BAR HARBOR — Last Friday, four days after announcing that all Mount Desert Island High School students who had been attending classes in person only two days a week could be in the building four days a week starting this past Monday, March 15, Principal Matt Haney said the change was being delayed until March 22.
The reason: Two people associated with the school had tested positive for COVID-19.
“In response to the positive COVID-19 tests and the resulting quarantine of a number of staff members, we are going to delay the move to four days per week of in-person learning for one week,” Haney said in an email to students’ families last Friday morning.
He said the decision was made “in an effort to maintain the highest probability of being able to remain in the four day per week schedule once we move to it.”
Two days earlier, on Wednesday, March 10, Haney had told families in an email about the positive COVID tests.
“There is a possibility that other staff or students…may have been exposed to the virus,” he wrote. “To allow the maintenance team to disinfect the impacted classrooms, MDIHS will be held remotely tomorrow, March 11. This includes classes held at MDIHS as well as those at Hancock County Technical Center.”
To limit the number of people in the high school building at any one time in order to maintain social distancing, one group of students has been learning in person two days a week and another group has been doing so on alternate days.
“We are continuing to see evidence across the state and the nation that students who go to school [in person] are safe from transmitting COVID to one another and to teachers and from teachers,” Haney told the high school board March 8.
“Students and educators who go to school continue to have about one-third the rate of transmission of COVID-19 as the general population. So, our mitigation protocols are working, and they are working to a point that we think we can expand our availability to students coming to school in person.”
He said at the time, “We’re really excited to get the kids back here four days a week.”