Searsport ● Stockton Springs
Office of the Superintendent
6 Mortland Road
Searsport, ME 04974
Phone: (207) 548-6643
Fax: (207) 548-2310
March 1, 2022
Dear Students, Staff and Families,
On March 1, 2022, the RSU #20 Board of Directors voted to allow optional masking in RSU #20 schools.
On February 16, 2022, the Maine CDC SOP was changed and schools are no longer required to do contact tracing and quarantining for people identified as close contacts. The “uncoupling” removed the universal masking requirement and still keeps our students in school and our schools open. This change was made by the Maine CDC as hospitalization rates and new case rates continue to decrease in recent weeks. The RSU #20 Special Board Meeting for March 1, 2022, was scheduled. The agenda item was consideration on optional masking versus universal masking.
On February 25, 2022, the US CDC released an updated framework / metrics designed to follow county levels related to COVID 19. Waldo County was designated as medium and masking within schools could move to optional based upon the local decision.
As a result of these decisions, RSU #20 will be making a significant change to its COVID-19 protocols starting on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Masks will be optional for all staff, students, and visitors in RSU #20 schools.
With this significant change, I would like to emphasize that all members of the RSU #20 community should feel comfortable with whatever option they chose and no one should be made to feel like they should or should not wear a mask. We should all support each other in individual decisions around the wearing of masks.
There are some exceptions to the masks optional protocol.
- Per US CDC (2/25/2022) summary of changes- “US CDC is exercising it’s enforcement discretion to not require that people wear masks on buses or vans operated by public school systems.
- Quarantines will continue for people who test positive for COVID-19 and if they return after 5 days of quarantine symptom-free then they must wear a mask for 5 days while in school. If they quarantine for 10 days, then a mask is optional when they return.
- If RSU # 20 students visit another establishment for a field trip or athletic event, then staff and students will follow the rules of that facility.
COVID-19 is obviously not over and the RSU #20 Board of Directors will continue to monitor US CDC recommendations and Maine CDC’s SOP for future adjustments as we strive to provide quality in-person learning to all RSU #20 students.
RSU #20 has been amazing throughout the pandemic. What you as individual staff members have done for our students and each other is nothing short of heroic. What you have done collectively as a staff is beyond compare. The education for RSU #20 students over the past 2 plus years will stand up against any school across the country. I would like to express my tremendous gratitude to the entire RSU # 20 school community.
Together, we will continue our march down the pathway to the normal education our students deserve.