School back in swing for St. John Valley students
FORT KENT, Maine – The surest sign of summer’s end in northern Maine is when children return to school.
Van Buren School District students returned to the classroom on Aug. 17.
St. John Valley students attending the Valley Unified schools in Fort Kent, St. Agatha and Madawaska, will begin the 2022-2023 school year on Tuesday, Aug. 23. An exception has been made for Madawaska Elementary School students, who do not return to classes until Sept. 7.
Van Buren students will participate in a harvest break from Sept. 26 through Oct. 3, while Valley Unified schools will take part in harvest break a bit longer, from Sept. 26 through Oct. 7.
All St. John Valley schools enter the new school year as they left last year in terms of COVID protocols, meaning students and staff are not required to wear masks, but have the option to do so if they choose.
Valley Unified has strategies in place for preventing the spread of any infectious disease, including COVID-19, Coordinator of Innovative Practice and Community Outreach Peter Caron said.
These include, encouraging students and staff to stay up to date on vaccinations and to use proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, optimizing ventilation in the schools, and cleaning and disinfecting the school areas regularly.
Van Buren has similar protocols in place.
Both Van Buren and Valley Unified have a common sense recommendation for preventing the spread of illness – if students or staff are sick, they should stay home.