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Drinkwater School closes; takes part in RSU 71 meal program

By Sarah E. Reynolds | Mar 19, 2020
Photo by: Kendra Caruso Edna Drinkwater School is closed until April 24.

Northport — Posted on the website of the Edna Drinkwater School is a message that the school will be closed until April 24 because of the concern over COVID-19. There is also a letter from Northport Municipal School Unit Superintendent Peg Long and Principal Todd Martin, explaining how learning will continue while the school is shut down.

It says that teachers have prepared academic packets for students "with work meant to help keep skills sharp while school is closed." Packets, organized by grade level, can be picked up by parents in the front foyer of the school between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. through Thursday. When completed packets are returned the week of March 30 through April 3, there will be new ones to pick up.

The letter also states that parent-teacher conferences have been canceled, and notes that the school office will be open for calls from 8 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday. Parents will not be able to go beyond the front foyer while the school is being disinfected, the letter says.

Under News and Events on the website is information about how families can take part in the Regional School Unit 71 food distribution program for breakfast and lunch through April 17. Bag meals can be picked up on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon at Ames Elementary, Capt. Albert Stevens and East Belfast schools. Participants should take enough meals for two days on Monday and Wednesday, and for three days on Friday. Families that are unable to get to one of the sites to pick up meals may call the school at 338-3430 and Drinkwater staff will provide delivery, Long said March 19. The meal program will not operate during school vacation week.

Drinkwater students may also pick up free grab-and-go lunches at The Game Loft in Belfast from noon to 2 p.m., the website says. In addition, the Northport Food Pantry has been notified by the district that need may be greater than usual during the school shutdown.

All communications, including information about classwork, will be posted on the school's Facebook page as well as the website,

In an email to The Journal, Long said, "This is a very difficult and certainly unanticipated crisis. The priority at this time, for the students and staff at our wonderful school, is safety and health."

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