District COVID Update 1.13.21

January 13, 2021

 Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

After meeting with the Maine Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Maine Department of Education earlier today to discuss the outbreak status of two of our schools, I made the decision to move all schools in the Sanford School Department from a yellow hybrid model to a red, full distance learning model, effective immediately.  This decision is made out of an abundance of caution due to the increasing numbers of positive COVID-19 cases throughout the district as well as related staffing shortages. Remember, while our schools are in full distance learning mode, students are expected to participate in remote instruction and complete assignments.  All of our schools will return to the “yellow” hybrid in-person learning model on Monday, January 25th but this is a fluid situation. We will remain in close contact with the Maine CDC and MDOE and monitor the situation closely, adjusting the return to hybrid learning date if necessary.

Ledgemere busses will deliver free lunch and breakfast-to-go daily to many of Sanford’s bus stops from January 14 through January 22.   You can access the Free School Meals Bus Schedule using this link: https://5il.co/m1if .  Families may also pick up school meals at Lafayette School or Sanford High School/Regional Technical Center from 11:00 to 12:00. (Preorders are no longer required.)  All children are eligible and registration is not required.  FMI call the School Nutrition Program office at 608-8762. 

Our goal remains to return to in-person instruction safely.  Even though we are moving to full remote learning, I must reinforce and stress the importance of following safety protocols to stop community spread during this heightened surge.  Our positive cases are traceable to people and activities outside the school community.  Please continue to be mindful and do your best to limit the people you come in contact with outside your household. Wear masks, social distance, sanitize your hands regularly, and continue to monitor yourself and your family members for symptoms. Call a health care provider if symptoms start and please be sure to keep our school nurses informed while out of school with any positive cases or close contacts.  This temporary shut down will not be beneficial unless we all practice safe habits.  Together our preventive steps can protect the health of our students, school personnel, and the Sanford community and help us get back to school in-person. 

 COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that ranges from mild to severe.  The virus mainly spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes and an uninfected person breathes in the virus.  Signs and symptoms include:  

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

 Questions for the school can be directed to your building administrator.  For general COVID-19 questions, dial 211 (or 1-866-811-5695).  You can also text your ZIP code to 898-211 or email info@211maine.org.  Call a health care provider for questions about your symptoms.  More information can be found at www.maine.gov/dhhs/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus .


 Matt Nelson, Superintendent of Schools