Due to insufficient personnel for student transportation, both the Vassalboro Community School and Erskine Academy in South China are conducting classes remotely Monday and Tuesday, the final days of school before winter break.

“Just a lack of personnel,” Vassalboro Community School Superintendent Alan Pfeiffer said in a phone interview Monday. “This was a two-day evolution. That impacted us transportation wise, and it was a lack of personnel — couldn’t transport them. So our staff is working in the building but teaching remotely.”

Erskine Academy Headmaster Michael J. McQuarrie wrote in a letter to the community Sunday that an individual associated with the school tested positive for COVID-19.

“Due to the number of students and staff identified as close contacts, the school will go remote for all learners,” McQuarrie wrote.

Erskine Academy is a private school, but students from Chelsea, China, Jefferson, Palermo, Somerville, Vassalboro, Whitefield and Windsor get their tuition paid for by the town if they choose to attend the school. The school enrolls 540 students, 97% of whom are from the aforementioned towns. Sunday’s announced case was the school’s fourth case of the year, the most recent of which required a nearly two-week transition to fully remote learning.

The Vassalboro Community School reported a student tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. The K-8 school, which enrolls 395 students, previously shifted to remote learning from Nov. 30 to Dec. 7 and Nov. 2-15 due to positive cases. One of the closings was due to the spouse of a staff member testing positive. To date, Vassalboro Community School has had four cases connected with the school.

The Vassalboro Community School and Erskine Academy anticipate returning to their respective hybrid instruction models beginning Jan. 4.

“Like everyone else in our state, we just don’t know, so we’re hopeful,” Pfeiffer said.

MAINE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE DISTRICT 54

MSAD 54 Superintendent Jon Moody announced Friday that a district employee tested positive for COVID-19.

“This case was again a result of contact that occurred outside of school,” Moody wrote in a letter posted to the district’s website. “Because this individual has not been at work since symptoms arose, and because the person had relatively little contact with others in the district, there was very little impact to staff or students.” 

Moody said that three individuals have been identified as close contacts.

The district has now had 17 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the school year.

MSAD 54 serves the towns of Canaan, Cornville, Mercer, Norridgewock, Smithfield and Skowhegan.

REGIONAL SCHOOL UNIT 3 

In a letter to the community Friday, RSU 3 Superintendent Charles Brown wrote that an individual affiliated with Mount View High School in Thorndike tested positive for COVID-19.

The school did not close, and Brown wrote in a follow-up email that were were no close contacts. This was the third case in the district to date, the second at Mount View High School.

RSU 3 serves students from Brooks, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Liberty, Montville, Troy, Unity and Waldo.

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