In a decision Regional School Unit 1 Superintendent of Schools Patrick Manuel announced Saturday night, the unit, which serves Woolwich, Bath, Arrowsic and Phippsburg, is closing its schools through March 27.
Manuel’s letter to families and staff, posted at rsu1.org, explains the unit’s schools have no confirmed cases of COVID-19; the two-week closure is being done “out of an abundance of caution,” Manuel writes.
“As you are aware, we have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic ... We have chosen to do this precautionary closing to best protect the well-being of students and staff as a result of updates from Governor Mills and the Department of Education, both recommending the importance of social distancing.
Staff will report to work on Monday, March 16 to continue to develop distance learning experiences for students.
“We are hopeful that these plans will maintain a level of instructional enrichment for students, but we realize there is no substitute for classroom instruction. Our attempt is to provide educational opportunities, but recognize there will be limitations. Principals will send out an email on Monday outlining student plans. Staff will be available during these two weeks to communicate with students and families via email and Google classroom. We are in the process of coordinating a feeding program that will be open for all students. More details will be available soon.”
The unit will “revisit the situation and communicate next steps by Friday, March 27,” the letter continues. “Thank you for your understanding during this extremely challenging time. We certainly understand the significant burden this may create for families in the coming days, however this decision has not been made lightly. The well-being of our students, staff, and community is our top priority.”