April 07, 2020
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Maine schools extend closures for a month

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Vehicles pull up to James F. Doughty School in Bangor on Tuesday to pick up a two-week handout for remote learning.

As of 11 a.m. Friday, March 20, 44 Maine residents have been confirmed positive and 12 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.

 

Schools in Maine on Friday started extending their closures for at least another month. That means that closures that were initially slated to last for two weeks will last through the normally scheduled week of April vacation.

Schools in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties, Portland, Lewiston, Ellsworth and the Bucksport area were among those Friday that said in-person classes would tentatively resume on April 27 after they initially shut down in-person classes for two weeks, until March 30.

The closures coincide with the length of Gov. Janet Mills’ emergency proclamation, which she issued on March 15 and lasts for an initial 30-day period.

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“We will continue to monitor the pandemic and if we are able, we will reopen schools on

April 27,” Bangor schools Superintendent Betsy Webb said in an email to parents. “This is our hope, but we must continue to prioritize the health and safety of all.”

Bangor schools had initially closed for two weeks, and were scheduled to return to session on March 30. April vacation was scheduled for the week of April 20-24.

“The Penquis superintendents reviewed the Governor and Commissioner’s recommendations to cease classroom-based instruction in school buildings for at least the next 30 days,” Webb said. “We believe it is best for all to have a consistency of dates as we continue to monitor this situation.”

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In Bangor, the school department will continue to provide bagged lunches and breakfasts that students or parents can pick up at 10 locations across the city during the closure. Meals will also be available through the one-week vacation in April.

Schools will also continue distributing remote learning packets to students during the extended closure. They are figuring out a system to collect the take-home packets at the end of the closure’s first two weeks so teachers can evaluate their students’ work and distribute the next round, Webb said.

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