Saturday, March 14, 2020

Gorham Schools Will CLOSE on Monday

Dear Gorham Schools families,

I am writing to let you know that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be closing all of our schools for two weeks beginning on Monday, March 16th and lasting until Friday, March 27th. This applies to all Gorham Schools facilities, including Gorham/Westbrook Adult Education and the Portland Arts and Westbrook Regional Vocational Center (WRVC).  Additionally, all outside facility uses will be suspended during this time. The district's Central Office along with each school's Principal's offices will operate with essential staff but will be closed to the public unless otherwise notified. Details regarding remote learning and meal programs will be shared with families on Tuesday afternoon via my blog with specific instruction and programming to be made available to families beginning on Thursday, March 19, 2020.

As you know, the plan is to utilize 1:1 devices and the platform of Google Classroom for continued instructional services for students in grades 4-12.  On Tuesday, we will send information out to families of students in grades 4-5 regarding how they may pick up these devices safely from our schools.  Additionally, GHS and GMS will provide details on how students who may have left their devices at school can pick them up over the course of the next few days.  Continued instructional services for students in grades K-3 will be conducted through "packets".  More detailed information on how packets will be communicated to families and how online learning will be delivered will come out on Tuesday via my blog.

As you know this has been a rapidly evolving situation.  While we have no cases reported in the Gorham Schools yet, there is one presumptively positive case of the virus in our region.  After consulting with area medical professionals, my administrative team, the state and other school district officials, I have determined that this closure is the only responsible action to take.  

This decision has been made with careful consideration of the options. We are aware of the fact that closing schools will be a hardship for all families.  For our most disadvantaged community members, it will represent an even greater hardship. While our team has been working diligently to prepare for school closings, we will not yet be prepared to provide alternate forms of education and nutrition on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of next week (March 16,17, or 18).  We intend to be ready to do that by Thursday, March 19th. On Tuesday, we will be sharing information on the educational and nutritional options that will be available for our students. 

It is possible 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. My blog posts to families will continue to share updated information regularly so please keep up to date with these.  Additionally, both the national CDC site and the state of Maine CDC have a wealth of information to assist families in staying up to date and continuing to learn more about the Virus.  One article that might be helpful more immediately on social distancing is LINKED HERE.

Please be safe.  I will continue to communicate regularly with our families during this closure.

Heather J. Perry


  1. I think this was a good decision. My son has health issues. It is best for him and the rest of the community.

  2. Will one of these two weeks be used as the up coming April spring break? Instead of like an extreme snow day.

  3. Thank you - Very happy to hear this as I was not going to send my daughter to school this week.

  4. Why does it take 4-5 day to get alternative nutrition programs running? Many families rely on these programs.

  5. For any families needing food or supplies please post your needs. I know we will come together as a community. It's going to be difficult for those of us who have to juggle work, family and finances especially now. My family will extend what we can.


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