New SOP (again) and RSU 63 Communication

TO: RSU 63 PARENTS and COMMUNITY
FROM:  SUSAN SMITH, SUPERINTENDENT/DIRECTOR of CURRICULUM & INSTR.
RE:  NEW SOP (again) and RSU 63 COMMUNICATION
DATE:  WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 12, 2022

New Standard Operating Procedures for Schools from the Maine CDC
The Maine CDC “Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the Investigation of COVID-19 Cases in Pre-K – 12 Schools” have been updated again today, Wednesday, January 12th.   The changes are to “clarify questions from the previous iteration and to offer an option to suspend contact tracing for those schools who are implementing a universal masking policy, defined as ‘A policy of requiring consistent and correct usage of well-fitting masks in indoor spaces for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors, and across all school-based and school-sponsored activities. A universal masking policy allows for removal of masks while eating/drinking in designated spaces, but not for indoor mask breaks.' " (Source: Maine DOE Priority Notice “Updates to Pooled Testing and Standard Operating Procedure” dated Jan. 12, 2022)

The entire updated SOP can be viewed, here
https://www.maine.gov/doe/sites/maine.gov.doe/files/2022-01/School%20SOP%2001.11.22%20%282%29.pdf

Communication
While the new SOP does allow RSU 63 to suspend contract tracing, RSU 63 will continue to email individuals who are close contacts from a school exposure to the extent to which we are able.  Close contacts from an RSU 63 exposure will receive an email as quickly as we can, stating the important information regarding when the contact occurred and what to do. 

I will continue to email our school community when there are positive cases associated with RSU 63 schools.  However, that communication will most likely be summary once a week and will not occur with every case.

Pooled Testing
“Pooled testing remains a valuable resource, as it provides serial testing and early detection of cases of COVID-19. For families without the means or resources to access a test, this program is critical for ensuring equitable options to monitor for the virus. The recent surge caused by the highly transmissible Omicron variant has put excessive strain on school staff who are valiantly administering their pooled testing programs. Maine CDC has issued a memorandum, offering temporary changes to the pooled testing protocols." (Source: Maine DOE Priority Notice “Updates to Pooled Testing and Standard Operating Procedure” dated Jan. 12, 2022)

The entire pooled testing memo can be accessed, here.
https://www.maine.gov/doe/sites/maine.gov.doe/files/2022-01/K-12%20Pooled%20Testing-%20Memo.pdf

RSU 63 will continue pooled testing and continue to use the BinoxNOW test as a follow-up for individuals in a positive pool.  We will continue to report positive BinoxNOW test results to the Maine CDC.  However, we will temporarily suspend reporting negative BinoxNOW test results. 

To Register a Student for Pooled Testing:

  1. First, click here (https://testcenter.concentricbyginkgo.com/minor-consent). This is the link to register a student.
  2. Enter your child’s information and their school’s access code:
    1. Eddington’s code is 2MF8WL
    2. Holden’s code is UZW187
    3. Holbrook’s code is G4A8XL
  3. Read and sign the consent form.   

Note: If you need to provide consent for more than one child, please complete the process once for each child.

Thank you for continuing to do your best to take care of your family and our community.