Maine Arts Academy is staying fully remote for an extra week after two people associated with the school tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, officials said, while Mid-Maine Tech reported contact exposure between a person who tested positive and students from three other high schools and Erskine reported another positive result.

Maine Arts, the public charter high school, which has been remote since before Thanksgiving, will continue to be fully remote until at least Monday, Dec. 14.

“I feel thankful that we have the ability to remain remote and that technology today enables this to happen,” Head of School Heather King wrote in an email to parents, staff and students. “Students, please sign into your classes! It is important for students to continue getting an education and having a schedule for each day.”

A Maine Arts Academy students play electric pianos Sept. 9, 2020, during the intermediate piano class at the Sidney academy. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file Buy this Photo

Maine Arts Academy has been fully remote once before this year, from Nov. 4 to Nov. 18. The school reported its first positive case with an individual directly associated with the school Nov. 10. The school was learning in-person from Nov. 18 until Thanksgiving.

Maine Arts Academy, located at the Snow Pond Center for the Arts, serves about 250 students from nearly 80 Maine municipalities. The school already built-in fully remote weeks after Thanksgiving and New Year’s to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

“I built in the remote weeks so that if families were traveling during the holidays or getting together, they would have time to obtain COVID tests before returning to school,” King wrote in an email.

Students at Maine Arts Academy take instruments home with them, so they can still participate in band or piano classes virtually.


On Friday evening, the Mid-Maine Technical Center informed the school districts it serves that an individual associated with the center tested positive for COVID-19.

MMTC serves students from Lawrence High School in Fairfield, Messalonskee High School in Oakland, Waterville High School, Winslow High School, as well as private, charter and home-schooled students.

Through contact tracing, it was found that three students from Messalonskee High School, two students from Waterville High School and one student from Lawrence High School were identified as close contacts. All students have been notified and are currently quarantined.

According to Director Peter Hallen, this is the school’s second case of COVID-19.

The first case was in a student who had tested positive last month but hadn’t been at the school in the weeks leading up to their positive test, Hallen said.


Headmaster Michael McQuarrie announced Friday that an individual associated with Erskine Academy in South China tested positive for COVID-19.

“There is a possibility that staff or students came in contact with this individual and therefore may be exposed to the virus,” McQuarrie wrote in a letter posted to the school’s website. “We are informing you out of an abundance of caution.”

McQuarrie said this case is unrelated to the three other positive cases that the school identified last month.

Erskine Academy enrolls 540 students from Chelsea, China, Jefferson, Palermo, Somerville, Vassalboro, Whitefield and Windsor.

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