Head of School Christopher M. McDonald assures parents and the MCI community of the school's preparedness and procedures in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. MCI continues to monitor the situation both domestically and internationally, following the guidance of the United States Centers for Disease Control.
On March 15, MCI transitioned to online classes, which we are planning to continue until the end of the academic school year, May 22, 2020. All school events are canceled until further notice. MCI students who would like to participate in the Maine School Administrative District #53 Free Breakfast/Lunch Program can call (207) 487-5575 or or (207) 487-5145.
MCI's Wellness Center and administrative team recently reviewed and updated the school’s Emergency Preparedness Plan in light of COVID-19, and Mr. McDonald recently met with Terri Vieira, president of Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield, Maine. Based upon this and guidelines established by Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization, MCI implemented restrictions on students, staff members and guests traveling from high-risk countries. This decision is based on the geographic prevalence of the virus and an increasing understanding of its nature and severity.
- August 26 | MCI OFFICIAL OPENING PLAN
- August 26 | Letter from the Academic Office
- August 21 | MCI 2020-2021 REOPENING LETTER
- August 07 | Fall 2020 Planning
- July 31st | MCI School Update
- July 17 | Letter to MCI Students and Families
- June 8 | Letter to MCI Families
- May 20 | Letter to Boarding Students and Parents/Guardians
- May 13 | Letter to Seniors and Parents/Guardians
- May 8 | Letter to Seniors and Parents/Guardians
- April 30 | Letter to Students and Parents/Guardians
- April 9 | Letter to Students and Parents/Guardians
- April 7 | Letter to Parents of Boarding Students
- March 20 | Message to Parents/Guardians of District Students
- March 20 | Letter to Parents/Guardians of Boarding Students
- March 17 | Letter to All Parents/Guardians
- March 15 | Letter to Parents/Guardians of MCI Students
Please read the letter from the Academic Office on August 26 here.
Complete this survey by Sunday, August 30th, at 6:00 PM: MCI Hybrid Learning Model Form.
Failure to complete the survey will result in your student defaulting to Hybrid Learning Cohort A/B, and it will be presumed that your student will not need bus transportation or hotspot devices.
June 8, 2020
Dear MCI Families,
I hope you had a chance to see our graduation ceremonies this past weekend. The first of its kind, we had a virtual presentation in the morning, a live one with limited numbers in the afternoon, and a drive up one to conclude a full day of celebration for our newest alumni, the Class of 2020. You can view the ceremony by clicking on our website on the Academics tab. Congratulations: our graduates define resilience for all of us to see.
As we move into the summer, I wish to share with you our activities. This week, we have students returning for a three-week Credit Recovery Program, and just like you will see in the fall, the courses are being taught in person and digitally for remote learning. This program is providing our community with the oportunity to follow the CDC guidelines for reintegration of students to the classroom. Our custodial staff, teachers, and support personnel are putting into practice now what we may be asked to do in the fall. Following this program and beginning in July, we will open our residential program to the Bossov Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive and the inaugural launch of our day/residential STEM Camp. A football camp will also occur at the end of July. Once again, this provides us the opportunity to implement the guidelines for reopening our boarding component of the school before we have all of our full-year students in August. As you can see, we are an active campus! Our teachers, too, are working behind the scenes to prepare their courses for both digital and in-person delivery. We will begin our faculty meetings in August with discussion of our shared summer reading, Creating Innovators, by Tony Wagner.
Finally, at our year-end MCI faculty and staff meeting, and with input from our returning students, we discussed our theme for the 2020-21 academic year. Our previous year's theme, resilience, certainly fit the challenges of COVID-19. As we look at our world and our country now, we have the opportunity to help move America further toward reaching its ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence: that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. As we all seek a more just society free from discrimination and prejudice, we must first have the ability to sense other people's emotions and to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. Our theme for 2020-21 is Empathy.
We look forward to seeing everyone in a few months, and we hope you have a safe and productive summer. Please feel free to reach out to me or to anyone here if you have any questions about what promises to be an outstanding upcoming year at MCI.
All the Best,
Christopher M. McDonald, Head of School
May 20, 2020
Dear MCI Parents and Students,
I write to you on a sunny, gorgeous May day as students are finishing up their studies this week. Due to this great weather, they have had the opportunity to relax in the lounge chairs on front campus and play some intense volleyball outside. With rural Maine relaxing restrictions on our local businesses, we planned a delicious ice-cream social with our town store delivering the treats. You can see the pictures here.
I want to thank you personally for your trust in MCI to keep your son/daughter safe here on campus and engaged in learning albeit through different methods than we are all accustomed to. If you have not had a chance to see some of the student work, please take a look at our Innovation Gallery. I am amazed at the quality of our teachers and the quality of student work--they are truly resilient and adaptive. These skills will be most beneficial for them throughout their lives.
Finally, a couple of dates to mark on your calendar. On June 7 at 9am, we will live-stream a portion of our graduation ceremony. More information will be posted on our website and messaged out to you regarding how to access this. We will also be doing in-person diplomas throughout the afternoon.
Next year, students should plan on returning to campus on August 23. We will have orientation activities and group fun planned for them before starting the academic year. Our 2020-21 school calendar can be accessed here where you can see our various break times throughout the year. And if you have not returned your re-enrollment contract yet, please send to Maggie Ren firstname.lastname@example.org or Jeannine Cloutier Jcloutier@mci-school.org as soon as possible.
Feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions or concerns. Again, thank you for entrusting us with your son/daughter--we take this responsibility to heart as if they are our own children. Have a great summer.
All the Best,
Christopher M. McDonald, Head of School
May 13, 2020
Dear Seniors and Parents/Guardians,
I want to share with you our graduation plans, details and format. The graduation committee has gone to great lengths and taken the time necessary to create a ceremony that will celebrate the Class of 2020 safely while preserving as many MCI graduation traditions as possible.
On Sunday, June 7, our graduation will comprise an online ceremony and an in-person ceremony for those who would like to come to campus to receive their diploma.
The online ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9:00 am and will be live-streamed for guests. A Zoom meeting for the Class of 2020 to participate in the online ceremony and be recognized individually will happen simultaneously for them to enjoy and contribute to the event. The ceremony will include the following components that will be happening live in Wright Gym, on the stage with the traditional backdrop containing the class motto:
- Invocation and Benediction by the Class Chaplain
- Addresses from the Salutatorian, Valedictorian, Class President, Commencement Speaker, and Head of School
- Student Awards
- Senior Slideshow and Video Celebration
- Virtual diploma ceremony for students who cannot or choose not to receive their diploma in person
Following the online ceremony, there will be an intermission as we transition to begin the in-person diploma ceremony for students who would like to receive their diploma at school. In order to meet the needs of all students and families who would like to receive their diploma in person, there will be two options to choose from: a traditional diploma ceremony in Wright Gym or a drive-up option to receive the diploma from a vehicle.
To achieve this and respect the Maine state guidelines of no more than 50 people at a gathering, we will conduct in-person diploma ceremony in the Wright Gym ceremony to groups of 10 students at a time with each student being allowed 2 guests (no exceptions) to join them. Students will wear their caps and gown, and the in-person ceremony will be approximately 20-30 minutes. At the conclusion of each session, students and families will exit the gym, and the next group of 10 students and families will enter to go through the ceremony. We will schedule as many groupings as necessary so that all students and families who wish to receive their diploma in this traditional manner have that opportunity. We will be very structured in this format to assure that we are complying with the guidelines of the Department of Education. All in attendance will need to bring and wear a mask as required per these guidelines.
Following the Wright Gym diploma ceremony, there will be an opportunity for those who would prefer to receive their diploma in person, but not be in a crowd, to participate in a drive-up ceremony to receive their diploma from their vehicle. That ceremony will take place in front of Weymouth Hall.
There is still planning to do now that we have determined the very best format possible. The next correspondence you receive about graduation will be a crucial one because it will contain a Google Form that each student will need to fill out indicating:
- Which diploma ceremony (s)he will participate in - Online, Wright Gym, or Drive up
- Names of two guests (if participating in the Wright Gym ceremony)
- Post-secondary plans and other information
That form will be sent out on Thursday, May 14, and will need to be completed and submitted by Monday, May 19. From that survey, the school will put together the groupings of students for the various diploma ceremonies. Once that is completed, we will know how many groupings we will have for the Wright Gym ceremony and assign times for each grouping that will be communicated back to you no later than May 29.
We appreciate your patience and your support as we navigate through these uncharted waters. Our goal has been to make this graduation the best that it possibly can be, and we feel like we have taken the time and involved the people necessary to arrive there. Please feel free to reach out to the school if you have questions or concerns. For efficiency purposes, I am going to direct you to contact Mr. Bertrand directly if you have questions specific to the ceremonies. He has chaired the committee on this process and is overseeing the details of the ceremony. Otherwise, if I or your class advisors, can be of assistance, please feel free to contact us at your convenience.
More to come. But for now, look for those surveys and get them done so that we can put the final touches on the details of our planning! Take care of yourselves and each other, and let’s look forward to a great celebration of the Class of 2020.
Christopher M. McDonald
Head of School
May 8, 2020
Dear MCI Seniors and Parents/Guardians,
I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and well. Needless to say, this has been an unpredictable time for all of us in many aspects of our lives. All of us at MCI miss the Class of 2020! Your leadership, accomplishments, and resilience - our theme this year - are unmatched and deserve celebration and recognition. Dating back to 1866, MCI is rooted in tradition and integrity, and it is our intent to maintain these in our graduation ceremonies despite the current situation. On May 6, the Maine Department of Education issued COVID 19: Guidance on Graduation Ceremonies and Related Activities. With these precautions in mind, our graduation committee and I agreed to the following plan:
Date: June 7, 2020 (allowable number on campus is now 50 and stays close to original date)
Time: to be determined based upon format
Format: An online component as well as an opportunity for those who can and want to receive their diploma in person, with limited numbers of students and families on campus throughout the day. Caps and gowns will be worn, and the setting will be just as all other graduations.
Our committee of students, parents, staff, faculty, and administration will be meeting next week to finalize those details, and that information will be forthcoming in a future correspondence. We want to make this the best graduation yet and do not want to rush the details, for this is a new design for all that requires an authentic script to be written. We are up to the challenge!
I-Pads, Books, Student Accounts: Please refer to the schedule of times and location
Caps and Gowns: Can be picked up May 28 (8:30 am to 2:00 pm) or May 29 (7:00 am to 2:00 pm) at Weymouth Hall.
Caps and gowns will be shipped to students who are not in the area. These will be shipped to the home address on file.
Thank you for your patience and support of MCI. Working together as a community with shared goals, shared values, and shared traditions helps us to overcome any and all challenges. As Voltaire stated, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.” More details to follow soon.
Christopher M. McDonald
Head of School
April 30, 2020
April 30, 2020
Dear MCI Students and Parents/Guardians,
A committee of MCI administrators, faculty and students is planning a virtual Commencement for the Class of 2020 on Sunday, May 31, 2020, the original date set for graduation.
This decision is a result of Governor Janet T. Mills’ recent executive order prohibiting gatherings of fifty or more people, making an in-person commencement not possible. MCI’s live-streamed graduation will maintain the safety of students, families and guests.
The Commencement Committee will preserve as many of MCI’s commencement traditions as possible.
Details of the ceremony and how to view Commencement will be announced in early May. Please save the date and join us in recognizing the achievements of the MCI Class of 2020. Be safe and take care.
All the Best,
Christopher M. McDonald
MCI Head of School
Dear MCI Students, Parents/Guardians, and Employees,
In keeping with Maine Commissioner of Education Pender Makin's recommendation, with Governor Mills' approval of that recommendation, Maine Central Institute (MCI) and MSAD #53 schools will continue with remote learning for the remainder of the school year. MCI classes will continue through Friday, May 22, which will be the last day of student classes; grades from teachers will be due to the Academic office on the 29th.
Regarding graduation ceremonies, if the Governor were to declare it safe for on-site gatherings, we would consider returning for the sole purpose of preparing for graduation activities as planned. Should this not occur, we are beginning plans together as a community - parents, students, teachers, administration - to determine the best time and way to proceed. This planning will begin immediately, and we look forward to your input and suggestions. More information to follow.
It continues to be our goal to be a source of support during this stressful period. During the school closure period, MCI faculty will continue to provide remote learning activities for students. We understand that circumstances are different in each household, so please reach out to your student's teacher if you need additional support and/or have questions about the work provided.
I commend everyone for their resilience to persevere and stay together and strong during these uncertain times. Thank you for your continued support. Be safe and take care.
All the Best,
Christopher M. McDonald
MCI Head of School
April 7, 2020
Dear MCI Boarding School Parents,
It is a deceptive spring in Maine as I write this to you, for we are expecting snow, believe it or not, on Thursday! All would prefer being outside, going to town for coffee and shopping, or just hanging out on the front campus. However, we are taking all the precautions necessary to keep everyone safe here at MCI – while Maine is relatively safe compared to the rest of the country, we want to continue to have no cases on our campus and in our community. MCI remains closed to the outside world as we are taking no chances. Our students have adapted to this new way of learning, and I appreciated their patience and hard work. The teachers, too, have adapted well, and I am thankful for their efforts to try to keep their classes as “normal” as possible. They have worked hard and tirelessly to make this transition to remote learning.
Thank you for believing in us and for the support we have been receiving from you, our parents. It’s a privilege to work together with you in education. Together, we will pull through these tough times and emerge on the other side of this much stronger than we were before. I am writing in response to the many questions we are receiving. If you do not find the answer to your question below, please write to me, and I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.
When will regular classes resume? Classes will not resume during the month of April. If the COVID-19 situation improves and social distancing rules are relaxed, we would like to return to classes on campus sometime in May. This will be determined to a large extent by the state of Maine and our local public school district, MSAD #53. We should get word from them soon.
Will there still be a graduation? If we are able to return to regular classes, there will be a graduation. If we must finish the school year online, we will still find a way to celebrate our seniors. We will work with our current senior class and faculty to come up with a creative way to celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2020 for sure.
Should my son/daughter travel home now? More than half of our international students have returned to their home countries. Please make your decision based on what is comfortable for you. The school will continue to support all students whether they are here on campus or studying online at home. Note that AP exams can all be taken anywhere in the world; all the students will need is a laptop. (See below for more information on this year’s AP exams).
Will online classes meet during Spring Break? Online classes will not meet from April 20-24. The last online classes in April will be on Friday, April 17. The school will continue to offer meals and activities during spring break, but the campus will remain closed to the outside world.
When should I sign my student’s re-enrollment contract for 2020-21? Please reserve your child’s place at MCI as soon as possible by returning the re-enrollment contract and deposit. MCI has been here since 1866, and our innovative, high-quality programs will continue.
If travel restrictions remain in place in August and my child cannot travel to the USA, will MCI classes be available online? We expect the 2020-21 school year to begin on time, but if the start of the school year is delayed, MCI will offer your student online teaching and learning as long as we need to do so.
Will MCI refund my deposit and/or tuition if students from my country are not allowed to enter the United States for the start of the school year or if my child cannot get a visa? If there is a delay in travel, our international students will start the year with online school. If attendance becomes impossible because of COVID-19 related issues only, a family may withdraw their child and request a refund of unused tuition.
What about this year’s AP exams? Several very important, student-centered changes have been announced by the College Board on their website at AP Central. But first, students should know that taking the AP exams this year is optional. I encourage students to test their knowledge in the new 45-minute online formats. After all, a good score can help with college admission or earn college credit. But taking the exams is now the student’s choice. All exams will be taken online everywhere in the world and will be open-book, open-notebook. The College Board has added many layers of test security to make sure the student is the one taking the exam.
How can my student meet with her/his college counselor? Our professional counselors are working online just as teachers are. Simply send an email to the counselor for an appointment.
Will MCI still offer the BBT Summer Program and Summer STEM Camp? We hope the answer to this question is yes, but the COVID-19 situation is causing us to operate on a “wait and see” mode and assess the situation almost daily. We will hope to have a definite answer by May 15.
Again, thank you for supporting us at MCI. I have had the opportunity to talk with all of the students who have stayed on campus, and it is the students’ positive attitudes and your support that reminds us that the work my colleagues and I are doing is important and appreciated. I hope you, your family, and your fellow citizens stay safe and healthy.
Christopher M. McDonald, MCI Head of School
Chris McDonald shared that on Friday, March 20, that Maine School Administrative District #53 Superintendent Sherry Littlefield announced that all schools in the district, including MCI, will remain closed until April 30, 2020.
The Free Breakfast/Lunch Program meals will continue to be delivered on Monday and Thursday next week to families who signed up. Please note that only three buses will be used, so please watch for the bus between 8:00 and 10:00 AM. Delivery times should become more consistent as these bus deliveries continue. Ms. Littlefield added that they are not able to add names to Monday’s list, but if anyone would like to be added to the Thursday delivery list, please call Vickery at 487-5575 or Warsaw at 487-5145 and leave a message with student name, address, and the number of children 18 and younger who need meals. New information will come at the end of next week with regard to future distribution of enrichment packets and meal delivery days.
These are unprecedented and challenging times. We are all doing our very best. Take care of each other and stay safe.
March 20, 2020
Dear Parents & Guardians:
The faculty and staff at MCI have been working hard to ensure that the excellent education and care that our students experience remains our highest priority. We appreciate your support during these times of uncertainty. I know that these are challenging times and the situation regarding the coronavirus continues to change daily. I am writing again today to inform you that the state of Maine has extended school closure until April 30, 2020, at which point another evaluation will occur, if not sooner, regarding the remainder of the academic school year.
The other important details that I wish to share with you are the following options:
- If you wish for your child to stay on campus for the period of remote learning, they are permitted to do so— and we welcome them. We know that many of our students are unable to go home or prefer to stay on campus due to coronavirus conditions at home. On campus we will continue to offer on-campus activities, supervision, academic support, library, gym, music studio, art studio, and fitness center, and meals. Travel off campus will become very limited for those who stay on campus as we seek to keep the virus out of our community. We also are forbidding visitors to campus.
- If you wish to bring your child home for this period of remote learning, you are permitted to do so. If you do decide to bring your child home, it may not be possible for them to return to campus after the online-learning plan due to travel restriction or quarantine periods. If we return to in-class instruction, which at this time is unknown, we hope for all students to be in attendance but understand that this may not be possible; thus, remote learning will continue for the remainder of the academic year. Please complete this form
We understand that this is a difficult decision for your family, and we want to make sure you have all the information you need. We ask each of you to consider the options with your student individually.
If you decide to have your student stay on campus at this time and at a later date decide to bring them home, that is okay, too. Just remember, if students do go home, it may be difficult for them to return to campus later. Please feel free to get in touch with the residential life office and dorm directors, the admissions office, or me, if you have any questions or concerns.
Christopher M. McDonald, Head of School
March 17, 2020
March 17, 2020
Dear Students and Parents/Guardians,
As you are aware, Maine Central Institute suspended on-site classes for two weeks beginning March 16, 2020, through March 27, 2020. At the end of this time, MDOE, MSAD #53 and surrounding districts, and MCI administration will reassess the situation to determine whether we will reconvene classes on campus.
During this two-week period, MCI students will engage in remote learning. Starting March 18, 2020, students will be required to participate in online classes. Teachers will post lessons and assignments for students on Google Classroom. In order to ensure continuity of learning and ease the transition back to school when it occurs, students will continue to follow MCI’s Day 1/Day 2 class schedule and can expect to have assignments by 9:00 am for the classes they would normally attend on a Day 1 or Day 2.
Students will participate in asynchronous learning, which means students will engage in lessons independently via Google Classroom and will complete work at their own pace, within a clearly identified time-frame, using discussion boards and other methods for peer interaction and engagement. Each student will complete the lessons that teachers provide for their classes and submit their work by the due date for grading and feedback. Typical late work policies apply. You may expect that your student will have work for each class and that there will be some type of assignment or check for understanding to be turned in to the teacher each day.
Because there is no way to take attendance when students are engaged in distance learning, a student’s submission of assigned work will be used for attendance purposes. If a student fails to turn in an assignment, he/she will be assigned a 0 and will be counted absent for that class. It is the parent’s responsibility to notify John Dean and Eveline Bailey if a child becomes ill and cannot complete his/her class work so they can inform the student’s teachers.
All teachers will be available to students for assistance from 8:00am to 3:30pm every week day. Teachers have been asked to notify students of their “office hours” and to respond to student communication within these time frames. If students have questions, need tutorials, or need to speak with teachers, it is best to initiate contact via email or Google Classroom since teachers will not be in their classrooms to return phone calls.
Parent and Student Responsibilities
Student responsibilities for remote learning:
- Log in to Google Classroom and school email every day for assignments and communications from teachers and the school
- Read and understand teacher feedback on graded assignments
- Submit assignments and checks for understanding on-time for learning and attendance purposes
- Communicate with teachers when they have questions or need assistance or tutorials
Parent responsibilities for remote learning:
- Ensure their child is completing assignments in Google Classroom
- Monitor their student’s progress in their classes
- Help students establish a routine that keeps them organized and ready for learning
- Provide an adequate work/study space for students to continue their learning
- Communicate with teachers if the student is experiencing difficulties with classwork
- Communicate with their student’s Academic Counselor or Eveline Bailey after initial contact with teachers if difficulties are not resolved
- Contact Eveline Bailey and John Dean regarding a student’s or family member’s illness
It is important to establish and maintain a consistent routine for the duration of remote learning. A routine not only ensures that students set aside time each day for their class work, but also aids in the transition back to school when that time comes. For this reason, we recommend to parents the following schedule for students.
8:30-9:00 - Wake up, prepare academic area, check for communication from teachers
9:00-10:00 - Academic Block 1
10:00-10:30 - Break
10:30-11:30 - Academic Block 2
11:30-12:30 - Lunch break
12:30-1:30 - Academic Block 3
1:30-2:00 - Break
2:00-3:00 - Academic Block 4
3:00-3:30 - Wrap up, communicate with teachers, arrange virtual tutorials
Academic blocks are designed to give students a period of uninterrupted time to focus on specific class work or projects. Breaks may be used to send emails to teachers, as well as provide time to relax.
Regardless of the schedule that parents implement with their child, students should have approximately 3.5-4 hours of uninterrupted time throughout their day to focus on their academic studies.
SCTC, Concurrent Enrollment, Adult Education
For students enrolled in Somerset Career & Technical Center, concurrent enrollment classes with a college or university, or adult education classes, please refer to specific communications from those institutions regarding assignments and requirements. All of these institutions have their own methods of continuing classes, and students must follow their guidelines to receive credit for those courses.
Edmentum, PLATO Credit Recovery
For students currently enrolled in online classes for initial credit or credit recovery, they will continue their course work as usual. There is no change in the course requirements because the course content is delivered online.
Due to the circumstances that have resulted in school closure from March 16 through the 27, MSAD #53 will implement a FREE Breakfast and Lunch program for all district students aged 18 and under. The Free Breakfast and Lunch program will begin on Thursday, March 19, 2020. Each delivery will include 3 days’ worth of breakfast and lunch per student signed up.
On Thursday, March 19, we will be utilizing the regular bus route to distribute food to those who signed up. We will be making these deliveries on Mondays and Thursdays between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM.
Since we are not able to deliver meals to individual homes, we ask that you wait at the location where students get on/off the bus: when the bus arrives, please be there to gather your three-day food delivery.
If you have not signed up for the Free Breakfast and Lunch program, please contact Vickery School at 487-5575 or Warsaw School at (207) 487-5145.
Who to contact?
If you have questions or concerns in the following areas, please contact:
Head of School: Chris McDonald (Email: email@example.com)
Assistant to the Head of School: Kelly McCormick (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dean of Academics: Eveline Bailey (Email: email@example.com)
Academic Counselor (A-N, Private Day students): Kirsten Pomeroy (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Academic Counselor (O-Z, Boarding students): Scott Giallombardo (Email: email@example.com)
Registrar: Donna Cray (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Student Life and Attendance:
Dean of Student Life: Tom Bertrand (Email: email@example.com)
Director of Student Affairs (Attendance): John Dean (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
School Nurse: Rebecca Geagan (Email: email@example.com)
Personal Counselor: Macie Batchelder (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
IT Director: Jennifer Watson (Email: email@example.com)
Chief Financial Officer: Karla Edney (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Student Accounts: Nancy Desrosiers (Email: email@example.com)
Thank you for your understanding and working with all of us as we make this transition as smooth as possible for all involved.
Eveline Bailey, Dean of Academics
Christopher M. McDonald, Head of School
March 15, 2020
Dear Parents/Guardians of MCI students,
I am writing to let you know that in response to guidance provided over the weekend, specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in consultation with our peer schools and Maine School Administrative District #53, we have decided to close our school to students for two weeks beginning on Monday, March 16, and lasting until Friday, March 27.
This closure is a proactive measure designed to allow staff to plan and to allow additional time to receive guidance. This school closure applies to all MCI school facilities. Additionally, all facility use will be suspended until further notice. However, our boarding students are encouraged to continue study on campus albeit the learning will be modified as in-person classes will be replaced with on-line classes, and the non-essential trips and outings will be suspended.
This is a rapidly evolving situation. While we are not aware of cases reported in the MSAD #53 communities, medical experts have provided detailed guidance about the need to take this proactive measure of closing our schools. After extensive conversations with the Maine Department of Education, Maine Centers for Disease Control, area superintendents and their leadership teams, and MSAD #53’s administrative team, our team has determined that this closure is the only responsible action to take at this time.
This decision has been made with careful consideration of the options. We are aware of the fact that closing schools may be a hardship for families. This situation is changing rapidly with frequent and evolving updates from CDC and Maine DOE. We are working closely with all of our teachers to develop effective online educational work as well as home enrichment and nutrition opportunities. School employees will be present on Monday, March 16, and Tuesday, March 17, to devise these plans. Starting Tuesday, March 17, MCI’s offices will be closed to the public unless otherwise notified.
It is possible and likely that this closure will extend beyond the current projected timeline. It is important that all families practice and enforce strict social distancing during this time. If we want to prevent the need to keep our schools closed for an extended period of time, it will be incumbent upon us all to make the sacrifices required to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Up-to-date information will be provided on our social media platforms and our website.
Please know that we do not take this action lightly and will continue to communicate regularly with our families moving forward.
Christopher M. McDonald, Head of School
- Is MCI issuing travel restrictions?
- How is MCI Monitoring COVID-19?
- How is MCI Communicating COVID-19 Information?
- What resources are available about COVID-19?
- How is MCI preparing for the potential of a community member infected by COVID-19?
- Is MCI Restricting Visitors to Campus?
- How Do I Find Current Information about Travel Advisories and Restrictions?
Yes. Until further notice, MCI is not permitting school-sponsored travel (defined as those trips funded directly or indirectly by MCI) by students/faculty to countries with a CDC travel-advisory warning Level 3.
In addition, we are monitoring US states and cities that have declared emergencies.
For our boarding students, we are restricting destination travel to areas impacted by COVID-19. Because this may change daily, we will regularly review and update the list of U.S. cities with travel restrictions.
Students, faculty, and staff are asked to complete this Travel Form to let MCI know immediately if they travel to any country with Warning Level 3 CDC travel advisories; to Seattle, Los Angeles, Washington D. C., New York City, or Boston; or if they have been in one of these countries or U.S. cities during the last 14 days.
MCI is asking students, faculty, and/or staff with an upcoming trip to a country with an Alert Level 2 CDC travel advisory to postpone travel until the hazard has subsided.
If a student/family makes the decision to travel and is unable to return to campus due to a travel ban, they will not be able to continue their studies long-term while away. This may result in the loss of an academic semester.
Additionally, if a long-term absence occurs due to a travel ban, tuition will not be refunded.
Communication will be sent from the Head of School to the MCI community on our website, through our push-email notification system to parents/guardians, or both. We will also communicate information to students and faculty about COVID-19 preventive measures.
We recommend that families do the following:
- Check email on a regular basis for updates and advisories from MCI;
- Review these responses to frequently asked questions for up-to-date information; and
- Follow disease prevention guidelines issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A planning team composed of administrators and staff are working to prepare for the possibility that COVID-19 should it appear in our community.
For example, one group has been dealing specifically with issues affecting students who may need to stay on campus over April break.
Another group is preparing to ensure the continuity of instruction at MCI in the event that faculty and students cannot meet face to face.
Other groups, including our health care staff and local hospital staff, have been and will continue to review and enhance preparations and contingencies for dealing with the possibility of an outbreak of COVID-19 here.