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BENNINGTON — After pivoting to remote-only learning for the past three days, the Mount Anthony Union Middle School announced on Wednesday that in-person instruction would continue starting on Thursday.

A message from MAUMS principal Tim Payne that was posted to the school’s website and Facebook page confirmed the switch.

“Now that the custodial staff has completed a sanitizing deep clean of our building and the Department of Health has completed its contact tracing, MAUMS will re-open for in-person instruction on Thursday, October 29, 2020. We will be sending out an additional update regarding each student’s schedule by 5pm on Wednesday. Thank you for your patience and cooperation during this difficult time. It is our hope everyone stays safe and remember, we’re all in this together,” Payne’s note read.

MAUMS moved to remote learning on Monday after being notified that a person linked to the school tested positive for COVID-19.

The school announced the positive test of “a member of our middle school learning community” on Sunday night on Facebook. An all-call from Payne also went out to families the same evening.

According to Katie West, the public information coordinator for the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, they weren’t permitted to specify whether the individual who tested positive was a student or staff member, due to medical privacy laws.

The decision to engage in remote learning through Wednesday followed “a meeting with the SVSU rapid response team, administrators from Mt. Anthony Union Middle School, and representatives from the Vermont Department of Health,” according to a statement from SVSU Superintendent James Culkeen released on Monday afternoon.

“We want to thank all members of our school community for cooperating as we continue to assist the Vermont Department of Health’s contact tracing process,” Culkeen continued. “The level of professionalism and efficiency displayed by the Vermont Department of Health has filled us with confidence as we continue to work through this situation.”

A portion of eighth graders had been slated to begin in-person learning on Monday, with the rest of the grade scheduled to start later in the week. Seventh graders returned for in-person learning last week. There has been no word on what the updated plan to return students will be.

Culkeen encouraged families to check and the supervisory union’s social media accounts for future updates.

“Please be assured that we continue to plan for a safe and healthy school environment by implementing best practices in alignment with guidance from the Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont Agency of Education,” he concluded.

Adam Samrov can be reached at or on Twitter @banner_sports

Adam Samrov is the sports editor and part-time news reporter for the Bennington Banner. He has been at the Banner since 2008 and sports editor since 2010. He can be reached at


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