REGION — The SAD 44 Board of Directors voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with updated COVID-19 protocol.

School Nurse Chris Cole said one of the changes is moving from a 72-hour remote period to a 48-hour remote period if a positive case occurs.

“We have found out pretty quickly that we are able to do the contact tracing in most cases on the same day,” Cole said. “It’s been pretty reasonable to do it in that time frame so because of that we can go to 48 hours instead of 72.”

“We seem to have the process down and we feel comfortable with it,” Cole added.

Both CPS Principal Tanya Arsenault and Telstar Principal Mark Kenney agreed with Cole’s change.

“Forty-eight hours is appropriate for being safe and mindful that everything needs to be taken care of,” Kenney said.


Director Sarah DeCato (Bethel) asked if there had been any research done on a possible increased risk of contracting the virus going from 72 to 48 hours. DeCato also asked if deep cleanings would still be performed, given the shorter amount of time.

In regard to two versus three days of remote instruction , Cole said she could not cite specific scientific evidence, but said after going through this process multiple times she has discovered that 48 hours is ample time determine close contacts and notify infected individuals. Cole also mentioned that on the third day of remote learning attendance on Zoom drops off significantly.

Arsenault told DeCato deep cleaning can be done in 48 hours.

Superintendent Dave Murphy said he expects the change to be well-received by both families and students.

Murphy said the board will revisit protocols in the future if they deem it necessary.

SAD 44 schools have shifted to remote learning on two separate occasions since returning to school in early January.

In other news, board members unanimously approved the nomination of Cathy Doyon as a fifth grade teacher at Crescent Park School to a first probationary contract. Doyon has previously taught at CPS, but left at the end of last year.

Murphy also announced that Scott Cole and Eric Luz will both be joining the district as school bus drivers. Murphy said the additions have provided  “extra support” for the schools, but that more drivers are still needed.

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