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The Peninsula
Web exclusive, November 30, 2020
Statement by Union 93 Superintendent Mark Hurvitt

COVID-19 Local Updates Fall/Winter 2020
Click here to see the full COVID-19 Local Updates Fall/Winter 2020.

Issued Sunday, November 29, 2020

“Hi all.

I hope everybody’s Thanksgiving went well.

You already know that there is a lot going on in Maine, in Hancock County, and on the Blue Hill Peninsula with COVID.

Out of an abundance of caution, I am closing Brooksville, Blue Hill, Castine, Penobscot, and Surry tomorrow. Here’s why:

There is a significant outbreak on Deer Isle, at the Island Nursing Home, and several of our families are tied to that.

We have just had a positive case in Brooksville, and that also has some cross pollination with other schools.

Plus, there have been many stories, maybe rumors, certainly reasons for concern, about travel and gatherings during Thanksgiving break, and about what we would be dealing with at our schools if they were to open tomorrow.

So, for these reasons, our 5 schools will be closed tomorrow when we will attempt [to] figure this all out.

I am considering this a “snow day” even though it will be 50 degrees tomorrow, and we will not be doing remote school. However, this will be a good chance for everybody (parents, students, teachers) to think through their remote school (Red) plans, as we will certainly need them at some point.

We are running an Administrative Team Meeting tomorrow at 1:00 with our nurses and we will further sort through the details.

Brooksville, at least, will be closed until December 9th, following CDC regulations. Cammie will be in touch with everyone, but you can expect the Red plan to start on December 1st.

We have done a FANTASTIC job so far, but, at this point, I cannot say that students and staff will be safer in school tomorrow than they would be at home or in the community. I have been able to say this, with a straight face, up until now.

Our goal is to figure things out tomorrow, school by school, and to reinstitute in person learning, if we can, ASAP. If not, we will go to Yellow or Red plans, school by school. And, you will be hearing from your principal about this, moving forward.

Maine is in a tough spot, and things do not seem to be trending in the right direction. I am always optimistic, but I do feel as though we need this pause tomorrow to re-assess.

Stay safe,
Mark