The administration of Democratic Gov. Janet Mills told Maine’s school districts Wednesday that the state expects all schools to resume full-time, in-person learning in the fall.
The Maine Department of Education also told the school districts that physical distancing requirements will be relaxed next year. It also encouraged schools to participate in a free testing program designed to protect students who are not yet old enough to receive a coronavirus vaccine.
The state’s policy of requiring masks in schools has not changed, Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said Wednesday.
“School administrators and teachers have worked hard all year to protect their students from the virus, provide them with a good education, and meet many of their other needs,” Mills said. “With the progress we’ve made in vaccinating Maine people, we want to make sure that there are no barriers to getting our kids back into the classroom full-time.”
The Mills administration said it has also updated its guidance for summer school to eliminate distancing requirements for schools and programs that participate in the testing program.
The vast majority of Maine schools have been providing in-person instruction since the fall, the Maine Department of Education said in a statement. Transmission of coronavirus has been lower in schools than the statewide average, the department said.