RUMFORD — Mountain Valley High School in Rumford and Mountain Valley Middle School in Rumford held fully remote classes Monday and Tuesday after principals discovered several individuals tested positive for COVID-19.

About 40 people were quarantined at the high school and two sports teams were pulled from their activities, Regional School Unit 10 Superintendent Deb Alden told the board of directors Monday night. The decision was “just in order to figure out who could be in and who could be out,” she said.

Rumford Elementary School continues to be designated as an outbreak school, Alden said, because since February it has not gone for 28 days straight without a positive COVID-19 case.

“It doesn’t mean they can’t come to school,” Alden said. Students may attend school in person while others may choose to learn from home.

On Friday, Oxford County was designated a ‘green’ county by the Maine Department of Education, meaning the risk of spreading the coronavirus was low. The county had been designated yellow on April 23, meaning the risk was moderate.

In other business, the board approved moving all eighth grade classes to the Mexico Recreation Center in Mexico in September because it’s expected social distancing and masking will still be mandated. The move will allow more space for the fifth, sixth and seventh grade students at the middle school.

The eighth-graders would be spread among six classrooms instead of the five they are in now. Renovations “are minimal, which is very important and probably most important for time,” Alden said.

Some eighth grade students are already attending classes at the recreation center to allow more space at the school.

Sixth-graders at Hartford-Sumner Elementary School in Sumner will move to a portable building near the school this fall, according to a decision Monday by Alden, board Chairman Greg Buccina of Mexico and Director Jerry Wiley of Buckfield.

Initially, the plan was to move them into a portable building at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School, but Director Michele Casey of Buckfield and others opposed having them with the upper grades.

At a forum earlier this month, Building, Grounds and Transportation Director Scott Holmes said the high school had more space for the portable building, while the elementary school would lose playground space and bus drop-off and pickup locations.

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