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Gardiner Middle School closed Monday due to COVID-19 outbreak

Superintendent Patricia Hopkins says a quarter of the student body has been identified as close contacts of someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

GARDINER, Maine — MSAD 11 Superintendent Pat Hopkins has announced Gardiner Regional Middle School will be closed on Monday due to a COVID-19 outbreak among students and staff.

Hopkins says there are numerous positive COVID-19 cases among both students and staff, and a quarter of the student body has been identified as close contacts and placed in quarantine.

On Monday, school leaders will determine whether to provide in-person instruction or shift to remote learning for a period of time. Hopkins says families will receive additional communication as soon as decisions are made.

In a letter to staff and families Sunday night, Hopkins wrote, "I recognize that my decision to close the middle school tomorrow, November 15, 2021, will be met with anger, frustration, and relief. My top priority is to keep our buildings open and to keep students in school. But in order to accomplish this, we must have enough staff to provide instruction and to supervise students at all times. I understand this unexpected closing puts stress on families, for which I regret. I assure you that the middle school staff, administration and I will do our best to return students to in-person learning as soon as staffing coverage is available and the number of COVID-19 positive cases stabilize."

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