Maine school district has already had to follow all its COVID-19 scenarios

One Maine school district in Oxford County has learned firsthand the importance of planning ahead for every scenario related to COVID-19.Five days into the school year, Regional School Unit 56 had its first case of coronavirus.Because of the positive test, school leaders put into action the plan approved in August. “We ended up having one positive case, which according to our framework meant for 72 hours our school had virtual learning for all students,” RSU 56 Superintendent Pam Doyen said.Doyen said during the 72-hour cleaning period there were two more cases detected and the entire district went virtual for 14 days.“As soon as we came back from that, or as we were getting ready to, Oxford County went yellow, which in our framework says we will do a hybrid model,” Doyen said.During that time, students attended school in-person two days a week and the rest of the week was remote learning. Wednesdays were set aside as a building cleaning day.“So we have done basically all parts of our plans as far this year,” Doyen said.Doyen said the school board approved the plan that outlined all of the scenarios. Doyen, other administrators, teachers and others help craft the plan.The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that while it shares public health guidance with school districts, the decision to close schools is up to district leaders.Doyen said having a plan early on spelled things out for parents, students and educators.“I think it’s important that the school board accepted the plan and made it very clear from the beginning, which makes life a lot easier. You’re not trying to make decisions on the fly,” Doyen said.

One Maine school district in Oxford County has learned firsthand the importance of planning ahead for every scenario related to COVID-19.

Five days into the school year, Regional School Unit 56 had its first case of coronavirus.

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Because of the positive test, school leaders put into action the plan approved in August.

“We ended up having one positive case, which according to our framework meant for 72 hours our school had virtual learning for all students,” RSU 56 Superintendent Pam Doyen said.

Doyen said during the 72-hour cleaning period there were two more cases detected and the entire district went virtual for 14 days.

“As soon as we came back from that, or as we were getting ready to, Oxford County went yellow, which in our framework says we will do a hybrid model,” Doyen said.

During that time, students attended school in-person two days a week and the rest of the week was remote learning. Wednesdays were set aside as a building cleaning day.

“So we have done basically all parts of our plans as far this year,” Doyen said.

Doyen said the school board approved the plan that outlined all of the scenarios. Doyen, other administrators, teachers and others help craft the plan.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that while it shares public health guidance with school districts, the decision to close schools is up to district leaders.

Doyen said having a plan early on spelled things out for parents, students and educators.

“I think it’s important that the school board accepted the plan and made it very clear from the beginning, which makes life a lot easier. You’re not trying to make decisions on the fly,” Doyen said.