Virus fears close schools

BAR HARBOR — As a precaution against the spread of the new coronavirus, all the schools in the Mount Desert Island Regional School System will be closed at least through next week.

Superintendent Marc Gousse made that decision Friday after consulting with principals and other school administrators, local public safety officials, a Jackson Laboratory scientist and a representative of MDI Hospital.

“Given the scientific data and evidence at hand, it is imperative we close schools immediately to mitigate this pandemic and limit further potential exposure,” he said in an email to school system personnel Friday evening.

“I will reassess the situation daily and provide updates as to when we may resume regular school-based operations.”

Gousse said school officials are working to develop “resources and programming to support teaching and learning from remote platforms with the goal of providing student services to the best of our ability.”

He added that he wants to make sure school employees “remain supported, engaged, employed and compensated” while the schools are closed.

Gousse said he did not take lightly the decision to close the schools and fully understands the impact it will have on students, staff, families, employers, day care providers and others in the community.

“However, this public health crisis requires immediate, bold and decisive action,” he said.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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