Saturday, September 5, 2020

COVID 19 Update 9/5/2020

 Dear Madawaska School Department Family Members,

We wanted to update you on our efforts to combat COVID-19 as we welcome students back to school. Our school community is diligently adhering to our strict safety protocols and behaviors. Over the course of the coming year, we will be updating you regularly on our COVID-19 efforts as part of Valley Unified Education Service Center’s commitment to transparency.

Toward that end, we wanted you to know that we have identified one individual who has tested positive this week for COVID-19. This individual is currently in isolation at home and will only return to work once clearance is obtained according to CDC guidance and confirmed by the primary care physician. As planned, we immediately activated our tracing program and began reaching out to the people in our school community who may have been in contact with this individual. Luckily, because of how early in the school year this was detected, the identified individual had yet to come on school grounds or appear for work.

Our protocols call for anyone who tests positive to notify the School Department right away. Contact tracing for students and staff commences as soon as the School Department is informed of a positive test result.  If contact tracing determines that your child has come in close contact with an individual who has tested positive, you would be notified immediately. 

As the pandemic continues, there is an expectation that there will be positive cases within our community. COVID-19 is everywhere, and many people across the state and country who are testing positive are asymptomatic. We wanted to assure you that we are taking all necessary steps to prevent additional cases or a spread. After preparation all summer, in consultation with our health and wellness advisors and experts, we are pleased that our requests to have staff and students perform symptom screenings before coming to school, and staying home when symptoms appear, have worked in identifying this case.  

We appreciate the cooperation and work that everyone here at the Madawaska School Department is doing to help combat COVID-19, including your child(ren). You can help us as part of this process. Let your child(ren) know that you support our masking, hand washing, physical distancing and symptom screening each morning before leaving the house. Please encourage them to avoid gatherings with large numbers of people in close proximity to each other. Let’s work together to keep our students and staff healthy. The health and well-being of our school community remains our first priority.

Thank you for your cooperation and support! 



Benjamin Sirois

Superintendent of Schools

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Reintegration to School Planning Process

Valley Unified Begins Reintegration to School Planning Process

The Valley Unified Regional Education Center has created four planning teams to develop a road map and timeline for a safe and efficient return to school for students and staff from MSAD #27, MSAD #33, and the Madawaska School Department for the 2020-2021 school year.

Each planning team will consider multiple possibilities and formats in order to develop a flexible, fluid plan that can be quickly adjusted to ensure our schools, students, staff, families, and communities remain safe and that teaching and learning continue as local, regional, and state developments take place relative to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Guidance from the Governor's office, the Maine Department of Education, and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention will guide our progress through each phase of the plan.

On-going communication with health and safety professionals, school staff, students, parents, families, and community members will be a critical part of the on-going planning process.

Information and notifications concerning each phase of the plan will be sent through SwiftReach and will appear here, on the Valley Unified Facebook page, and on both school and school unit websites and social media pages as steps are finalized.

For preliminary, general information concerning the components of the reintegration plan, the planning teams, and the online plan timeline, go to


Change to School Calendar

Dear Valley Unified Parents, Guardians, Staff Members, and Students,

A revised current (2019-20) school year calendar has been approved by the Madawaska School Committee, the MSAD27 Board of Directors, and the MSAD33 Board of Directors. This calendar revision has a final student school day as June 5, 2020. This will be the final day of the 2019-20 school year and our current remote learning plan. 

Our educators will be working the week of June 8 and June 15 on plans to refine and improve remote learning plans, should we need to implement them again in the future. Soon, you will receive a survey about remote learning, specific to what we have done well and what we need to improve upon. We appreciate the feedback as we look to improve the remote learning experience for all involved.

Finally, plans are currently underway for summer school offerings. The method of summer school delivery is contingent on the Governor’s plans for a phased re-opening of the economy and businesses and the guidance provided to schools. More information on summer school offerings will be available as we receive guidance from the Maine Department of Education.
As always, we appreciate the support and dedication so many of you have put into our remote learning plan. We couldn’t have accomplished all we did without you!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Maine Department of Education Coronavirus Update Page

The Maine Department of Education has started a COVID-19 resource page located at

This resource page has all of the department's news updates, resources, and meetings related to the mass school closings.  Click on this link if you have questions related to this crisis and how it is potentially impacting your local schools.

Remote Learning Guide for Students and Parents

Valley Unified
Remote Learning Plan

Guide for Students and Parents

Over the past 2 1/2 weeks, teachers and learners have been getting used to the new remote learning plan, as we began with phase 1 and 2 of the plan which was a focus on past learning and enrichment.  As we begin phase 3 next week, it is important that all students and parents understand the expectations of the remote learning plan.  We thank you for taking time to review this resource carefully. 

Valley Unified Schools are committed to helping each learner succeed during our remote learning plan school days.  Please be sure to let us know how we can provide you with additional support! Please be sure to ask your teacher if you are unsure about expectations, and to continue to communicate regularly with each of your teachers during the remote learning days.

Download the guide HERE:

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Request to Support Student Learning

Request to Support Student Learning

Here is a link to the VUESC Superintendent's blog which outlines how the district will be adjusting to meet the needs of students in the coming weeks.  Please take a peek at this document.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Internet Resources Options for Area Families

COVID-19 Internet Access Guidance for
Families without Internet

Area schools have shifted learning to use remote learning techniques.  This can be difficult if you do not have adequate internet functionality.  If you have a PK-12 student or teacher in your household:

If you are in an area that can receive Spectrum cable internet:
  • Spectrum is providing free home internet and WiFi for 60 days for any household with a PK-12 student or teacher that has not subscribed to Spectrum internet in the last 30 days.
  • To request this service, call Spectrum at 1-855-243-8892.
If you are in an area that can receive Consolidated Communications DSL service:
  • Consolidated Communications (formerly FairPoint) is providing 60 days for any household with a PK-12 student or teacher who qualifies and is within their service area.
  • To request this service, call Consolidated Communications at 1-844-968-7224.
If you currently have Verizon Wireless as a cell phone service provider:
  • Verizon is offering 15GB additional Mobile Hotspot data to nearly all plans, to be used between 3/25/20-4/30/20.
  • Please refer here to learn more.
If you currently have US Cellular as a cell phone service provider:
  • US Cellular is lifting data caps, overage charges, and tethering/hotspot capabilities on almost all of their consumer plans through the end of May.
  • US Cellular has acquired more wireless capacity to cope with the added traffic. See this.
  • Please refer here to learn more
If you currently have Sprint as a cell phone service provider:
  • Current customers can receive unlimited data for 60 days with metered data plans.
  • They are providing 20GB of Mobile Hotspot data free to customers with hotspot-capable devices.
  • Please refer here to learn more
Study from car initiative:
  • Many school districts in Maine are providing internet access from the parking lot. School districts have created guests networks that can be accessed from the parking lot.
  • Please refer here to learn more
If you are concerned about being able to make internet payments during this pandemic:
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued guidance for providers limiting or eliminating service termination, late fees, and other access supports.
  • Read full guidelines here.