Dear Staff and Brewer Schools’ Families,
This letter is to inform you that we received notification on Friday evening of a person associated with Brewer High School (BHS) who recently tested positive for COVID-19.
As a result will have remote learning days this Monday, December 21 and Tuesday, December 22 and will close the high school building. Students should look for an email from teachers that will give instruction on how to log into classes. Students who are not able to connect for their classes will be able to make up the work. BHS will be back to its in-person sessions on Monday, January 4, 2021.
Monday and Tuesday were scheduled as half days for students with staff professional development occurring in the afternoons. We will follow that same plan, meaning that academic classes will end at 11:00 a.m. Here is the high school bell schedule for these two days.
We work hard to offer all of our scheduled in-person instructional days but readily move to remote learning when we have not fully completed important safety protocols or when the Maine Center for Disease Control (MCDC) requires us to go to remote learning according to their criteria. Because we learned of this case on Friday evening, we need time in order to be able to complete all protocols, our work with the MCDC may require more time, and we cannot be sure about finding sufficient substitutes. By moving to remote learning on Monday and Tuesday, students will have more access to their regular teachers who are required to quarantine.
Nothing in this case has any impact on Brewer Community School (BCS), so they will have their regularly scheduled Monday and Tuesday sessions on December 21 and 22.
As we identify close contacts they will be notified by phone and/or email with additional information today, Saturday the 19th, 2020. Should anyone need it, this is a link on COVID-19 testing in Maine.
BHS will have a bag lunch available. 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 on Monday and Tuesday between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Please submit your form by 9:00 a.m. of the day you would like to pick up a lunch.
We appreciate the work families have done to monitor their students’ daily health and symptoms. This is a critical piece to our success with in-person learning. And while we have had some remote days at BHS, we have been in session the vast majority of school days since opening after Labor Day last September.
Individuals should call a health care provider if they develop symptoms. 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
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 school Principal Brent Slowikowski, Assistant Principal Scott Walker, nurses Cathy Sherman RN at BHS and Carol Warmuth RN at BCS, or Superintendent Gregg Palmer. Email addresses include first initials and last names followed by @breweredu.org
Our recent remote learning days have been very well done by staff and attendance has been good. Please emphasize to your student(s) that they should log in and attend their classes this Monday and Tuesday.
We will manage this time period and emerge from it as a stronger Brewer School Department. I am proud of Brewer High School and all it has done to serve our students and families during this recent surge of the virus. We will be here better than ever long after this virus has been controlled and will look back on these days knowing we got through them as a community and as a family.
Gregg Palmer, Superintendent of School