Eighth graders at Winslow Jr. High will shift to remote learning beginning next week.

In a letter to families on Friday, Principal Jason Briggs said that an individual associated with the school has tested positive for coronavirus and 25 close contacts have been identified.

The letter did not specify whether the positive case was among a student or staff member. Beginning Monday, eighth graders will resume classes remotely following the school’s red plan.

“We are working closely with the Maine (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) to ensure our responses align with all safety guidelines,” Briggs said in the letter. “Close contacts have been instructed to quarantine for 14 days from the last exposure to the positive individual. A negative test result does not get an individual out of quarantine.”

The plan is to have eighth graders work remotely starting Monday and return to in-person learning Tuesday, Dec. 8. Superintendent Peter Thiboutot said in an email Saturday that there are 79 students in the eighth grade and all students have a Maine Learning Technology Initiative device and internet access.

Under the “red” plan, all students must learn remotely due to increased community risk. Lessons may be live or pre-recorded and the expectation is that learning is done independently compared to the in-person model. According to the school’s website, schools within the system will develop individual plans for how specific populations will receive necessary services and accommodations.

All other students in grades 6 and 7 will return to the hybrid model Monday beginning with Cohort 2.

The last recorded case of COVID-19 within the Winslow school system was at the high school earlier this month. As a result, some close contacts were asked to quarantine until Nov. 9.

Winslow schools are operating in a hybrid model, where students are split into two cohorts, last names A-La and last names Le-Z, that alternate in-person learning days. There is a third cohort comprised of remote learning-only students. In late September, the district announced its plans to continue with this model indefinitely.

Winslow’s elementary, middle and high schools are all located on Danielson Street in Winslow. To create extra space for students, the sixth grade is located in the old Winslow Junior High School building for this year only.

There is a new Winslow Junior High School, with a wing attached to the high school for seventh- and eighth-graders. The sixth grade will move into its new wing attached to the elementary school next year.

At Vassalboro Community School, Superintendent Alan W. Pfeiffer said in a letter to families Saturday afternoon that the school had been notified by a family that their child and the rest of the family have tested positive for coronavirus.

He added that the school nurse has been in contact with Maine CDC as well as the family that tested positive and following recommendations, 47 students and staff members have been deemed close contacts. Moving forward, the school will continue learning remotely.

“Per conversations this morning with an epidemiologist at the Maine CDC, it has been recommended that we have a temporary closure, out of an abundance of caution,” Pfeiffer said in the letter.

Remote learning will be begin Monday and continue through Dec. 7 at Vassalboro Community School. Students will return under the hybrid model Dec. 8 beginning with the white cohort. Curbside meal pickup will take place from Monday through Friday and Dec. 7 from 10 to 11 a.m.

Additionally, buses will be delivering meals along the same bus routes used during the last closure.

“With cases continuing to spike in Maine and in the central Maine area, it’s very important for all of our community members to have a place where they can look for accurate updates,” Pfeiffer said. “… Again, we want to be clear, we have taken all of the above action out of an abundance of caution. As always, our first priority of the safety of our students and staff, and we will always err on the side of caution.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.