JAY — The state is looking to add pool testing to its tool kit, Regional School Unit 73 Superintendent Scott Albert told school board members at their Thursday, May 27, meeting.

“They’re looking at districts COVID testing their students in the hope of lessening outbreaks,” Albert said. “At the moment it is tied to doing away with some of the social distancing for fall.”

Students would be tested weekly in groups, he said. If there is a positive, that group would be tested again, he noted.

“The goal is to have less kids be out if there is a positive test,” Albert said.

Some area superintendents aren’t happy with the plan because it feels like the state is trying to strong arm them, there are still a lot of questions, he noted.

“Is it safe to be less than three feet,” Albert asked. “If it is, we should do away with it.”

Parents need to give permission and pool testing won’t do away with the six foot distance while eating rule, he said. It would mitigate the three foot rule for buses and classrooms, he noted.

“Getting all the kids on the buses would be helpful for us,” Albert said. “We know the gyms are going to be giving up spots to make sure we can have six foot distances.”

A back up plan will be ready to go but the goal is to have one bus run with all the schools opening at the same time every day, he said.

“If we can’t, we would have to have two bus runs and the schools opening at different times,” Albert said.

In other business the board approved the purchase of a van. The bid of $27,359 for a new Ford van was awarded to Bailey Brothers Ford in Livermore Falls.

Four bids were received according to Transportation Director Jim Schink.

Home Auto Group, formerly Farmington Ford gave a bid of $32,598 for a new Ford van.

Franklin Chrysler in Farmington bid $28,923 for a 2017 Chrysler van with 31,021 miles. O’Connor Auto Park in Augusta bid $34,299.35 for a 2020 Chrysler van with 8,708 miles.

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