As of 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 15, seven Maine residents have been confirmed positive and five others are presumed positive for the coronavirus, according to the state. Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support this mission by purchasing a digital subscription.
HOULTON, Maine — Katahdin Middle/High School, as well as the neighboring Katahdin Elementary School, announced they will be closing for two weeks. Maine School of Science and Mathematics, located in Limestone, also announced a two-week closure. They become the first school in Aroostook County to close since the outbreak of the coronavirus in the United States.
“In consideration of the health and safety of our children, staff, families, and the community, Katahdin Schools will be closed for 2 weeks beginning Monday, March 16th. A call will go out to all families tomorrow with further details,” the Staceyville-based Katahdin Schools said in a post on their Facebook page.
“The decision to close Katahdin Schools is based on being proactive and learning from what has happened in other areas of the country and the world,” said Marie Robinson, the superintendent for RSU 89, where Katahdin Schools are based. “Staff will be attending workshop days on Monday and Tuesday to solidify our plan of action that includes meal distribution, online learning and offline learning.”
The school, like several others in the area, had only scheduled full classes for Monday and Tuesday, with Wednesday being a half-day and teacher workshops planned for Thursday and Friday.
“MSSM administration has determined to adjust our current academic calendar in order to proactively secure the health and safety of our community, our most important obligation we have to you,” the Maine School of Science and Mathematics wrote in a Facebook post.
Presently, there are three reported cases of the coronavirus in Maine, but no positive cases yet in Aroostook County. The closings follow both a state and national trend of shutting down schools to prevent the spread of the virus through social gatherings. In Bangor, John Bapst Memorial School and the Bangor School Department have also closed down. In Boston, all public schools will be closed until April 27.
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