MAINE, USA — School officials are watching carefully as the number of COVID cases continues to increase, and some school districts have announced remote learning or are canceling classes altogether.
"Between Thursday [and] Friday, it was like an explosion," said Jim Chasse, superintendent of the Hermon School Department.
That explosion included 12 teachers, three support staff, and 25 students. It prompted him to cancel classes on Monday and Tuesday.
"It reached a point where we just didn't have enough staff to have a safe day," Chasse said.
And it's not just Hermon.
The York School Department and Brunswick School Department are remote this week. Last week, it was Bonny Eagle School District going remote while Lewiston Public Schools stopped running its buses. It didn't have enough drivers because of covid.
Colleges and universities across Maine are getting ready to welcome students back.
"We are gonna move forward. We are building in some adjustment time," University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy said.
He and his team know students and staff are going to test positive, so campuses are working on being as flexible as possible while still educating students, and they're counting on the school community to do its part.
"We are asking people to take responsibility to a higher degree for their own isolation," Malloy said.
At Bowdoin College, a new plan was announced on Monday regarding the surge of COVID cases.
Part of that plan requires negative tests, vaccine boosters for students and staff, and holding the first week of the semester remotely as students from across the country come back to campus and wait for COVID test results.
"At the same time, recognizing notwithstanding the surge, we also need to get on to educating the students and providing them with the college experience which is a challenging balance with the world that we're in," Bowdoin College President Clayton Rose said in a statement.
It's a balancing act for many educators as the pandemic rages on.