Dear Brewer Schools’ Families & Staff,
Brewer Community School (BCS) will have remote learning days for grades 3, 4, and 8 Tuesday, January 19 through Friday, January 22. The rest of the grades at BCS will be open for in-person learning next week, and Brewer High School will be also open for in-person learning for the upcoming 4-day school week.
There have been three individuals in the past week associated with Brewer Community School (BCS) who have tested positive for COVID-19. Based on the layout of the school which includes five separate wings, and on how students and staff have been grouped into pods within those wings, this plan both adheres to critical safety measures and allows us to bring in all grades that are not affected by the recent COVID-19 cases.
Pre-K and grades 1, 2, 5, 6, & 7 operate as their own school within a school and did not have exposure to any positive case. Theirs will be a safe in-person school experience this week. If we get any new or different information we would immediately adjust the plan and communicate that to you.
Grades 3, 4, & 8 will be safe by learning remotely this week. Those students and, where it’s age appropriate, parents and guardians should look for an email from teachers that will give instruction on how to log into classes no later than 9:00 a.m. on the given day. Students who are not able to connect for their classes will be able to make up the work. Please contact the office and/or teacher if your child is unable to attend.
All close contacts of these cases have already been notified by phone and/or email. Should anyone need it, this is a link on COVID-19 testing in Maine.
Bag lunches are available for any students out on quarantine or who are learning remotely this coming week. Here is the request form: Lunch Request Form. Families can pick up the lunch by driving up to the front entrance at Brewer Community School between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on the day it is needed. Please submit your form by 9:00 a.m.
With Monday being a holiday, the 4-day school week has the schedule listed below. Everyone, whether in-person or remote, will follow this schedule:
Tuesday, January 19: A cohort
Wednesday, January 20: B cohort
Thursday, January 21: A cohort
Friday, January 22: B cohort
Please continue to diligently monitor students for any symptoms before sending them to school. The same is true for Brewer School Department staff. Individuals should call a health care provider if they develop symptoms. It is important to call a healthcare facility and/or contact our school nurses before showing up in person if symptoms appear.
People should stay home when they are sick. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that ranges from mild to severe. It can be more severe in adults 60 years and older and in those with underlying conditions. The virus mainly spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes and an uninfected person breathes in the virus. Signs and symptoms include the following:
- fever or chills
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- muscle or body aches
- new loss of taste or smell
- sore throat
- congestion or runny nose
- nausea or vomiting or diarrhea
Please keep in mind that many things can cause respiratory illness, so students and staff should be up-to-date on influenza and routine vaccinations.
A negative test result does not get an individual out of quarantine. Maine CDC recommends prevention measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We have incorporated these into our Keys to Safety in the Brewer Schools.
While it is rare for cases to spread inside a school setting due to diligent masking and the observance of other safety practices, we are thoroughly investigating and will communicate with you if there is any new information.
Questions for the school should be directed to Carol Warmuth RN, BCS school nurse or K-4 Principal Allison Kahkonen; 5-8 Principal Jason Richards; or Assistant Principal Sam Pangburn (all at 404-5700). For BHS please call school nurse Cathy Sherman RN, Principal Brent Slowikowski, or Assistant Principal Scott Walker (all at 989-4140); or Superintendent Gregg Palmer (at 989-3160). Email addresses include first initials and last names followed by @breweredu.org
Please emphasize to your student(s) that they should attend their remote learning sessions. Their teachers will be conducting these and they are important and each is considered a regular class period.
We are being guided by the best thinking around safety, and after these remote sessions next week we look forward to having grades 3, 4, & 8 to be back for in-person learning. Through the challenge of this year, it is the trust and belief in one another that is sustaining us. This plan is part of our contract with you to keep everyone safe while working to have school open.
Gregg Palmer, Superintendent of School