The following is a letter from Dr. Andrew Dolloff, Superintendent of Schools:
Good evening –
I am writing to inform you that the Yarmouth School Department will be closed starting Monday, March 16 until Friday, March 27, with decisions on potential longer closures to be made at that time. On Monday, staff will report to work as usual and will participate in professional development activities so that we may provide the best possible distance learning opportunities for students. On Tuesday, March 17 distance learning will begin, with teachers communicating lessons to students and/or parents, depending on the grade level.
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). This closure is not the result of any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our immediate community, though we know the virus is present in southern Maine. We are taking this proactive approach out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 cases in Maine.
We know distance learning will not fully replace the classroom settings that students experience each day. We also know this will be “messy” at times – especially in the first few days – but we are determined to continue to provide learning opportunities for all students, and we ask for your patience and flexibility as we work through what will likely be many kinks in this process.
Students and parents will be able to drop by the schools on Monday to pick up belongings or instructional materials (laptops, etc.) at times designated by your school principals. Please be on the lookout for follow-up letters from your child’s principal by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. For students who receive special services, parents will be receiving information from our Director of Instructional Support, Jodi McGuire, in a similar timeframe.
Much more information will be forthcoming on this closure, but I wanted to communicate this news to you as soon as possible so you may begin planning for child care and other concerns that will be raised by this decision.
During this closure, we ask that you assist by minimizing group meetings of students and adults. Practicing social distancing and good personal hygiene are the two greatest steps we can take to protect our community from the spread of COVID-19.
We will continue to stay in touch with you throughout these distance learning days. We understand this is a time of great uncertainty, and are here to support you and your children while at the same time doing our best to insure healthy practices for all in the community.
Thank you for your continued support of our students and our schools.
Andrew Dolloff, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools