AUBURN — The School Committee on Wednesday passed amendments to the district’s graduation policy that would offer students one of three diplomas.

Each of the three differ based on the number of credits earned. Students who have 20 credits are eligible to graduate with a standard diploma, whereas 24 credits will earn students a diploma with distinction and 28 credits, a diploma with honors.

Previously, all students needed 24 credits to graduate. All three diplomas exceed the state minimum requirement of 18 credits.

As part of a phase-in plan, current high school seniors will only need 26 credits to receive a diploma with honors.

Additionally, the community service requirement was reduced from 24 hours to 18.

School Committee members also discussed placing Narcan, an emergency medicine used to treat opioid overdoses, in schools.


Assistant Superintendent Sue Dorris said school nurses secure regular medications in a locked cabinet in their office. However, she said Narcan needs to be readily available in case of an emergency and should be more accessible. The nasal spray could be administered to students, staff, parents, or community members in crisis.

Dorris said school administrators and nurses will work together to determine the best place to keep the medicine in each school building, likely in the nurse’s office or front office. She confirmed that staff members will be trained to administer Narcan.

Two people spoke to the School Committee during public discussion.

Marney Libbey, a fifth grade teacher at Fairview Elementary School, praised the addition of the new math and literacy coaches at her school.

“That is one of the best things you’ve done for us, thank you so much,” she said. “We’re only two months into the school year, and I can just feel myself getting recharged because they are showing me better ways to be a better teacher to each of my students.”

A man, who has one child in Auburn Middle School and one in Edward Little High School, implored the School Committee to reconsider its universal masking policy, which was put into effect by Superintendent Cornelia Brown two weeks ago in response to an outbreak of COVID-19 at the high school.


The man, who said he and his children are vaccinated, said he and his children were happy with the school’s previous policy which gave middle and high school students the choice to wear masks. He argued that the superintendent should not have the authority to change the masking policy without a vote from the School Committee.

Arguing that cloth face masks and neck gators are ineffective at preventing the spread of COVID-19, the man told the committee that he and his children would support a mask mandate if the school provided each student and staff member with a medical-grade KN-95 or N-95 mask each day.


The School Committee later heard an update on pooled testing and COVID-19 in the district.

According to Dorris, 565 students have signed up for pooled testing, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 15.

Fairview Elementary School Principal Celeste Beaudet also provided an update from the reentry plan committee. She said 95 students and 12 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the school year.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19. Beaudet said parents should schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments with the Auburn Mall for children age 5 to 11 because the school is not planning to hold a vaccine clinic.

Four schools are in outbreak status, meaning three epidemiologically connected cases of COVID-19 were identified at each school by the Maine Center for Disease Control. They are Auburn Middle School, Edward Little High School, Sherwood Heights Elementary School and Fairview Elementary School.

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