Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A Little Information and Encouragement Regarding The Importance of Social Distancing

Good morning –

As we prepare to embark on our first full day of distance learning on Thursday, I know many of you are being inundated with emails and text messages, but I have been asked to send this message of critical importance to our health and well-being.  I urge you to read it in its entirety. 
Many parents and staff are concerned that some in the community may not understand the call for “social distancing.”  There is a sense that students are gathering in groups, holding playdates and sleepovers, roaming the neighborhood, going out to eat with friends, or continuing to engage in other social activities that are typically quite appropriate for each age group.  I am writing today to reiterate to the entire community the need to work together to reduce the likelihood of community spread of this disease by practicing social distancing and suspending these activities.
I encourage all parents, staff, and students to take social distancing very seriously.  We should not be gathering for social activities of any kind.  Students are not to gather on school grounds for any reason, including athletics/recreation.  Other than a minimal number of administrative staff, educational staff and cleaning staff using strict social distancing protocols, adults will also not gather at the schools. 
The coronavirus is present in Cumberland County and will spread more rapidly through social activities.  Health officials throughout the country are telling us to cease gathering with others, as are leaders at all levels of government, from Town Hall to Augusta to Washington, D.C.  We must heed their advice.  Please join me in practicing social distancing and expecting that our children will, as well.
To read more about “flattening the curve” and the need to practice social distancing, please see Dr. Asaf Bitton’s article from March 14, “Social Distancing:  This is Not a Snow Day.”
Thank you and be well,
Heather J. Perry
Superintendent of Schools  

P.S. I'll be sending more information out later today regarding what to expect over the next few days from the Gorham Schools.  Stay Safe everyone!

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