March 2, 2022
Dear Staff and Families,
I hope this finds you well and that you had a relaxing February break. I am writing to share that the RSU 1 Board of Directors met this week and voted to remove the mask mandate in our schools effective Monday, March 14th. However, today the Maine DOE and CDC announced that effective March 9th, universal masking is no longer a statewide recommendation but is optional. Therefore, we will follow the guidance of the state experts and change our masking optional date to Wednesday, March 9th to be in line with the state. This means that face coverings for students and staff will be optional in all school buildings and on buses/vans.
While we know many people support the change to optional masking in our schools, as seen in our survey results, we also realize that some students and staff will choose to continue to wear face coverings. It is imperative that we support and respect everyone in this personal choice. KN95 masks will continue to be provided to staff members and students as they have been shown to offer a greater level of protection than other types of masks.
Although masks will become optional soon, the district will continue to implement our other health and safety practices that include social distancing to the extent possible, pooled testing, encouraging proper hand washing and sanitizing, limiting outside visitors, and monitoring our new ventilation systems. It will also still be required that individuals who return to school after completing a 5-day COVID-19 isolation must wear a face covering for days 6-10, per CDC rules.
We will continue to closely monitor positive cases in our schools, outbreak status as determined by the CDC for each school, and other relevant metrics. We ask that families and staff continue to use our COVID-19 screening tool daily to determine school and work attendance and contact our school nurses to report all positive cases.
Thank you for your efforts to help keep our students and staff safe and keep our schools open this year. We continue to appreciate your flexibility and understanding throughout the pandemic.
Patrick Manuel, Superintendent