SAD 70 students, staff to have extended Thanksgiving break due to COVID-19

HODGDON, Maine — Students at Hodgdon Middle-High School and Mill Pond Elementary school will be getting an extended break for the Thanksgiving recess.

SAD 70 Superintendent Stephen Fitzpatrick told parents Wednesday that the district would be shutting down the week of Nov. 22-26 because of a rise in COVID-19 cases in the district.

“Currently, SAD 70 schools are experiencing high levels of COVID 19 active cases and resultant quarantines that require a deep cleaning and airing out of our schools,” Fitzpatrick said in an email to parents.

SAD 70 has 12 active cases in the district, according to its website, and has experienced 37 cases since school began in late August. SAD 70 is one of just two school districts in Aroostook County to have an optional mask policy in place.

“Teachers and students are struggling with all this COVID stuff,” he said. “This way everyone gets a break and has a fresh start after the holiday.”

The district was slated to have normal classes Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 22-23, next week but the school will now be closed on those days. To replace the two lost school days, the district is eliminating two teacher in-service days planned for March 17-18.

Last year, a similar scenario took place with several schools in the region taking the whole week off as COVID cases spiked.

“This (break) will allow for a deep cleanse of both schools and nine days (inclusive of weekends) to clear all current quarantine students and staff,” Fitzpatrick said. “All classes will resume on Monday Nov. 29, at both schools. We wish you all a great Thanksgiving and a corresponding positive time with family and friends.”


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