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March 18, 2020 COVID-19 Closure Update
Mary Paine
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Dear RSU 2 Communities,

With the help of our food service staff, our teachers and principals, and our community partners, we have found a way to deliver food to each of our school communities for local distribution. This alternate plan will accomplish three things:

  • It will allow us flexibility in where we locate the food pick up sites.
  • It will ensure that the food goes to the families of our school communities who are in need.
  • It will provide a safer mode of distributing the food.
  • There will be no preparing of individual meals and fewer people needed on hand.
  • The site will be open to residents of the community.

Here are the general details for each town:

Hallowell and Farmingdale: Location to be determined; Beginning Friday, March 20. This plan is slightly behind the other two as we are waiting for confirmation on a site. Details about how the distribution will work will be communicated by once the site is confirmed. In general the RSU will send boxes of various grab and go food items. These food items will be available for patrons at a specified time of day.

Richmond and Dresden: Location Richmond Police Department, Beginning Thursday, March 19. The plan will work in the same way as the Hallowell-Farmingdale plan. An informational bulletin can be found here and on the Richmond website and Facebook page.

Monmouth: A food pantry has received the food for the town and is working to distribute it to families who are in need.

Please understand that given the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 crisis, we do not know for how long the RSU can supply food for these programs, or how long the towns will be able to keep them operating.

Continuity of Education: In my initial school closure message, I said that we would not attempt to provide remote learning through March 27. We now know that we will be closed for a much longer period as the governor has recommended that all classroom instruction cease for thirty days. Last evening I let you know that we were building resources and educational content that teachers could contribute to. The administrative team and I have talked for hours about how to provide ongoing learning, especially in these early days of the closure. This afternoon, after hearing all sides, I decided that we will ask each teacher to connect with their students by whatever means they can and to provide them with educational content. This educational content will not look the same across the district and grade levels, and each building will work out the best method of supporting ongoing learning. When they contact their students and families, teachers will also be asking a couple of questions about internet accessibility so that we can know which children may have trouble connecting with their teachers. I can’t promise we can fix connectivity gaps, but this first step is to gather information.

As a final note: Last evening, I sent out an update on food service and continuity of education during the closure. In that message, I said that RSU 2 would not be providing meal service during the closure and that I would explore other options.  I feel deeply your need for information, and I want to be responsive to the many requests I get for updates and news. 

In this case, had I finished exploring the alternate plan before updating you, I could have given you more positive news in these very hard times. There was no way of knowing that at the time, and I knew you all wanted information, so I told you what I could at the time. I apologize for the angst my premature message caused. 

With continued care for you and your families,