Regional School Unit #34
Alton – Bradley – Old Town
156 Oak Street
Old Town, Maine 04468
Telephone (207) 827-7171
David A. Walker, Superintendent
Dear Parents, Staff and Community Members,
Thanks to all of you who have expressed support, asked good questions, and provided assistance as we work together to understand the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak and react responsibly.
In an effort to proactively slow the spread of COVID-19, I am announcing that RSU #34 schools will be closed beginning Tuesday March 17th. We will continue to monitor conditions that would lead us to believe it is prudent to re-open schools and notify you immediately when we do re-open. No classes, clubs, or activities will be held, and our school buildings will be closed to the public. Again, this closure is subject to change as the situation develops and new information becomes available.
Our decision is based on input from the Maine CDC and the Maine Department of Education as well as on the actions of neighboring school communities. It acknowledges the rapidly changing situation in schools across the country. Our civic duty is to help “flatten the curve” and slow down the community spread by minimizing student proximity to each other.
I know that this decision will put some of our families in further difficulty and wish that this would not be the case. It is clear that it is imperative that our communities and state start to put into effect Social Distancing strategies - being at least 6-8’ apart immediately. Further communication and information will be forthcoming from our schools as we proceed forward and monitor the current situation.
On Monday students will be asked to gather all personal belongings to be taken home as we will be doing a thorough cleaning of our buildings. Having our students on Monday will also allow for sharing of information and materials to assist in the continuation of learning during this break.
COMMUNICATION: We will continue to communicate using our regular emergency notification systems as well as posting updates on our website, RSU34.org and social media.
STUDENTS WORKING FROM HOME: Staff have been working diligently over the past couple of weeks preparing work packets and online resources for students. These learning opportunities are recommended and strongly encouraged to assist your child in maintaining his/her reading, writing and math skills and their quest/hunger/passion/desire for learning during this unexpected school closure. Initial learning packets will be sent home with students on Monday afternoon. Follow-up packets will be developed and delivered pending the length of the closure.
CONTINUITY OF FOOD SERVICE FOR ALL STUDENTS: We will make available to students on Monday, two meals for Tuesday. On Wednesday, March 18, 2020 we will open a feeding site at Old Town High School on Stillwater Avenue in Old Town where meals can be picked up between 10am and noon. Meals will be provided at no charge to anyone age 18 or under. Please watch for more information about the provision of meals going forward. We are working to make sure all in need are provided for.
CONTINUITY OF CENTRAL OFFICE FUNCTIONS: During this official school closing, teachers, administrators and office staff will still have access to the building, but the building will be locked and not open to the general public. Staff will conduct extensive cleaning. All business functions will continue but will look different as we follow recommended social distancing protocol. We will return phone calls and emails as quickly as possible. Your patience is appreciated.
Please know we do not take this action lightly but feel it is in the best interest of the health of our students, staff, and community members. In the end, whatever we do, it will be impossible to know if we overreacted or did too much, but it will be QUITE apparent if we underreacted or did too little.
David A. Walker
Superintendent of Schools