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RSU 71 schools shut down through April 26

Mar 15, 2020

Belfast — Regional School Unit 71 schools are closed from Monday, March 16, through April 26, reopening Monday, April 27, according to a Sunday morning announcement on the district's website.

Free go-bag breakfast and lunch will be available to all RSU 71 students Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon at Capt. Albert Stevens, East Belfast and Ames Elementary schools, beginning March 16.

In a letter to parents posted on the website, Superintendent Mary Alice McLean said a lot has changed since her last message Friday. Consistent with "early and aggressive measures" being recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state, she said she was closing down the school system from Monday through the end of April vacation.

"Nothing is more important than saving lives," she wrote. "This closure is in response to the call by medical professionals to implement practices of social distancing as we all work to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. ... We are taking a proactive approach out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 cases in Maine."

McLean said principals will be in touch Monday to let students and families know when they can come in on Tuesday or Wednesday to pick up books, materials, laptops, chrome books and food.

Food service for all RSU 71 students wishing to eat (at no cost) will begin Monday, March 16, at the schools mentioned above. "Students may pick up 'grab and go' bagged breakfast and lunch at the same time or may eat during that time."

McLean said more information would be available Monday.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Mar 15, 2020 15:55

This may be a blessing in disguise!  If this extended period of time away from school still teaches the children, then maybe school costs can go down and not be 60% of our taxes!  No need for so many teachers or 5 physical plants to maintain!  No buses!  No union health care costs!  No snow days!  No buildings to heat, or telephones, or electric bills in five different buildings.  Let's pray this period of time works better then the two weeks the other schools are closing. If the extended time works the school board should take a long look at adapting this new way to teach.  I am probably wrong to use the word "no" as far as the costs are concerned but think about the actual savings.  The BEST teachers in each subject teaching is all that is needed.  Remember this is safety first ,but let's not forget to observe how efficient our children learn during a time when attending school is online vs riding a bus etc!

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