Limestone and Caribou to continue remote sessions through end of week

Limestone Community School in Limestone and schools in RSU 39, Caribou, will provide remote instruction through the end of this week and possibly beyond
Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 9:15 PM EST
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Limestone and Caribou schools have moved all their students to remote learning, through the end of this week or possibly longer. Kathy McCarty has more on what led to these decisions.

A spike in Covid cases in Aroostook County, and a number of potential contacts with individuals with Covid, has school officials erring on the side of caution. Limestone’s Principal, Ben Lothrop, cites multiple reasons for going remote, including the health and safety of students and staff.

“The second reason I think is just stability. You know, my - my teachers, my staff, my students, and families, and parents - ‘Are you going back Wednesday?’ ‘Are you not going back Wednesday?’ ‘What if we have another possible case, are we gonna go out again?’ “What are we doing?’ So today - last night and today, the superintendent and I, along with the school committee, have been doing a lot of talking and came to the decision today that it was just time to go remote, until after Christmas break, until after the holidays,” says Ben Lothrop, Principal of Limestone Community School.

School Nurse Connie Anderson says stress has been on the rise, both in students and staff.

“Kids are concerned about what their days is gonna look like tomorrow, not knowing if they’re gonna be home or at school - that’s unnerving. And then teachers needing to plan, and that heightens stress. And then also just teachers, again, not knowing too if kids are sick - just concerned with symptom management,” says Connie Anderson, School Nurse at Limestone Community School.

Tim Doak, Superintendent of RSU 39 in Caribou, says the initial plan was to switch to remote learning through the end of this week, but that may change.

“We’ll make a determination at the end of the week for RSU 39 if we return to school or not. All likelihood though, with the cases that are rising around us and the possibility of these possible exposures that we had in both our high school and our new school in Caribou over the weekend, that we probably will continue to go that model. And if we do, we are thinking heavily of going right through the holiday season and only return to school in January,” says Tim Doak, Superintendent of RSU 39.

Despite the ever changing methods of instruction, Doak says he’s seen no real impact on grades.

Doak says, “Students seem to be doing very well who chose to be face-to-face, and seem to be doing very well who chose to go remotely.”

Doak says times have been challenging for staff, students and their families. While the next 30 to 60 days may be challenging, he says if we all work together - wash our hands, wear our masks and continue to social distance - we’ll get through this. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

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