St. John Valley

SAD 27 plans return to in-school learning after February break

FORT KENT, Maine — SAD 27 students will return to the in-school learning model after the February break. Students at Fort Kent Elementary School, Valley Rivers Middle School and Fort Kent Community High School  will return to classrooms on Monday, Feb. 22. 

The schools were previously designated as outbreak schools, when multiple cases of COVID-19 forced the district to switch to a remote learning model.

“ … the positive cases have begun to recover and any new cases we have seen over the past week have been contained to the same households, which does not add to the outbreak status,” Superintendent Ben Sirois wrote in a Feb. 14 letter addressed to students and family members.

 “We are presently on a pathway to have all of the currently identified positive individuals in our district recovered by February 22. We are hopeful that the community has begun to respond to our plea for help,” he wrote.

Sirois has asked the community on a number of occasions to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks when in public, staying home when ill and avoiding social gatherings.

Sirois also noted the extremely low transmission rate of the virus at Valley Unified Schools, which include SAD 27, SAD 33 and Madawaska School Department schools. 

“To date, there have been 65 historical cases of COVID-19 infections of Valley Unified school students and/or staff with hundreds of close contact quarantines,” Sirois said. “Of those 65, we only have evidence of one individual being infected in school due to close contact outside of the guidelines.

“This means that our protocols work when followed.” 

“We are also encouraged that the state of Maine positive case counts continue to drop and the Mills’ administration has decided to move all Maine counties to a green designation,” Sirois added.

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