KENNEBUNK – Kennebunk High School and Middle School of the Kennebunks were to switch to remote learning starting Wednesday through the end of the school week, and are poised to restart classroom instruction on Jan. 18, after the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Jan. 17.

Kennebunk High School and Middle School of the Kennebunks have been moved to remote learning until at least Jan. 18. Dan King photo

“After consultation with the Dr. Don Burgess, the RSU 21 consulting physician, and school administrators, we made the difficult determination that keeping Kennebunk High School and the Middle School of the Kennebunks open in the face of the current post-holiday community COVID-19 surge is unmanageable,” said Superintendent Terri Cooper in a message to parents. She said the decision was made due to the challenge of staffing buildings and increasing adolescent student and staff COVID-19 cases.

As of Tuesday, Jan. 11, all Pre-K to Grade 5 elementary schools will remain open for classroom instruction.

“We have heard from our parents regarding the importance of keeping our youngest learners in school whenever it is possible. Closing Kennebunk High School and Middle School of the Kennebunks now may prevent a longer period of remote instruction later in these buildings,” Cooper said.

All in-person co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are paused for the high school and middle school beginning Tuesday, Jan. 11, which has also been deemed a preparation day for staff, an opportunity for parents to pick up materials from the two schools, and a non-instructional day for high school and middle school students.

Some schools in Biddeford and Saco will also offer remote classes through the end of this week. Staffing issues and community transmission of COVID led to the decision to temporarily shutter Biddeford High School, Biddeford Regional Center of Technology, Biddeford Middle School and Saco Middle School.

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