Health & Safety

Pooled Testing

This year, Winslow Public Schools is adding “pooled testing” to our COVID-19 prevention measures for our 4year-old program thru grade 12. Pooled testing means that students and staff in a classroom will have a COVID-19 test once a week. Students participating in pooled testing will not need to quarantine from school if they are considered close contacts of a positive case, as long as they do not have symptoms. Pooled testing is voluntary, and all testing is free. Parent/guardian must sign a consent for their child to participate. Parent/Guardian consent and family education is linked below and also available on the Winslow Public Schools websites:

Pooled Testing Webinar for families (1hr)

Pooled Testing Short Video (2mins)

Online Consent for Pooled Testing under age 18

Online Consent for Pooled Testing over age 18

Access Code needed to complete online consent: DUOEOV

Public Health Resources

The following links will take you to the Center for Disease Control's websites. These sites are updated regularly with current information about the coronavirus (COVID-19). The links have information on how to decrease the spread of the virus at home, school, work and in the community. The sites look to provide answers to many of the questions that we all have regarding health and safety.

Additional Resources

The following link from the American Academy of Pediatrics provides parents with ideas on approaching children about the coronavirus and gives information on who is at risk and good hand hygiene techniques.

Required Immunizations

The Maine Immunization Program (MIP) has compiled a list of facilities offering vaccine clinics organized by county. Click the link below for more information.

Public Health Immunization Clinics Information

Influenza Vaccine 2021-2022 Health Screen & Permission Form


Information from the Winslow Public Schools

Our schools are working in consultation with the Maine Center for Disease Control and are actively monitoring the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). This page contains resources and communications designed to raise awareness of prevention and preparedness efforts in our district. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.

September 17, 2021 - 5:30pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This message is to inform you that on Friday, September 17, 2021 we were notified of one individual associated with Winslow High School who has tested positive for COVID-19. However, due to the number of individuals who have been vaccinated or now participating in the Pooled testing program we were able to significantly reduce the number of school related close contacts that need to quarantine.

As always, members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should be quarantined out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who tested positive, we will not be releasing their names. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

  • Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

  • Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

  • Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

  • Katie Huesers Winslow Elementary/Junior High School Nurse khuesers@aos92.org

  • Kasey Clark Winslow Jr./Sr. High School Nurse kclark@aos92.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

  • Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

  • Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

  • Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

September 17, 2021 - 3pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the afternoon of Friday, September 17, 2021, we were contacted by the Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the call was to follow up on the cases we have reported to the Department in the past several days.

As you know from the emails you have received, Winslow Elementary School has recently had several cases where individuals have tested positive for COVID-19. Each case we have is reported to the CDC and they, in turn, provide guidance to our nursing staff. When a school has three or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 from different households within a 14-day period, the school has met the criteria for the confirmed definition of outbreak status.

On Friday, the Maine Department of Education reported that there have been nearly 1400 COVID-19 cases among students and staff and 52 schools who have met the confirmed definition of outbreak status. This data was part of a new dashboard the state released on Friday.

Fortunately, this status is not a requirement to close schools. After consulting with the CDC outbreak specialist, she was very pleased to hear about the mitigation strategies we have in place in Winslow Public Schools to reduce/prevent the spread of COVID-19. Those strategies include the universal wearing of masks while inside and riding the bus, pooled testing, social distancing to the extent possible, disinfecting surfaces, and the frequent washing of hands. In addition, to provide extra support for our nurses to serve our students and staff better, we have hired two additional nurses using our CARES funds to assist during this pandemic. We continue to work closely with the CDC to provide the safest environment possible for our students and staff.

The CDC reminds us, achieving high levels of COVID-19 vaccination among eligible students as well as teachers, staff, and household members is one of the most critical strategies to help schools safely resume full operations.

This is a good reminder to all of us that we are not out of the woods when it comes to COVID-19 and the spread of this disease. I ask that you please remain vigilant and adhere to the safety protocols we have practiced throughout the year. As always, I thank you for your support and understanding. Wishing you all a restful weekend.

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

September 16, 2021 - 3pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This email is to inform you  that on Thursday, September 16, 2021 we were notified of one individual  associated with  Winslow High School who has tested positive for COVID-19.  However, due to the number of individuals who have been vaccinated or now participating in the Pooled testing program  we were able to significantly reduce the number of school related close contacts that need to quarantine. 

As always, members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should be quarantined out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who tested positive, we will not be releasing their names. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

  • Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

  • Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

  • Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

  • Katie Huesers Winslow Elementary/Junior High School Nurse khuesers@aos92.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

  • Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

  • Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

  • Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

September 14, 2021 - 5:45pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This email is to inform you that on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 we were notified that five individuals associated with Winslow High School and one individual associated with Winslow Jr. High has tested positive for COVID-19. However, due to the number of individuals who have been vaccinated or now participating in the Pooled testing program (which began today) we were able to significantly reduce the number of school related close contacts which means the vast majority of individuals associated with these cases were able to remain in school.

As always, members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should be quarantined out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who tested positive, we will not be releasing their names. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

  • Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

  • Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

  • Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

  • Katie Huesers Winslow Elementary/Junior High School Nurse khuesers@aos92.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

  • Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

  • Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

  • Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent


September 13, 2021 - 4:45pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This message is to inform you that on Monday, September 13, 2021 we were notified that three individuals associated with Winslow Elementary School and one individual associated with Winslow Public Schools have tested positive for COVID-19.

As always, members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should be quarantined out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who tested positive, we will not be releasing their names. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

  • Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

  • Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

  • Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

  • Katie Huesers Winslow Elementary/Junior High School Nurse khuesers@aos92.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

  • Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

  • Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

  • Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

September 11, 2021 - 6:20pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This message is to inform you that on Saturday, September 11, 2021 we were notified that an individual associated with Winslow Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19.

As always, members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should be quarantined out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who tested positive, we will not be releasing their names. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

  • Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

  • Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

  • Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

  • Katie Huesers Winslow Elementary/Junior High School Nurse khuesers@aos92.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

  • Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

  • Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

  • Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

September 10, 2021 - 7pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This message is to inform you that on Friday, September 10, 2021 we were notified that an individual associated with Winslow Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19.

As always, members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should be quarantined out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who tested positive, we will not be releasing their names. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

  • Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

  • Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

  • Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

  • Katie Huesers Winslow Elementary/Junior High School Nurse khuesers@aos92.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

  • Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

  • Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

  • Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

September 10, 2021 - 5pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This message is to inform you that on Friday, September 10, 2021 we were notified by the CDC that an individual associated with Winslow High School has tested positive for COVID-19.

As always, members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should be quarantined out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who tested positive, we will not be releasing their names. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

  • Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

  • Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

  • Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

  • Katie Huesers Winslow Elementary/Junior High School Nurse khuesers@aos92.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

  • Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

  • Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

  • Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

September 8, 2021 - 5pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This message is to inform you that on September 8, 2021 we were notified that three individuals associated with Winslow Elementary School have tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should be quarantined out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who tested positive, we will not be releasing their names. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

  • Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

  • Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

  • Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

  • Katie Huesers Winslow Elementary/Junior High School Nurse khuesers@aos92.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

  • Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

  • Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

  • Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

September 7, 2021 - 8:30pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This message is to inform you that on September 7, 2021 we were notified that three individuals associated with Winslow Elementary School have tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should be quarantined out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who tested positive, we will not be releasing their names. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

  • Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

  • Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

  • Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

  • Katie Huesers Winslow Elementary/Junior High School Nurse khuesers@aos92.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

  • Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

  • Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

  • Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

September 6, 2021 - 10am

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This email is to inform you that an individual associated with Winslow Jr. High School has tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should be quarantined out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who tested positive, we will not be releasing their names. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

  • Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

  • Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

  • Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

  • Katie Huesers Winslow Elementary/Junior High School Nurse khuesers@aos92.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

  • Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

  • Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

  • Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org


Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent


Sunday, September 5, 2021 - Noon

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This email is to inform you that an individual associated with Winslow High School has tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should quarantine out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who tested positive, we will not be releasing their names. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

  • Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

  • Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

  • Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

  • Katie Huesers Winslow Elementary/Junior High School Nurse khuesers@aos92.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

  • Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

  • Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

  • Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent


August 20, 2021 11:49a.m.


Dear Staff, Students, and Families,


This message is to inform you that on the evening of Thursday, August 19, 2021 we were notified that an individual associated with a Winslow athletic team tested positive for COVID-19.


Members of the nursing staff and administrative team contacted the CDC and spoke to the epidemiologist on call on the evening of August 19, 2021. In addition, the nursing staff made additional calls to the CDC on August 20, 2021 in order to exhaust all possibilities in terms of who would be deemed a close contact and required to quarantine. Due to the specifics in this case, we were advised by the CDC to follow the state adopted Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). I have included the specific language that would pertain to this particular situation.


The Maine SOP states the following in regards to after school activities:


After school activities


• Anyone with more than 15 minutes within 24 hours of cumulative exposure within 6 feet or direct physical contact will be considered a close contact.


Evaluation of sports-related activities:


• If a COVID-19 case plays a sport while infectious, close contacts will be considered to be individuals within 6 feet of the infected person for 15 minutes or longer, or who have any direct physical contact with the infected individual.


• Those deemed to be close contacts may not play any sports during their period of quarantine. The exception to this is if they are enrolled in pooled testing or if they are vaccinated and asymptomatic. These school-related close contacts do not need to quarantine from school-related activities.


▪ Relaxed outdoor mask recommendations do not exempt people from quarantine should they be deemed a close contact and are unvaccinated or not participating in pooled testing. Not utilizing social distancing as a mitigation strategy may result in an increased number of identified close contacts and increased transmission. Not utilizing masking as a mitigation strategy may result in increased transmission.


Certainly this is not the news we want to deliver to anyone at this early stage in the year. Unfortunately, this is the reality we are still dealing with and must abide by the CDC recommendations to prevent further outbreaks in our community.


If you are reading this message and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.


Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.


The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

  • Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

  • Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

  • Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

  • Katie Huesers RN - Winslow Public Schools - khuesers@winslowk12


For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

  • Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

  • Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

  • Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org


Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

August 1, 2021 - 3:20pm

Hello everyone,

I hope this message finds you well and that you are enjoying the warm weather this time of year has to offer.

As we proceed through summer and get closer to opening day I thought it would be helpful to provide you with an update on the opening of schools. I apologize for the length of this message but a lot of what I am about to write has to do with the safety of our students and staff. I ask that you please take the time to read this message.

Throughout the ongoing pandemic, the Winslow School District has operated with the philosophy that the well being of our students and staff is our number one priority. To that end, we have followed the recommendations of the CDC, the DOE, and our local medical consultants. As we approach a new school year, our goal is to safely open schools for all students and staff to in person learning five days a week. I should also add that included in that goal is for the schools to be proactive and to continue with several of our current preventative measures along with additional mitigation strategies such as Pooled Testing which is designed to assist in the early detection of those who may be infected with the virus allowing others to safely remain in school.


Changes in the guidance from the CDC

In the last several days, the CDC has made several changes to their guidance for a safe return to school. Dr. Shah, the DOE and our medical consultant strongly support the recommendations that the CDC has made. You can find the changes using the following link https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html

One of the biggest changes the CDC has strongly recommended calls for universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.

This recommendation does not come as a surprise since the majority of our student body will not have been vaccinated by the opening of school and the science is pointing to inoculation as the best defense against COVID-19 (and now the Delta variant). The CDC findings point to consistent and correct mask use by people who are not vaccinated as especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained. The CDC strongly advocates that mask wearing protects others as well as themselves because they prevent the transmission of water droplets.


What is causing the change in guidance from the CDC?

Unfortunately the Delta variant was introduced to our state and is beginning to raise very serious concerns for those who are compromised and unvaccinated which would be the majority of our students. During the last several weeks, Maine has seen an increase of COVID cases. In a recent meeting Dr. Shah requested to have with Maine Superintendents he reported that COVID cases have increased to an average of 68 per day. The main factor for this increase according to Dr. Shah is the Delta variant attacking unvaccinated individuals. He went on to explain that the Delta variant is different from the other strands of the virus in that it is twice as contagious, far more prominent and may lead to more severe illness. In addition, since the Delta variant is new, there is not enough information on the long term effects for those contracting the virus.


But I am fully vaccinated! Why do I still need to wear a mask inside?

According to our medical experts, people who are fully vaccinated have taken advantage of the best tool they can use to keep themselves and others safe. The medical experts report that fully vaccinated people have tremendous protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant but it is not full proof. More cases of vaccinated individuals being carriers or getting the Delta Variant are on the rise. Research indicates that the Delta variant is also infecting vaccinated individuals with such high levels of the virus that they are able to pass it on to others. New research published in the U.S. CDC’s weekly scientific journal on Friday stated that roughly 75 percent of the cases in a recent outbreak in the Cape Cod tourist hotspot of Provincetown, Massachusetts, were fully vaccinated. The study also found that vaccinated people infected during the outbreak, which has swelled to more than 900 cases, carried about as much of the virus as those who were unvaccinated. But health officials also pointed out that only a handful of the vaccinated people became so severely ill that they had to be hospitalized, which they said illustrates the effectiveness of the vaccines.


Mitigation efforts

Dr. Shah along with the CDC and our medical experts explained that a layered mitigation approach is the best way to protect our students and staff against the spread of the virus. In addition to our current preventative measures, he strongly encouraged schools to participate in Pooled Testing as a mitigation strategy. Pooled Testing is an early mitigation strategy that will assist with detecting those who are infected. The strategy is most effective when a high number of volunteers (both vaccinated and unvaccinated) agree to participate. The process is very non intrusive. Once a week, students and staff who agree to participate in the program will use a Q-tip and gently swab each nostril. They will then place the swab in a container for testing. That's it. The entire process will take less than three minutes. All students and staff who participate in pooled testing will not need to quarantine if they are a close contact to an individual who test positive. This will save students and staff from having to quarantine and miss valuable in person teaching and learning time. Winslow Public Schools will participate in Pooled Testing. More information about how to have your child participate in Pooled Testing will be sent before the start of school.


Transportation of students.

Will more students be allowed to ride the bus at a time?

The answer is yes. Although we will not fill our buses to capacity, two students to a seat will be allowed. Seating charts will be established so that we can quickly contact trace should an outbreak occur. When it comes to the public transportation of students, the CDC’s order to which we must comply states that whether vaccinated or not, when riding a school bus all individuals aboard the bus (including the driver) must wear a mask.


What about fall sports?

At this point in time, Winslow will offer all fall sports. The wearing of masks during outdoor activities will not be required unless there is danger of close contact for an extended period of time.


Moving Forward

I realize this may not have been the news we wanted to hear as we get closer to the opening of schools. We have had a beautiful summer with little mention of COVID-19. Unfortunately, the Delta variant is throwing the country a curve ball and Winslow, Maine is not immune from the danger this variant is causing. As a school entity we have a responsibility to protect all students especially those who are unable to be vaccinated and are the most vulnerable.

The administrative team along with the school nurses and feedback from our Medical Provider met again this week to discuss the revised CDC recommendations. A unanimous decision was made to recommend to the board that we enact the CDC recommendations as a component of our return to school plan. A reminder that the CDC consists of trained professionals working in the medical field providing guidance based on scientific research. Their guidance is intended to keep your children and our staff safe. This recommendation will be discussed with our Association President and our Return to School Committee which has representation from different stakeholders including students and parents. Parents and guardians wishing to express their thoughts regarding the recommendation in this email are certainly encouraged to do so. Questions specific to the building your child attends may be directed to your building administrator.

In closing, the administrative team along with our school nurses and medical provider strongly feel that our recommendation to the board to enact the most recent CDC recommendations provides the best assurance to all parents, guardians and staff that we are providing the safest possible learning environment for a full return to school for ALL students five days a week.

As always, we will continue to monitor this situation closely and adjust our safety requirements according to the recommendations and guidance provided by the CDC and our medical providers.

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

May 26, 2021 - 3:15 p.m

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This email is to inform you that on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 we were notified that individuals associated with Winslow Elementary School have tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should quarantine out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who tested positive, we will not be releasing their names. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org


Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

May 19, 2021 - 3:20 p.m

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This email is to inform you that on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 we were notified that an individual associated with Winslow Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should quarantine out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who tested positive, we will not be releasing their names. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

May 17, 2021 - 3:20 p.m

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This email is to inform you that on Monday, May 17, 2021 we were notified that an individual associated with both Winslow Elementary School and the Winslow Before and After Care Program has tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should quarantine out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who tested positive, we will not be releasing their names. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

May 12, 2021 - 6:25p.m.

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the evening of Wednesday May 12, 2021, we were informed that an individual associated with Winslow High School tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing. Thankfully, no other students or staff members have been deemed close contacts. As always, the nursing staff has reached out to the CDC to report this case.

As we enter the final weeks of the school year, I ask that you please continue to be vigilant by taking the necessary precautions such as the wearing of masks, washing hands and maintaining social distancing.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

May 11, 2021 - 2:30 p.m

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, we were informed that an individual associated with Winslow Elementary School was exhibiting many symptoms of COVID-19 and has been advised to treat themselves as a positive case.

Members of the nursing team have reached out to the CDC to report this case and to seek advice. Based on the particulars of this case, the CDC has recommended that we quarantine all individuals deemed as close contacts pending additional information.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should quarantine out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individual in question, we will not be releasing their name. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

May 7, 2021 - 3:00 p.m

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This email is to inform you that on the afternoon of Friday, May 7 we were notified that an individual associated with both Winslow Junior High School and Winslow Senior High School has tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should quarantine out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who tested positive, we will not be releasing their names. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

May 5, 2021 - 3:45 p.m

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This email is to inform you that on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 5 we were notified that an individual associated with Winslow Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, we were also notified that an individual associated with Winslow Junior High School has tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should quarantine out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who tested positive, we will not be releasing their names. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

May 5, 2021 - 2pm

Dear Staff, Students and Families,

The Saturday edition of the Morning Sentinel had an article depicting how Maine superintendents were urging state officials to move quickly on COVID-19 guidelines in preparation for the opening of schools in the fall.

The article stated that many schools were concerned that they would still be in some form of hybrid mode if the distancing guidelines were not modified. Clearly, a great deal of pressure is being placed on state officials to consider modifications to the guidelines. However, the advice we are still receiving from state officials is to plan for the opening of our schools with the existing distancing guidelines in place.

Having said the above, the goal for Winslow Public Schools is to provide in-person learning five days a week starting in the fall of 2021, regardless of whether or not the current distancing guidelines are modified.

To accomplish this goal, we are drafting a plan that will require additional space and funding. The Winslow Town Council and the Winslow Town Manager are in support of the schools continuing to use the space available at the old junior high school in order to make this work. Funding to keep the old junior high school in operation for another year, along with the hiring of additional staff, will come from the most recent allocation of ESSER 3 funds. With the space and hiring of additional staff, we are confident in our ability to bring all students back while complying with the distancing guidelines if they remain in effect.

The administrative team, along with the teaching staff, are reviewing the various barriers we need to overcome in order to bring all students back to in-person learning. We will be prepared to share a draft proposal publicly at the May 17 School Board meeting. This proposal will include the rationale for taking this course of action, our preliminary plans (which includes a remote learning alternative for eligible students) and the advantages we see for moving forward at this point in time based on the information we have available to us.

As always, I thank you for your patience and support throughout this process. We will keep you informed as we continue to revise our plan.

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

April 23, 2021 - 1:45 p.m

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the evening of Thursday April 22, 2021, we were informed that an individual associated with Winslow Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing. Thankfully, no other students or staff members have been deemed close contacts. As always, the nursing staff has reached out to the CDC to report this case.

Citing a "sharp rise" in cases and case rates higher than the rest of the state, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) has moved four counties from "green" to "yellow" in its color-coded system that classifies counties’ relative risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Androscoggin, Kennebec, Oxford, and Somerset counties are now yellow, meaning there's an elevated risk of COVID-19 spread.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Maine CDC assesses COVID-19 data and trends to make these determinations, which are intended to assist schools as they continue with their plans to deliver instruction and support to students safely.

Androscoggin County "has experienced a sharp rise in cases over the last two weeks, with a new case rate more than double the statewide average."

Similarly, Kennebec, Oxford, and Somerset counties all have new case rates that exceed the state average, and both Oxford and Somerset counties have two-week positivity rates that exceed the state average.

It is important to note that since Winslow Public Schools is already operating in a hybrid model the change to the color coding will not impact Winslow Public Schools. We will continue with our current plan.

I ask that you please continue to be vigilant by taking the necessary precautions such as the wearing of masks, washing hands and maintaining social distancing.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org


Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

April 16, 2021 - 2:37 p.m

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the afternoon of Friday, April 16, 2021, we were informed that an individual associated with Winslow Elementary School was exhibiting many symptoms of COVID-19 and has been advised by a medical professional to treat themselves as a positive case.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who should quarantine out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

As always, the nursing staff has reached out to the CDC to report this case.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing their name. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

April 16, 2021 - 10:30 a.m

Please watch this excerpt from the April 12th, 2021 Special School Board Meeting where Superintendent Peter Thibotout explains how Winslow Public Schools is handling what the media has been referring to as "Return to School" or "Reopening of Schools." The video can be found HERE.


April 14, 2021 - 8:00 p.m

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This email is to inform you that on the evening of Wednesday, April 14, 2021 we were notified that an individual associated with Winslow High School has tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have thankfully determined that there were no close contacts with this particular incident. As always, the CDC will be informed of this case.

Please note, News Center Maine reported earlier today that the Maine CDC reported five additional deaths and 547 additional cases of COVID -19 in Maine today. School districts in communities near us are being greatly impacted with the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. I ask that you please continue to be vigilant by taking the necessary precautions such as the wearing of masks, washing hands and maintaining social distancing.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

April 13, 2021 - 2:45 p.m

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This email is to inform you that on Tuesday, April 13 we were notified that an individual associated with Winslow Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have determined that there were no close contacts with this particular incident. As always, the nursing staff has reached out to the CDC to report this case.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing their name. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

March 30, 2021 - 8:30 p.m

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the evening of Tuesday, March 30, 2021, we were informed at 7:00 p.m. that an individual associated with Winslow Jr. High School tested positive for COVID-19. After an hour of contact tracing, we realized that too many grade 7 staff members would be deemed close contacts and we would not be able to provide in person instruction to grade 7 students on Wednesday March 31, 2021 due to a shortage of substitute teachers. Therefore, grade 7 teachers will teach remotely starting Wednesday, March 31. Principal Briggs will work to secure substitute teachers so that in person learning will resume as quickly as possible. Principal Briggs will notify grade 7 parents of the plan for the remainder of the week by the end of the day on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

Please note: The above information only impacts grade 7 students. All other grades will have in person learning on Wednesday provided it is their scheduled cohort day.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and are in the process of contacting the families of the grade 7 students and staff who are considered close contacts and who must quarantine out of caution. As always, the nursing staff has reached out to the CDC to report this case.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing their name. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

March 30, 2021 - 5:25 p.m

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 30, 2021, we were contacted by the Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the call was to follow up on the cases we have reported to the Department in the past several days.

As you know from the emails you have received, Winslow Elementary School has recently had several cases where individuals have tested positive for COVID-19. Each case we have is reported to the CDC and they in turn provide guidance to our nursing staff. When a school has three or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 from different households within a 14-day period, the school has met the criteria for the confirmed definition of outbreak status.

Currently, there are 77 schools in Maine identified with this status. Fortunately, this status is not a requirement to close schools. We continue to work closely with the CDC in order to provide the safest environment possible for our students and staff. In fact, Winslow Public Schools received accolades from our Consulting Physician due to the work we have done to keep our students and staff safe.

This is a good reminder to all of us that we are not out of the woods when it comes to COVID-19 and the spread of this disease. I ask that you please remain vigilant and adhere to the safety protocols we have practiced throughout the year. I am hopeful that with increased vaccinations and our continued diligence, we will experience a return to normal sooner rather than later. The saying, “It takes a village” could not be more appropriate at this time. As always, thank you for your support and understanding.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

March 27, 2021 - 4:04 p.m

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the afternoon of Saturday, March 27, 2021, we were informed that an individual associated with Winslow Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who must quarantine out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

As always, the nursing staff has reached out to the CDC to report this case.

Due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing their name. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

March 26, 2021 - 3:55 p.m

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the afternoon of Friday, March 26, 2021, we were informed that two individuals associated with Winslow Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who must quarantine out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

As always, due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing their name. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools


March 23, 2021 - 8:46p.m

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the evening of Tuesday, March 23, 2021, we were informed that an individual associated with Winslow Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who must quarantine out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

As always, due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing their name. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

March 19, 2021 - 2:30pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the morning of Friday, March 19, 2021, we were informed that an individual associated with Winslow High School tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who must quarantine out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

As always, due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing their name. Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

March 5, 2021 - 5pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the afternoon of Friday, March 5, 2021, we were informed that an adult associated with Winslow Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19. The individual was last at school on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students and staff who are considered close contacts and who must quarantine out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

As always, due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing their name. Please know that the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

March 5, 2021 - 1pm

Dear Staff, Students and Families,

The most recent announcement by Governor Mills stating that teachers and child care staff will now be eligible for vaccinations regardless of age was encouraging and well received by the educational community. That announcement, along with a leveling off trend of cases in recent weeks compared to the daily cases peaking at an average of 600 a day in January (Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel Friday, March 5, 2021), is certainly the information we all want to hear. It gives all of us hope that we are moving in the right direction to a return to “normal.”

Another positive indicator is the fact that all Maine counties are currently classified as “green”, which does mean that schools may conduct in-person learning if they can meet the established guidelines. The exact definition of a Green Categorization is as follows:

Categorization as “green” suggests that the county has a relatively low risk of COVID-19 spread and that schools may consider in-person instruction, as long as they are able to implement the required health and safety measures. Schools in a “green” county may need to use hybrid instruction models if there is insufficient capacity or other factors (facilities, staffing, geography/transportation, etc.) that may prevent full implementation of the health and safety requirements.

All schools must adhere to the health and safety measures (see Winslow.AOS92.org Health and Safety), which includes the following social distancing component:

2) Physical Distancing and Facilities: ● Adults must maintain 6 feet of distance from others to the extent possible. Maintaining 3 feet of distance is acceptable between and among students when combined with the other measures outlined in this list of safety requirements. ● 6 feet of physical distancing is required for students while eating breakfast and lunch, as students will be unable to wear masks at that time. Groups in any one area, room, or classroom must not exceed the Governor’s gathering size limits.

I bring all of this to your attention as a reminder that at this point in time, we are still required to meet the established Health and Safety Measures, which includes the physical distancing component. The distancing component is a major barrier for us (and the majority of school districts throughout the state) when considering a return to full in-person learning. You may have heard that some schools are able to provide in-person learning on a daily basis. Most are able to do so due to the large number of their students choosing the remote option, thus reducing the number of students for in-person learning which could allow a district to meet the distancing guideline.

We are all anxiously awaiting to see how an increase in vaccinations and a continued decline in the number of COVID 19 cases will impact the distancing requirement and our ability to bring all students back to school.

In anticipation that the above will allow some modifications to the distancing guidelines, Winslow staff members -along with the administrative team- have begun conversations to discuss the numerous questions that need to be answered in order for a safe full return to school for students and staff to become a possibility.

As always, we will keep you informed of the latest developments, which are changing daily. Thank you for your patience, flexibility, understanding, and tremendous support during this unprecedented time.

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools


February 15, 2021 - 7pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the evening of Monday, February 15, 2021, we were informed by a CDC Case Investigator that an adult associated with a varsity sports program tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students who are considered close contacts and who must quarantine out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

As always, due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing their name. Please know that the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Please monitor your child for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

February 7, 2021 - 3pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the afternoon of Sunday, February 7, 2021, we were informed by the Athletic Director from one of the schools in our conference that an individual associated with their sports program tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of the students who are considered close contacts and who must quarantine out of caution. If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

As always, due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing his/her name. Please know that the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Please monitor yourself and/or your student for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

February 3, 2021 - 5pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 3, 2021, we were informed by the CDC that an individual associated with the Before and After School Child Care Program and Winslow Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19. As always, due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing his/her name.

Members of the nursing staff and administrative team have completed their contact tracing and are in the process of calling the families of those students and staff members who are considered close contacts and who must quarantine out of caution.

As always, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Please monitor yourself and/or your student for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools


January 26, 2021 - 4pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

Earlier in the week, we were informed that an individual associated with Winslow High School tested positive for COVID-19. The nursing staff along with the administrative team addressed that individual and all others deemed as close contacts. As part of the process, the CDC was contacted to review the case. The CDC recommended additional contact tracing based on new developments in this particular case. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution we have asked additional individuals to quarantine as recommended by the CDC.

At this time, members of the nursing and administrative staff have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of those students who are considered close contacts and who must quarantine out of caution.

If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

As always, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Please monitor yourself and/or your student for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah DeWitt-Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz-Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate-Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell-Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs-Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower-Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

January 26, 2021 - noon

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

We were informed late Monday evening that an individual associated with Winslow High School has tested positive for COVID-19. Fortunately, the number of close contacts were limited to several students who were involved with the same after school activity. As always, due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing his/her name.

Members of the nursing and administrative staff have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of those students who are considered close contacts and who must quarantine out of caution. Our school nurse has also been in contact with the CDC in order to report this incident.

If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team, then your child is not considered a close contact.

As always, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Please monitor yourself and/or your student for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah DeWitt-Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz-Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate-Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell-Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs-Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

January 25, 2021 - 3pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

We were informed on the afternoon of January 25, 2021 that an individual associated with Winslow Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19. Due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing his/her name.

Members of the nursing and administrative staff have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of those students who are considered close contacts and who must quarantine out of caution. As always, our school nurse has also been in contact with the CDC in order to report this incident.

If you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team by the time this email has reached you, then your child is not considered a close contact. Fortunately this incident had few close contacts, due to the way in which the school is configured by cohorts.

Please monitor yourself and/or your student for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick. The safety of our students and staff remains a top priority.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah DeWitt-Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz-Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate-Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell-Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs-Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower-Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

January 25, 2021 - 11am

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

We have recently been informed that an individual associated with Winslow High School has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual who tested positive was not in school on Friday, January 22, 2021 limiting the number of close contacts to several students involved with an after school activity. As always, due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing his/her name.

Members of the nursing and administrative staff have completed their contact tracing and have contacted the families of those students who are considered close contacts and who must quarantine out of caution. As always, our school nurse has also been in contact with the CDC in order to report this incident.

If you have not been contacted by either the school nurse or a member of the administrative team by the time this email has reached you, then your child is not considered a close contact.

As always, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Please monitor yourself and/or your student for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah DeWitt-Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz-Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate-Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell-Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs-Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower-Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

January 20, 2021 - 5pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 20, 2021, we were informed by the CDC that an individual associated with Winslow Jr. High School tested positive for COVID-19. As always, due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing his/her name.

Members of the nursing staff have completed their contact tracing and are in the process of calling the families of those students who are considered close contacts and who must quarantine out of caution. If you are not contacted by a member of the nursing staff by the end of the day, then your child is not considered a close contact.

Six staff members associated with grade 7 are considered close contacts and must quarantine out of precaution as well. As a result of staff having to quarantine, all students in grade 7 will be learning remotely starting Thursday, January 21, 2021. We will resume in person learning for grade 7 on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Grade 8 students and staff were not impacted by this incident and may continue with in-person learning.

As always, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Please monitor yourself and/or your student for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health-related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

January 7, 2021 - 3pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Happy New Year. I hope this email finds you and your families well. This notice is to inform you that an individual at the Mid Maine Tech Center from a community other than Winslow has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, two individuals who attend Winslow Schools have been deemed close contacts and must quarantine as a precaution for the required number of days recommended by the CDC Guidelines. It's important to note that this incident was isolated to a small group of individuals thus this incident has a minimal impact on our school community.

As always, members of the nursing staff have been in contact with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the individuals who were deemed close contacts. Due to the health and privacy rights of the individuals who were deemed close contacts, we will not be releasing their names.

Please note, the individuals who are considered close contacts have already been notified by school nursing personnel or administration.

As we start off the new year, this incident is an opportunity to reinforce the importance of wearing masks, washing hands, and maintaining social distancing.

As always, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Please monitor yourself and/or your student for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

December 18, 2020 - 3:30pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the afternoon of Friday, December 18, 2020, we were informed that an individual associated with Winslow Elementary School tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Members of the nursing staff have been in contact with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the individual who tested positive. Due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing his/her name.

Please note, the individuals who are considered close contacts have already been notified by school nursing personnel or administration and have been given instructions on how long they will need to quarantine. Thus, If you are reading this email and you have not been contacted by the school nurse or an administrator then you or your child has not been deemed a close contact.

We are notifying the community in an effort to eliminate any misinformation and to take the opportunity to reinforce the importance of wearing masks and face coverings, washing hands, and maintaining social distancing.

Our custodial staff has been notified and will continue to follow the cleaning guidance from the CDC.

As always, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Please monitor yourself and/or your student for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

  • Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

  • Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

  • Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

  • Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

  • Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

  • Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

December 16, 2020 - 7pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

I hope this message finds you well. I would like to begin by saying that this is not my usual cryptic message informing you that we have been made aware of a positive COVID-19 case. I’m sure you are as tired of receiving those messages as I am of sending them. Rather, I wanted to take an opportunity to offer some general information regarding the procedures we use once we have knowledge of a potential case.

I will begin by saying that the cryptic messages I have been sending are as frustrating to me as they are to you. It’s natural for people to want more information when they hear that there is a positive COVID-19 case. However, due to health and privacy rights, schools are not allowed to disclose information about the individual who may have tested positive. Doing so would be a direct violation of confidential medical information and subject to penalties of law.

Having said all of that, I hope the following information helps to clarify the process and reduces some anxiety.

When we receive information about a potential COVID-19 case, school personnel consisting of school nurses, administration and the superintendent convene a meeting as quickly as possible. We discuss the information we have received and begin to apply the DOE/CDC guidelines to the information at hand. One of the nurses always contacts the office of the CDC in order to explain our situation and our plan of action. We have always followed the CDC guidelines. In fact, we often (out of an abundance of caution) go beyond the guidelines of the CDC in order to fully ensure the safety of our students and staff.

We have found that each situation can present its own nuances. A typical example might be that an individual is symptomatic and is waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test. We reach out to that individual and ask that they quarantine until they receive their test results. On the other hand, if the individual in the above example reported having symptoms but had yet to test for COVID-19, we would ask that they schedule a test and again quarantine until we have the results.

Once we verify that an individual has tested positive, we begin to contact trace. This involves a great deal of time and effort as we need to find the individuals that had direct contact with the person who tested positive at least 48 hours before they showed symptoms.

Having our schools organized in cohorts and having the cohorts attend every other day greatly assists with the contact tracing process. Individuals who are considered close contacts (someone who was near the infected person for more than 15 minutes) are notified by the school nurse and asked to remain at home for a set number of days.

It’s important to note that the vast majority of the individuals who are asked to quarantine don’t contract the virus. In fact, the transmission of the virus is not occurring in our schools due to our strict mitigation strategies making schools one of the safest places for both students and staff.

Again, due to confidentiality, the names of students and staff who are asked to quarantine are not identified. This can sometimes cause anxiety on the part of some staff members and parents/guardians. Due to confidentiality, staff members and parents/guardians are not told the reason why a student or a staff member is not in class if it's COVID-19 related.

However, if the staff member or student was deemed a direct contact to an individual who tested positive, that staff member or student would immediately be notified by the school nurse and given quarantine instructions to follow.

Said another way, if you are a staff member or parent/guardian of a child in any of our schools and you have not been contacted by the school nurse, it means you or your child have not been identified as a close contact of the person who tested positive. Simply stated, no news from the school nurse is good news.

Earlier in the email I mentioned that the transmissions are not occurring at school due to our strict mitigation measures. Perhaps equally important is the responsible attitude parents/guardians and staff have demonstrated by immediately informing school personnel when an individual receives a positive test result.

Last, but certainly not least, in previous emails I have reminded everyone of the importance of wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing. I ask now more than ever that you continue being vigilant in adhering to these important measures.

With the recent news of the first COVID-19 vaccines being distributed in Maine, there is hope on the horizon that the times we are living through will someday be behind us. Until then, we are far from being out of the woods. Our safety and ability to have our students attend in-person instruction depends on our continued vigilance and adherence to the safety guidelines.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your continued patience and understanding during this very difficult time. I would also like to wish all of you a restful holiday season.

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Public Schools

December 14, 2020 - 2pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the afternoon of Monday, December 14, 2020, we were informed that an individual associated with Winslow Elementary School tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Members of the nursing staff have been in contact with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the individual who tested positive. Due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing his/her name. We are notifying the community in an effort to eliminate any misinformation and to take the opportunity to reinforce the importance of wearing masks and face coverings, washing hands, and maintaining social distancing.

The individuals who are considered close contacts are being notified by school nursing personnel. They will be required to quarantine for 14 days beginning on the last day they would have been in contact with the person who recently tested positive.

The CDC allows us the option to continue with the 14 day quarantine requirement as is recommended by our Medical Director.

As a reminder, only those students contacted by the school nurse are required to quarantine. All other Winslow Elementary School students may return to in-person learning on their next scheduled cohort day which would either be Tuesday, December 15, 2020 or Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

Our custodial staff has been notified and will continue to follow the cleaning guidance from the CDC.

As always, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Please monitor yourself and/or your student for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org
Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org
Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org
Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org
Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot

Superintendent, Winslow Public Schools

December 7, 2020 - 2pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

As I am sure you are aware, more and more individuals are testing positive for coronavirus (Covid 19) throughout our state and immediate area. Just this morning, Maine set a new single-day record with 427 additional Covid-19 cases.

Unfortunately, the Winslow School Community is not immune to these latest developments. This letter is to inform you that on the morning of Monday, December 7, 2020, we were informed that an individual associated with Winslow Junior High School tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Members of the nursing staff have been in contact with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the individual who tested positive. Members of the nursing staff along with the administrative team have also been in contact with our school Medical Director for additional guidance with this incident. Unfortunately, this incident could designate the junior high with outbreak status. Outbreak status is defined by the Department of Education Standard Operating Procedure as a school having 3 or more confirmed cases from different households within 14 days. We are awaiting confirmation on that status.

We are following the recommendations of the CDC Guidelines by contacting the individuals who had close contact to the person who tested positive. These individuals must quarantine for 14 days beginning on the last day they would have been in contact with the person who recently tested positive. The individuals who are considered close contacts have been notified by school nursing personnel and will be required to quarantine.

At this point in time, the CDC allows us the option to continue with the 14 day quarantine requirement as is recommended by our Medical Director. As a reminder, only those individuals contacted by the school nurse are required to quarantine.

It is also important to note that grade 7-8 middle school students share common areas with the high school. Due to the recent positive cases between the junior and senior high school and the number of shared spaces between the two schools there is a greater possibility for school transmission. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, both Winslow Jr High and Winslow High School will go to remote learning until January 4, 2021. Our custodial staff will also take this opportunity to follow the cleaning guidance from the CDC.

Winslow Elementary School grades (k-5) will remain open to in-person instruction as will grade 6 students who are currently located at the old Winslow Junior High School facility for they have not been impacted by the most recent incident. The child care program located at the old Winslow Junior High School facility will remain open as well.

We are working on a plan to distribute lunches to junior and senior high students. Building administrators will be in contact with additional information. This may take a few days to organize.

As always, due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing his/her name. We are notifying the community in an effort to eliminate any misinformation and to take the opportunity to reinforce the importance of wearing masks and face coverings, washing hands, and maintaining social distancing.

As always, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Please monitor yourself and/or your student for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org
Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org
Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org
Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org
Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent, Winslow Public Schools

December 5, 2020 - 2pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the evening of Friday, December 4, 2020, we were informed that an individual associated with the Winslow School Department tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Members of the nursing staff have been in contact with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the individual who tested positive. We are following the recommendations of the CDC Guidelines by contacting the individuals who had close contact to the person who tested positive, which includes 39 Winslow students and 6 Winslow staff members. These individuals must quarantine for 14 days beginning on the last day they would have been in contact with the person who recently tested positive. The individuals who are considered close contacts are currently being notified by school nursing personnel and will be required to quarantine until December 16, 2020. They may return to school on December 17, 2020. Due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing his/her name. We are notifying the community in an effort to eliminate any misinformation and to take the opportunity to reinforce the importance of wearing masks and face coverings, washing hands, and maintaining social distancing.

As always, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Please monitor yourself and/or your student for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick. Our custodial staff has also been notified and we are continuing to follow the cleaning guidance from the CDC.

The Winslow nursing staff may be contacted via email if you have health related questions pertaining to the school your child attends.

Sarah Dewitt Winslow High School Nurse sdewitt@winslowk12.org

Tammy Diaz Winslow Junior High School Nurse tdiaz@winslowk12.org

Stephanie Choate Winslow Elementary School Nurse schoate@winslowk12.org

For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to the principal of the school your child attends.

Chad Bell Winslow High School Principal cbell@winslowk12.org

Jason Briggs Winslow Junior High School Principal jbriggs@winslowk12.org

Erica Gower Winslow Elementary School Principal egower@winslowk12.org

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent, Winslow Public Schools

November 27, 2020 - 8pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the evening of Friday, November 27 we were informed by an individual associated with Winslow Jr. High School that the individual tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Friday, November 27, 2020.

Members of the Winslow nursing staff have been in contact with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the individual who tested positive . We are following the recommendations of the CDC Guidelines which is to contact the individuals (both students and staff) who had contact with the individual who tested positive. These individuals would all be considered close contacts and must quarantine for 14 days beginning on the last day they would have been in contact with the person who recently tested positive. The individuals who are considered close contacts are currently being notified by school nursing personnel and will be required to quarantine until December 7, 2020. They may return to school on December 8, 2020. Due to the health and privacy rights of the individual who tested positive, we will not be releasing his/her name. We are notifying the community in an effort to eliminate any misinformation and to take the opportunity to reinforce the importance of wearing masks and face coverings, washing hands, and maintaining social distancing.

In all, 17 students have been determined to be close contacts along with 8 members of the staff. Unfortunately, we have a shortage of substitute teachers, which means that the entire grade 8 class will be working remotely from home beginning Monday, November 30, 2020 until Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Principal Briggs will reach out to parents with specific instructions sometime this weekend. It is important to note that this pertains to grade 8 only. All other grades will continue to report to school on the day in which their cohort is scheduled to attend which would either be Monday, November 30 or Tuesday, December 1, 2020.

The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Please monitor yourself and/or your student for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick. Our custodial staff has also been notified and we are continuing to follow the cleaning guidance from the CDC.

Tammy Diaz, (Winslow Jr. High School Nurse) will be available to answer health related questions you might have on Saturday, November 28, 2020 from 8:00am to 12:00noon. You may reach her 207-592-6294. For questions pertaining to the operation of the school, please reach out to Jason Briggs. Jbriggs@winslowk12.org.

Sincerely,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent

November 6, 2020 - 11am

Dear Staff, Students and Families

On November 3, 2020 I sent an email to all families and staff to inform everyone that we were currently waiting for the Covid-19 test results of an individual at Winslow Elementary School. We knew this individual had direct contact with 9 students and 1 staff member. Out of an abundance of caution, we asked the 9 students and 1 staff member to quarantine until we received results of the test. Everyone cooperated with our request.

On the afternoon of November 5, 2020 we received notice from the CDC that the individual in question did indeed test positive for Covid 19. The CDC praised our school for its immediate response to this situation and the actions that we took out of an abundance of caution.

The CDC will contact the 9 students and 1 staff member. I wanted to give the CDC the opportunity to contact the families before sending this informational email update to all of you.

At this point in time, no further action is needed. The 9 students and staff member will continue to quarantine for the amount of days recommended by the CDC guidelines. It is important to note that to date, we have not had a positive case of Covid-19 with any of our students.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support during this unprecedented time. I can assure you that our staff members are diligently working to provide the best instructional experience possible under the conditions we are facing. As I have mentioned and will continue to state, the safety of our students and staff is a top priority. As your Superintendent, I am very proud of the way in which the staff are ensuring that the safety guidelines are being met at school. I am also proud of your children in the way in which they have answered the call adhering to the new safety guidelines. With cases in the Central Maine area on the rise, we need the help of the entire Winslow community now more than ever in order to keep everyone safe and our schools open. I ask that you please continue to be vigilant by taking the necessary precautions such as the wearing of masks, washing hands and maintaining social distancing.

A reminder that schools will not be in session on November 9th, 10th and 11th. The 9th and 10th will be used as teacher workshop days. The 11th is the celebration of Veterans Day, where we honor those who have served our country. The 9th and 10th will also be an opportunity for our custodial staff to do some additional cleaning and sanitation in all of the buildings. Last, but certainly not least, please be sure to check the district website for updates under the Health and Safety heading. If you have questions, please reach out to the building administrator of the school your child attends. I am also available to answer questions you might have.

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

November 3, 2020 - 3pm

Dear Staff, Students and Families

Earlier this week I sent an email informing the school community that Winslow Public Schools had its first individual test positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19). That information was sent via robo email to all members of the school community. The information was also posted on our district home page under Health and Safety. With cases spiking in Maine and in the Central Maine area, it’s very important for community members to have a place where they can look for accurate updates. I ask that you please refer to the district home page for updated and accurate information.

As we continue to provide updated information to the school community, I want to inform you that we are currently waiting for the Covid-19 test result of an individual at Winslow Elementary School. This individual last had contact with 9 students and 1 staff member at the end of last week. We have contacted the state liaison from the DOE and explained the circumstances around this particular situation. In addition, we discussed the circumstances of this situation with our nursing staff and agreed that the safest course of action was to ask those who had contact with this individual to quarantine for the required amount of days. All individuals and their families have been contacted and are cooperating with our request.

Again, I want to be clear, we have taken the above action out of an abundance of caution. As always, our first priority is the safety of our students and staff, and we will always err on the side of caution.

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot
Superintendent of Winslow Schools

November 1, 2020 - 5pm

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

This letter is to inform you that on the afternoon of Sunday, November 1st we were made aware of an individual associated with Winslow High School who recently tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are also aware that this individual has not been at Winslow High School since Monday, October 26th.

Members of the Winslow nursing staff have been in contact with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the individual who tested positive. We are following the recommendations of the CDC which is to contact the individuals who had contact with the individual who tested positive on Monday, October 26th. The individuals who are considered direct contacts are currently being notified by school nursing personnel and will be required to quarantine until Monday, November 9th. Due to the health and privacy rights of the individual, we will not be releasing his/her name. We are notifying the community in an effort to eliminate any misinformation and to take the opportunity to reinforce the importance of wearing masks and face coverings, washing hands, and maintaining social distancing. The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Please monitor yourself and/or your student for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick.

(Update/Clarification) All Winslow Schools will be open tomorrow Monday, November 2, 2020. We are following the recommendations of the CDC. Members of the Winslow nursing staff are currently contacting those individuals who are considered direct contacts. Only those individuals contacted need to quarantine until Monday, November 9th as a precaution. Our custodial staff has also been notified and we are continuing to follow the cleaning guidance from the CDC so that students and staff can safely return to school on Monday, November 2, 2020.

This is a challenging time in our state and nation. Please continue to take the necessary precautions against the coronavirus in order to reduce the spread of the disease. Feel free to reach out to the Winslow High School Nurse, Sarah Dewitt (sdewitt@winslowk12.org), WHS Principal, Chad Bell (cbell@winslowk12.org) or myself at pthiboutot@winslowk12.org if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Peter Thiboutot

Superintendent

September 22, 2020 - Noon

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff,

The Winslow Board of Education met on September 21, 2020. One of the agenda items was an update on the opening of schools. As you know, we delayed the opening of schools until Tuesday, September 8 in order to adhere to the safety guidelines. I am pleased to report that our opening of schools has gone exceptionally well! All grade levels are reporting that the students are abiding to the new safety precautions which include the wearing of masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing. I would also like to add that the staff is working exceptionally hard to provide your students with in-person and/or remote learning experiences.

An inservice day was held on Friday, September 18, 2020. A portion of the day was dedicated for staff to examine our current educational plan. Our inservice day allowed staff the time to have conversations regarding those practices that are going well, along with conversations on how to improve the delivery of instruction while teaching in a hybrid model or using a remote format during this pandemic. Perhaps one of the biggest realizations was that we need to continue with our current hybrid model as long as the current safety recommendations and guidelines remain in effect from the CDC. Our number one priority is to provide a safe learning environment for our students and staff.

A calendar for the month of October has been posted on the district web site so that you can plan accordingly. We will provide you with monthly updates throughout the year. We will continue to assess and monitor our situation, alerting you to any changes as quickly as possible.

An immediate change I would like to bring to your attention is a change for students, parents and staff traveling back from non-exempt states. Our current plan states that you should either quarantine for 14 days upon your return or be tested once you return. In fact, the current recommendation from the CDC indicates that you can be tested 72 hours prior to your return. However, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that people should wait 3-5 days after they return before being tested. A member of our nursing staff contacted our school physician consultant to clarify best practice. His recommendation was indeed to wait the 3-5 days prior to being tested upon your return or quarantine for 14 days. Until this situation is further clarified, Winslow Public Schools will choose the latter option based on the recommendation of our school physician consultant.

As a reminder, it is important to note that if a case of COVID-19 were to develop in the Winslow School Community, Winslow Public Schools would work under the direction of the Maine Center for Disease Control and follow their recommendations (including contact tracing, going red (fully remote), notification of close contacts, etc.). Recommended public health actions will depend on the number of cases, the location of cases and the degree of contact those cases may have had with other students, teachers or staff.

To protect confidentiality, we will follow all HIPPA and FERPA guidelines as they pertain to individuals and families and any potential medical situations that arise. While some families may want specific information, we want to assure all families that we will follow the guidance of the CDC in notifying any close contacts to someone who may test positive for COVID-19. In general, a close contact is defined as someone with exposure to the confirmed case within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more, regardless of whether individuals were wearing face coverings.

If there were a confirmed positive case in a household, the Maine CDC uses a platform called Sara Alert to conduct symptom checks and monitoring of close contacts of confirmed cases. Maine CDC will enroll asymptomatic close contacts of confirmed cases-whether teachers, students or staff-into Sara Alert for daily monitoring during the quarantine period. Under the direction of the Maine CDC, school community members will be notified when a confirmed or probable case has been detected that is associated with the school. Maine CDC will report publicly when an investigation has been opened into a potential outbreak of COVID-19 associated with a school, as it does in other settings.

In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire school community for your support and understanding during our current situation. As we are seeing in other communities (Sanford being the most recent,) our current situation could quickly go from a green rating to red, which means we would need to close our schools to in-person learning and return to a completely remote situation for a set period of time. We are working hard to prevent that from happening and we need your help. Applying and practicing the safety protocols of mask wearing, social distancing and the washing of hands must be encouraged beyond the walls of the school. Now is not the time to take the foot off the accelerator when it comes to safety. If anything, we need to be more vigilant so that we keep our students in school and our community safe.

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot

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.


August 26, 2020 - 3:30pm

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff,

Over the course of the summer, I have sent several informational emails to all of you regarding the reopening of schools. Those messages along with any updated messages regarding the reopening of schools can be found by going to our District Website www.winslowk12.org and clicking on Health and Safety.

One of my earlier messages explained that we have been guided by three principles in developing our reopening of schools plan. The first principle was protecting the health and safety of our school and local communities.

That principal is why I am writing to you today. As you know, in order for us to safely reopen our schools we must adhere to the safety guidelines provided by MDOE and the CDC. Part of those guidelines requires that we have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our students and staff. That equipment can range from masks to certain types of sanitizing solutions and supplies. We have recently learned that some of our PPE is on back order due to the number of requests being made by all schools in the state (and country for that matter). The supplies (or an acceptable alternative) will not be available to us for another week. To that end and due to reasons beyond our control, we will delay the start of schools in Winslow until Tuesday, September 8.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause all of you. I know we are all anxiously waiting for a return to school but it is imperative that we do so with the utmost concern for the safety of our students and staff.

We will use the following schedule.

Tuesday September 8. School will begin for students with the last names beginning with Le-Z (Cohort 2)

Wednesday, September 9. School will begin for students with the last names beginning with A-La. (Cohort 1)

Thursday, September 10. Students with the last name of Le-Z (Cohort 2)

Friday, September 11. Students with the last name of A-La (Cohort 1)

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Monday, September 14. Le-Z (Cohort 2)

Tuesday, September 15. A-La (Cohort 1)

Wednesday, September 16. Le-Z (Cohort 2)

Thursday, September 17. A-La (Cohort 1)

Friday, September 18. Staff Inservice No school for students. Time for staff to evaluate progress to date and make recommendations for future programming.

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Monday, September 21. Le-Z (Cohort 2)

Tuesday, September 22. A-La (Cohort 1)

Wednesday, September 23. Le-Z (Cohort 2)

Thursday, September 24. A-La (Cohort 1)

Friday, September 25. Le-Z (Cohort 2).

Please note, some of you have already made special arrangements if you have children living in the same household with a different last name. Those arrangements will not change.

Please contact your building administrator with specific questions pertaining to the building your child attends.

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot

Superintendent of Winslow Schools


August 11, 2020 - 3pm

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

Last Friday, Winslow Public Schools released our re-opening plan. The plan can be found by going to our district web site (www.winslowk12.org) and clicking on the Schools Re-opening Plan link. Please check this site often, for we will continue to post updated information regarding the re-opening of schools.

During last week's announcement of our re-opening plan, we indicated that a survey would be available to you on Tuesday, August 11. It is crucial that parents/caregivers complete this survey to assist in our planning. The survey can be found by going to our district web site (www.winslowk12.org) and clicking on the district's Health & Safety page link. You can also access the survey directly through this link: https://forms.gle/L1EgswakvZDzDKgw6

One question being asked is whether your child will be returning to school or attending remotely. Please know that the remote option is not what we did this spring with the closure of school; remote learning will be regular, ongoing learning with teachers focused on the needs of their remote learners, and will include clear expectations and guidelines around attendance, grading etc.

The other key question involves the transportation of students. You will be asked if you are able to transport your child to and/or from school. The answers to both of these questions are crucial to our planning, allowing us to develop/adjust bus routes and make modifications to class lists so that we can get accurate information to you as quickly as possible. We ask that you complete the survey by Friday, August 14, 2020.

Parents/caregivers are being asked to make a decision now regarding their selection of remote or in-person learning. Please know that parents/caregivers will have an opportunity on September 17, 2020 to adjust their selection of remote or in-person education, which would go into effect on September 28. After that, the selection will remain in place through the first quarter for high school students or the first trimester for Pre-K through grade 8 students.

Thank you in advance for your assistance,

Peter Thiboutot

Superintendent of Winslow Schools

August 7, 2020 - 11am

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff,

I am writing to inform you that the Winslow School Board has given concept approval to a plan for the re-opening of our schools. Click here to view the plan.

The administrative team along with a district committee, made up of representatives from different stakeholder groups, has been meeting throughout the summer in order to develop the Winslow Public Schools re-opening plan. Our plan has followed the MDOE's readiness markers and capacity considerations (Framework for Returning to Classroom Instruction https://www.maine.gov/doe/covid-19/reintegrate).

We have been guided by three principles in developing this plan: protecting the health and safety of our school and local communities, maintaining an exceptional educational program that supports equity, and recognizing the role that school plays in the lives of staff, students, families and community.

At the August 6, 2020 school board meeting, our plan was given concept approval, which means we can now move forward with the numerous smaller details that remain to be finalized. It also means that we can share the main components with the plan with you so that you can see what the reopening of schools will entail.

You can view the plan on our District website (www.winslowk12.org. ). From there, go to For updates on the opening of schools see the district Health & Safety page .

I would encourage you to revisit this site often for accurate updates as we work through this process.

We hope that the plan answers many of the questions you might have regarding the opening of schools and moving forward. If you have specific questions pertaining to the school your child will attend, please contact the building administrator.

On Tuesday, August 11, a questionnaire will be emailed to all parents. It is essential for you to complete this questionnaire so we can plan for your child's programming. We ask that all questionnaires be completed by Friday, August 14.

Wishing you a restful weekend,

Peter Thiboutot

Superintendent of Winslow Schools


July 31, 2020 - 1pm

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty and Staff,

As you may or may not know, the Maine Department of Education today released the health risk levels by county. All counties in Maine received a designation of green, indicating “ a relatively low risk of COVID-19 spread and that schools may consider in-person instruction, as long as they are able to implement the required health and safety measures. Schools in a “green” county may need to use hybrid instruction models if there is insufficient capacity or other factors (facilities, staffing, geography/transportation, etc.) that may prevent full implementation of the health and safety requirements.” This designation is welcome news for the entire state.

Winslow Public Schools has been planning for three different scenarios for the 2020-21 school year for several months. In addition to weekly administrative meetings, a district committee made up of representatives of all stakeholder groups has been meeting to develop a re-entry plan. Winslow Public Schools has followed the MDOE’s readiness markers and capacity considerations in developing this plan.

On Tuesday, August 4, the re-entry committee will review a proposed re-entry plan before bringing the recommendations to the Board for approval on Thursday, August 6.

Our goal is to bring back as many students as is possible, given the safety requirements that will need to be in place. That process will likely require that we follow a phased approach to ensure that our routines and protocols for staff and student safety can be adhered to with smaller numbers first.

Once we have board approval of the plan, we will be able to provide families with additional information. At that time, we will be reaching out to you for specific information about your plans regarding your child’s return to school (in-person vs remote and transportation needs, for instance). It will be very important for us to have that information to move forward with final details.

We recognize that there is still much uncertainty surrounding planning for the beginning of school. It is our goal to provide you with as much information as possible, as soon as it is available. We thank you for your patience and look forward to providing you with additional information next week.

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot

Superintendent of Winslow Schools

July 2, 2020 - 10am

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff,

I hope this email finds you well and that you are enjoying the warm summer weather. Some of you may have read a recent article in the Morning Sentinel that discussed the possibility of using classroom space at the old junior high school as we think about returning to school in the fall of 2020. I suspect the article had some of you wondering if we have lost our minds, since we are near completion of a beautiful new addition on the east end of the high school which will be the new junior high wing for students in grades seven and eight. The suggestion to use space in the old building is just one option as we explore a safe return to school in the fall for our students and staff.

As you know, covid-19 has impacted most of us in a variety of ways. Schools were certainly not immune to this unexpected event. We are all reminded on a daily basis through various media that we are in a global pandemic and this is not business as usual. Social distancing, wearing face masks when you can’t appropriately social distance, and frequent hand-washing are all safety precautions we are asked to practice on a daily basis in order to reduce the spread of covid-19. The Maine Department of Education, along with the CDC and other partners, is diligently working to produce guidelines for a safe return to school. The guidelines are currently in draft form and continue to evolve as the health providers learn more about how the virus behaves. At this point in time, there is no indication as to when the final guidelines will be released that will provide us with some clear direction as to what a return to school will look like in the fall. However, it is the goal of Winslow Public Schools to have a safe return of as many students as possible to in-school learning.

Winslow Public Schools are discussing reopening plans that could contain three possible scenarios for the fall of 2020:

1. In-person learning with new safety requirements

2. A hybrid of in-person and remote learning

3. The continuation of fully remote learning

We fully recognize the challenges that changes to the typical school routine present to families. As we consider the options, we are working to provide in-person school five days a week for our elementary students, knowing that disrupted schedules impact entire families. Because of the current guidelines for social distancing, we would need additional space. Winslow is in the unique position of having that space, if the former Winslow Junior High School could be utilized. At the junior and senior high school, whether students would attend in-school every day or on alternating days would depend on our ability to provide an environment that meets social distancing requirements. While a scheduling option that provides for alternating days of in-school and at-home learning is not our preference, these older students are able to handle a bit more independence and may impact adult work schedules less significantly. Transportation will be another major consideration in our planning.

As we plan for the three options above, your assistance is being requested by completing a brief survey that would help us with our planning. Please complete the survey by July 10. I thank you in advance for your assistance and look forward to opening the schools in the fall!

Please complete a survey for each building in which you have students enrolled:

Winslow Elementary School Return to School Survey: https://forms.gle/9eEEByZYpnF7zM6n9

Winslow Junior High Return to School Survey: https://forms.gle/9onRsmRQ4aJ7X21x9

Winslow High School Return to School Survey: https://forms.gle/kcede1GCKBdLjbae7

Peter Thiboutot

Superintendent of Winslow Schools

June 4, 2020 - 9am

Dear Parents, and Caregivers,

I hope this email continues to find you and your families well. It's hard to believe that we have reached the end of a school year. This email is to inform you that Friday, June 5, will be the final day for lunches to be delivered by buses.

Starting Monday, June 8 we will return to our traditional summer meals program where food is delivered to certain locations throughout the Winslow community. Please see this flyer for Information regarding times and locations. Please note, due to COVID-19, summer meals no longer need to be consumed at the drop off site. Students may leave the site once the meals have been delivered.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your patience and support during these difficult times. Schools across the state are still waiting for some direction from the CDC and the Maine Department of Education in terms of what the fall will bring. The Winslow School Staff are preparing for various scenarios for the opening of school. Needless to say, I hope to see you all back in the fall!

Peter Thiboutot

Superintendent of Winslow Schools

May 21, 2020 - 11am

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

As you know, Memorial Day will be celebrated on Monday, May 25, 2020. As a result, school meals will not be delivered on that day. Instead, meals will be delivered on Tuesday, May 26 and again on Thursday, May 28th. Additional meals will be handed out on Friday, May 22 to account for Memorial Day.

We will return to the Monday-Wednesday- Friday delivery schedule during the week of June 1st.

Friday, June 5th will be the last day of meal delivery with the use of buses. Starting Monday, June 8 we will revert to our traditional summer meals program where students can pick up meals at various locations throughout Winslow. Those locations are being determined and information on the dates and times will be available shortly.

I hope you are able to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend with your families.

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot

Superintendent, Winslow Public Schools.

May 1, 2020 - 10am

To Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff,

Hello everyone,

I hope this email continues to find you and your families well as we move forward through these unprecedented and difficult times. I would first like to take this opportunity to thank numerous individuals, organizations, and companies in the Winslow community for their generous donations in support of families in need of help during Covid-19. Your thoughtfulness and caring is refreshing during a time of uncertainty and unknowns. Please know that your generosity will make a difference in the lives of many.

On April 28, Governor Mills and members of the COVID response team held a press meeting in order to provide details of a phase-in model they will use in order to re-open the state’s economy. The announcement pertained primarily to businesses, and not to school programs. Schools continue to abide by an earlier recommendation provided on April 7 by the Commissioner of Education. The Commissioner, in consultation with the Governor, released a Priority Notice recommending that schools plan to replace classroom/group instruction with remote/distance learning through the end of the 2019-2020 school year (unless the CDC deems it safe to return to school).

Realistically, conditions are not likely to improve quickly enough to allow schools to resume normal (pre-pandemic) operations or modified operations during the 2019-20 school year. It is unlikely that traditional graduation ceremonies and promotion assemblies will be allowed this spring due to the restrictions being placed on group gatherings. That is not to suggest that we are not looking at alternatives or acceptable ways in which to celebrate these important milestones in the lives of our students. In fact, the high school is busy exploring different options in order to celebrate these special occasions.

When stay-at-home orders are lifted and schools are permitted to re-open, it is likely that operations will need to be modified until schools resume normal operations. If Maine follows the lead of other states, the easing of restrictions is likely to be stepped down in phases. Modifications may include: a delayed start in the fall to traditional classroom instruction (e.g. beginning the year as we have ended, with remote/distance learning), limiting group sizes, proactive screening of students, staff, and visitors for symptoms, and social distancing in all settings. The fact of the matter is, we simply don’t know what to expect since this is an unprecedented event in our lifetimes.

With so much uncertainty around the opening of schools in the fall and what that might look like, Winslow Public Schools is taking a proactive approach with staff development at the end of this year in order to prepare for both a traditional and, if need be, a non-traditional opening of school in the fall. Our staff will participate in staff development days in order to better prepare for the possible scenarios I have alluded to earlier in this email. Doing so, will provide the support needed in order to offer a more robust remote/distance learning experience which will benefit our students.

We are not alone in this decision as many school districts throughout the state will be having similar conversations as they make plans for the start of next year.

In order for the above to occur, an adjustment will be made to the last day of school for students. The last seat day for students will be June 5th. Teachers will fulfill their contractual obligations by working their required days. During that time, they will be involved with professional development planning for the various possible scenarios I have previously mentioned.

As always, building administrators will be communicating with their students and parents regarding specific plans for closing the year. Please check your school website for updates.

It goes without saying, we miss all of you and look forward to a time where we can once again all be together.

Peter Thiboutot

Superintendent Winslow Public Schools

April 16, 2020 - 9am - Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff,

I hope this email continues to find all of you in good health. This email is to inform you that Winslow Public Schools will continue to provide meals to students during the week of April vacation (April 20-24). There will however, be a change to the schedule.

Meals will be delivered on Tuesday and Thursday of that week vs the current Monday, Wednesday and Friday delivery dates.

Students will receive the same number of meals even though we have reduced one day of delivery. Additional food will be distributed on Tuesday and Thursday to make up for the loss of a day. Thus it is very important that students/parents be available on Tuesday and Thursday for the delivery of meals.

We will return to the Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedule following the week of April break. I hope you are able to enjoy some quality time with your family in the upcoming week. Please take care of yourselves.

Peter Thiboutot, Superintendent

Winslow Public Schools

April 10, 2020 - 4pm - Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff,

I hope this message finds all of you safe and in good health. By now, you are most likely aware that on the evening of April 7, the Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Governor, released a Priority Notice recommending that we plan to replace classroom/group instruction with remote/distance learning through the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

This follows the CDC guidelines for schools to close classroom-based instruction for 8 – 20 weeks to flatten the curve and to keep people safe. For the safety of all, Winslow Public Schools must take the recommendations from the CDC, the Commissioner and the Governor seriously. In accordance with this notice and for the foreseeable future, Winslow Public Schools will continue to use the remote/distance learning format for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year unless we receive notice from the CDC that it is safe to re-open our school buildings.

It goes without saying that the most recent Priority Notice continues to provide challenges requiring tremendous dedication and effort on the part of our employees. Our Food Service staff along with a host of other individuals consisting of but not limited to bus drivers, custodians, teachers, educational technicians, secretaries, administrators, guidance counselors, nurses, and social workers continue their untiring efforts to provide meals to our students three days a week. As a result of their perseverance and dedication, over 9000 meals are being prepared and distributed on a weekly basis.

Teachers and administrators in each of our schools are in the process of developing specific plans to meet the needs of our students as we move forward with the extended remote/distance learning recommendation. Ongoing conversations are being held to establish baseline principles to guide our work. Please know that you have a dedicated group of educators committed to providing an educational plan that is more tailored to the components of the grade level curriculum as we move forward. The plan will take into consideration the various barriers our families are experiencing during this difficult time. Please remember to check the Winslow District Website for updated notices along with visiting your child's school website for specific information pertaining to his/her school.

In closing, thank you for your patience and support as we work through this unprecedented time in history.

Peter Thiboutot

Winslow Superintendent of Schools

March 27, 2020 - 11am - I hope this message finds all of you safe and in good health. Starting next week, the delivery of meals to students using school buses will have a different schedule.We will deliver on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Reducing the number of days for delivery does not mean we will be reducing the number of meals being provided. In fact, we hope to increase the number of meals we are currently providing by moving to this schedule. Here is how it will work.

On Mondays, students will be provided with breakfast and lunch for Monday and Tuesday.

On Wednesdays, students will be provided with breakfast and lunch for Wednesday and Thursday.

On Friday, students will be provided with breakfast and lunch for Friday and Saturday.

As always, please contact your school if you have any questions regarding this change. A reminder to Please stay safe by practicing social distancing. Working together, we will get through this difficult time as a community. Have a good weekend.

Peter Thiboutot

March 20, 2020 - 11am - Winslow Public Schools has been continually monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. There are now 52 confirmed cases in Maine. Less than a week ago, there were no reported cases. In an effort to be proactive in protecting the health and safety of our students, staff, and community, Winslow Public Schools, will extend its date of closure until Monday, April 27 pending further notice.

This decision was made in consultation with many and out of an abundance of caution to follow the rapidly changing guidance regarding enhancing social distancing efforts to minimize the spread of the virus. This decision has not been made lightly and we certainly empathize and understand the significant burden this will cause families in the coming days.

School Breakfast and Lunches

Winslow Schools is currently delivering meals to any student wishing to participate. The meals will be delivered using our school buses and bus drivers. School staff have volunteered to be on the bus to assist with deliveries. The bus drivers will leave the elementary school at 9:00am and drive their regular bus route. Meals will be handed out to any student or parent waiting at their regular bus stop. The delivery of meals will occur on Monday through Friday until further notice.

Educational Resources

As educational professionals we recognize there is no replacement for the instruction provided in the classrooms from quality educators. As important as everyday classroom learning is to our students, we are facing a very unusual and challenging situation that requires that we close our school for an extended period of time. We recognize the difficulty this will cause families and the disruption it will be for our students. Our goal is to provide opportunities for students to continue learning. At the same time, we want to be sure that we don't cause unnecessary stress for students and families by setting up requirements that may not be able to be met during this time.

We have provided and will continue to update suggestions and resources for students and families. This information will be available on our website or by making arrangements through your child’s school.

We will reassess the return to school as more information becomes available. Thank you for understanding and support in this time of tremendous uncertainty. The safety of students, staff, and the Winslow community is our top priority.

If you have questions or concerns, please call your child’s school.

Peter Thiboutot

Winslow Superintendent of Schools

March 18, 2020 - 5pm - I hope this message finds you well during these difficult times. I am writing to inform you that starting tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, Winslow Schools will be delivering meals to any student wishing to participate. The meals will be delivered using our school buses and bus drivers. School staff have volunteered to be on the bus to assist with deliveries. The bus divers will leave the elementary school at 9:00am and drive their regular bus route. Meals will be handed out to any student or parent waiting at their regular bus stop. The delivery of meals will begin tomorrow and continue Monday through Friday until further notice. Thank you and stay safe.

Peter Thiboutot

Winslow Superintendent of Schools

March 15, 2020 - 3pm - Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff,

Winslow Public Schools has been continually monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within any of the Winslow schools. However, in an effort to be proactive in protecting the health and safety of our students, staff, and community, Winslow Public Schools will be closed Monday, March 16th through Friday, March 27th pending further notice.

This decision was made in consultation with many and out of an abundance of caution to follow the rapidly changing guidance regarding enhancing social distancing efforts to minimize the spread of the virus. This decision has not been made lightly and we certainly empathize and understand the significant burden this will cause families in the coming days.

Staff may report to work on Monday, March 16 to pick up needed materials/equipment from their classrooms. Parents may contact the school to make arrangements to retrieve essential items such as student medications or items from the students locker or classroom. Starting Monday, the District’s Central Office along with each school’s principal office will operate with essential staff but will be closed to the public unless otherwise notified.

School Breakfast and Lunches

Winslow Public Schools will be providing breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday from 9:00 am-10:00 am. for all students who wish to participate. This will begin on Monday, March 16, 2020. Both meals can be picked up during this time. The meals can be picked up at the following locations and should be taken off site: Winslow Elementary School (curbside pickup only), Clinton Avenue Playground, Halifax Street Park and the Vassalboro Community School (curbside only).

Educational Resources:

As educational professionals we recognize there is no replacement for the instruction provided in the classrooms from quality educators. As important as everyday classroom learning is to our students, we are facing a very unusual and challenging situation that requires that we close our school for a period of time. We recognize the difficulty this will cause families and the disruption it will be for our students. Our goal is to provide opportunities for students to continue learning. At the same time, we want to be sure that we don't cause unnecessary stress for students and families by setting up requirements that may not be able to be met during this time.

While students are out of school, we want them to continue with their learning, even if it doesn't look exactly like their usual schoolwork. We encourage students to take advantage of this Let's Keep Learning time to explore things that they are interested in learning.

We will be providing suggestions and resources for students and families. This information will be available on our website or by making arrangements through your child’s school.

We will reassess the return to school as more information becomes available. Thank you for understanding and support in this time of tremendous uncertainty. The safety of students, staff, and the Winslow community is our top priority.

If you have questions or concerns, please call your child’s school.

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot

Winslow Superintendent of Schools

March 13, 2020 - 2pm - Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff,

As you know, information regarding the coronavirus is changing on a daily basis. Winslow Public Schools has taken precautionary measures to keep our students, staff and community members safe while they attend school.

Our community is accustomed to short-term school closures due to snow days or other weather-related issues, but this unprecedented health crisis has created the possibility of an extended school closure. In preparation for such an event, Winslow Public Schools is developing plans to address two critical areas: student nutrition and student learning.

Student nutrition:

In the event of a school closure, the preliminary plan is for the district to follow a process similar to our summer meals program. That program uses a variety of sites throughout Winslow to deliver meals to students.

Student learning:

School staff are identifying learning resources to support students and families with ongoing learning. Due to the uncertainty of whether such a closure may occur and the timing and duration of a potential closure, the resources will not be replacement lessons for specific classrooms or grade level topics. The learning resources will come from a variety of sources such as our teaching staff and the Maine Curriculum Leaders Association, and may be available in a variety of formats for students and families to use as they find appropriate.

We hope this plan strikes a balance between supporting ongoing learning and recognizing that there will be additional challenges facing households as we move through this unpredictable period.

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot

Superintendent of Winslow Schools


March 13, 2020 - 11am - Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff,

The Winslow Administrative Leadership Team met this morning to discuss the recent developments and decisions made statewide to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The following decisions are being made knowing that we have a responsibility to do everything within our power to keep our students, staff, and community members safe.

To that end, Winslow Public Schools have made the following decisions that will take effect starting Monday, March 16, 2020:

A. All after-school activities are cancelled for the foreseeable future. This includes athletic practices, club meetings, etc. There will be no late buses after school;

B. Winslow Public School facilities will no longer be available to outside groups until further notice;

C. All non-essential meetings are cancelled;

D. As much as possible, all essential meetings will be done online or by telephone.

E. Parent/Teacher conferences will only take place by telephone or through online communications.

F. Parent drop off and pick up will be done at the front doors. For the safety of our children and community, we ask that parents and caregivers not enter the building during drop off and pick up times. Staff members will be available for supervision of students.

G. There will be no school assemblies or large group use of our buildings;

H. All buses will receive extra sanitizing on a daily basis;

I. The custodial staff will place a heavy emphasis on sanitizing high-touch areas on a daily basis;

J. Open campus privileges for all eligible students at Winslow High School have been cancelled;

Please know that these decisions were not easy to make. Our immediate response is an attempt to put practices in place that will slow the spread of the virus. The safety of our students, staff and community members is paramount.

I will continue to provide you with updates on a regular basis.

Thank you for your understanding and support as we work through these difficult times.

Peter Thiboutot

Superintendent of Winslow Schools

March 12, 2020 - Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff,

As you are well aware, the coronavirus has become a major concern for all of us. Yesterday, the coronavirus was declared a Global Pandemic by the World Health Organization. Miraculously, there are still no reported cases of the coronavirus in Maine. However, our neighboring states and the majority of states across the country have reported cases of the virus, which is having a major impact on how we function as a society.

Although there are no reported cases in Maine, many school-affiliated organizations are taking a very aggressive stance in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus by cancelling or postponing events.

Here in Winslow, district administrators, directors, nurses, and representatives from the Teachers Association met to discuss the various questions and scenarios that could occur should there be an outbreak in our area. Topics ranged from sanitation of our schools and busses to what would happen if we actually had to close schools for a period of time.

One thing that quickly became clear is the fact that it's very difficult to make definitive plans due to the unpredictability of an outbreak. We discussed precautionary measures and common things we can all do to help prevent the spread of the virus. I've attached several articles which I think you will find very informative.

Please know that the Winslow Public Schools will continue to follow CDC guidance regarding staff or students who are sick. While we are still learning about the coronavirus and possible symptoms, we do know it is similar to the FLU in that the symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath. Both illnesses are highly contagious and can come on quickly. If staff or students are experiencing any of these symptoms accompanied with a fever, they should not return to school until their temperature has been normal for a full 24 hours [without the use of fever reducing medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen]. If you have any questions regarding your symptoms or your child’s symptoms, your primary care provider is the best person to call. If your student is ill, please keep them home and notify the school office they will be absent.

If you have travel plans, please consider the risks involved. Your child could be asked to remain at home for a set number of days if you were in an area where there were infected people.

We will continue to provide updates on this website. We encourage you to visit the website on a regular basis for updated information on this situation. Please do not hesitate to contact your building principal, school nurse, or myself with questions you might have. We will do our best to post answers to common questions on the website mentioned.

Due to the uniqueness of this situation and the rapidly changing information, please know that the best laid out plan today may change tomorrow. In the end, it will take "an all hands on deck" approach if we find ourselves in a pandemic situation in our community.

Thank you,

Peter Thiboutot

Superintendent of Winslow Schools

March 4, 2020 - Important information from our Nursing Team regarding the Flu and the coronavirus.