November 12, 2020

November 12, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff, 

It has come to our attention that a second student at Lawrence Junior High School has tested positive for COVID-19. We are in communication with MDOE School Nurse Consultant Emily Poland and the Maine CDC.  At this time, Lawrence Junior High School will remain in remote learning mode until November 30—there will be no in-person instruction during this period. The reopening date is the first school day following a quarantine period resulting from three positive cases in the school, involving one staff member and two students. Close contacts have been identified, and close contacts from the first two cases have been notified. At this time, 98 students and 17 staff members have been asked to quarantine.  We are investigating the third case just reported to us today. We await further direction from the Maine CDC regarding these cases.

It is understandable that there is concern about the proximity of the high school to the junior high.  Fortunately, no high school student or staff member has been identified as a close contact, and the district’s bus transportation is not involved in these cases.  Though in the same complex,  junior high students and high school students do not have common classroom spaces, common bell schedules and passing periods, or common teachers. Each school utilizes its own cafeteria and gymnasium. With the exception of the junior co-curricular band and choral programs which are not involved in these cases, these student populations are separated during the school day. Staff are also asked to ensure physical distancing during their non-instructional time.

The safety of all is our first priority. We continue to follow the guidelines set forth by the Maine DOE, and we are responding to the current health environment in concert with the MDOE and the MCDC.  We are grateful to the staff who have worked to clean and disinfect the entire school, to replace air filters, to prepare meals for pick up, to seamlessly transition to remote instruction, and contact those asked to quarantine. We thank our families for their understanding and patience with this process. We hope that students remain engaged with our program, and that families know that school resources and supports are available as needs arise. We will provide updates as information becomes available. Please contact your school administrator if you should have questions. Thank you for your support of our students and schools.

Stay safe and be well.

Roberta Hersom

Superintendent of Schools