initially because she learned Nov. 3 a student was living with a person who had tested positive, but that student ended up testing negative. Nonetheless, the school went remote Nov. 4.

After the school was closed, King wrote in a letter to the community that another person had tested positive and all of that person’s close contacts had been notified.

Remote learning will continue until Monday, Nov. 23. The school is delivering lunch to students at various locations throughout the region.

“We have again put special cleaning methods in place,” King wrote. “The entire campus has been sprayed with a disinfectant, and will continue to be sprayed regularly.”

Some 250 high school students from nearly 80 Maine communities attend the Maine Arts Academy at the Snow Pond Center for the Arts.

The Maine Arts Academy had been operating under a hybrid model. In-person classes were limited to 10 students, with students alternating days of in-person learning. There is also a group of students learning fully remotely.

The Maine Arts Academy is one of the state’s 10 publicly funded charter schools, having opened five years ago. The academy made a successful transition to remote learning at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, fostered in part by inclement weather days.

“Please stay safe and make sure your student signs into Zoom classes with fidelity,” King wrote. “We work hard to make sure students do not have any learning gaps during this unprecedented epidemic.”


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