Message February 6, 2017


Dear MSAD #51 Families,
In case you may have been wondering why MSAD #51 schools were closed all day Wednesday, February 8 (as opposed to a more preferable 2-hour delay for morning ice conditions), this was due to the scheduled early release.

When there is a scheduled early release, the district cannot delay the start time for the schools (not even a one hour delay would work).  A delay and an early release both held on the same day would not meet the required number of hours to be considered a full school day.  Additionally, it would cause a fair amount of unnecessary confusion around child care schedules for many of our families.

This explanation applies to any future weather-related closings on scheduled early release days.  Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions regarding this procedure.
GHS hosted a regional VEX Robotics competition last weekend.  Great team robotics projects were on display. Many thanks to GHS science teacher Kelly Welch for organizing this event.

Siemens Industry has expanded its partnership with MSAD #51.  Siemens has previously worked with the district on an energy conservation project, but now is bringing their knowledge of STEM to our 8th grade students during their science classes.  Students in Yana Davis, Jason Larriviere, and Jacey Morrill's classes have been learning the components of an energy project through field work. They have also built replica wind turbines from kits donated by Siemens.   Thank you, Siemens!

               Siemens Industry works with Yana Davis's 8th grade students on school Energy Audit

Siemens STEM educator works with Jason Larriviere's 8th Graders

                                                Teddy Conway, Geo Bee winner at GMS

Teddy Conway, Megan Lawrence, Owen Hinsman, Alex Collins, Orion Guibord, Jameson Smith, Chris Martucci, Turner Gamache, and Jonathon Piesik all competed for the GMS school Geography Bee title last week.  Congrats to 6th grader Teddy Conway for being the school Geo champ.

Molly Chapin, Natalie Fritzson, Victoria Lattanzi, Braden Megathlin, Kathryn Pare, Ben Wilson, Caroline Zambernardi.
Laura Arsenault, Brooke Bickford, Lillian Black, Ethan Brouder, Kelsey Currier, Rachel Ferris, Kallee Gallant, Lauren Gervais, Kathryn Hall, Caroline Isasi, Gretchen Manley, Nicole Morse, Ella Novick, Erin O’Donovan, Gregory Pershing, Madison Rawnsley, Bridget Roberts, Peter Theodores, Greta Van Curan, Chloe Waldrep, Rebecca Hamlen, Jen Spencer, Quinn Molloy, Safa Saleh, Courtney Sullivan.

Congrats to Maggie Nolan and Sam Bonnevie, candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, the highest academic honor in the United States.

Boys and Girls Basketball teams continue their winning streak with the new title "Maine's Basketball School".  Great job with wins over Marshwood, Gray-NG, and Cape during the last two weeks.  

Congrats to Anna DeWolfe on being named Northeast Girls Recruiting Player of the Week.

The Girls hockey team has had impressive wins against Yarmouth and Edward Little.

Congrats to Kayley Cimino on being named Maine's Gatorade Player of the Year.

Jeannette Cunninghlam and Axel Lindsay both win Western Maine Ski Slalom at Shawnee Peak.

Katherine Leggat-Barr has been nominated for the Maine Sports Hall of Fame 2017 Scholar Athlete Scholarship Award.

Jackie Perlmutter is the MSAD #51 Maine Principals Association Award winner.

Molly Chapin and Ryan Megathlin are both Western Maine Conference Citizenship Award winners.

                                                      Maine's "Basketball High School"

A parent wrote this email to Greely swimming coach Rob Hale.  It exemplifies the kind of sportsmanship seen all around with our Greely student athletes.

"At each swim meet, I always see examples of camaraderie, sportsmanship and genuine caring amongst the swimmers.  When, at the end of this meet, Greely swimmers stood alongside Massabesic swimmers to cheer on the opposing team's last swimmers,  I couldn't stop grinning and cheering myself, for not only the awesome swimming but even more so for the amazing display of sportsmanship on view that night.  We'd all do well to take a few lessons from you and your team."

Cumberland Police Lieutenant Milt Calder gladly accepted this "Cumberland Police Candy Survival Kit" from our FLS (Functional Life Skills) friends at Greely Middle School. The students created these treats for the police department in recognition of their hard work protecting the community.

January was School Board appreciation month.  Many thanks to our wonderful and dedicated MSAD #51 Board of Directors for their service to our children and community. Please say thank you to a Board member! 

Message January 3, 2017

Ecomaine awards MSAD #51 $4,500 for efforts at composting & recycling, thanks district environmental stewardship committee for all their support in bringing new "green" protocols to our schools!

State assessment scores for the new Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) recently were released by the Maine Department of Education.  Overall, percentages of students proficient were low across the state, especially in the areas of ELA and math.  MSAD #51 students scored high when compared to students throughout the state, ranking in the top 10 in ELA, math, and science.  

ENGLISH – Top 10 in Maine
Falmouth Public Schools, 80.64 percent
Mount Desert CSD, 80.58 percent
Yarmouth Schools, 79 percent
Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, 78.38 percent
York Public Schools, 73.75 percent
RSU 51/MSAD 51 (Cumberland), 72.81 percent​ (#6)​
Five Town CSD, 72.66 percent
Scarborough Public Schools, 72.19 percent
Cape Elizabeth Public Schools, 71.8 percent
Penobscot Public Schools, 71.15 percent

MATH – Top 10
Yarmouth Schools, 74.26 percent
Falmouth Public Schools , 72.55 percent
South Bristol Public Schools, 68.42 percent
Bar Harbor Public Schools, 67.06 percent
Chebeague Island Public Schools, 65.52 percent
Marshfield Public Schools, 62.5 percent
RSU 51/MSAD 51 (Cumberland), 62.29 percent (#7)​
Cape Elizabeth Public Schools, 62.28 percent
Hope Public Schools, 61.06 percent

RSU 21 (Kennebunk), 59.11 percent

SCIENCE – Top 10
Bar Harbor Public Schools, 87.06 percent
Cape Elizabeth Public Schools, 86.63 percent
RSU 51/MSAD 51 (Cumberland), 83.15 percent 
Yarmouth Schools, 82.80 percent
Great Salt Bay CSD, 82.22 percent
Falmouth Public Schools, 80.72 percent
RSU 26 (Orono), 78.26 percent
Scarborough Public Schools, 77.7 percent
Bristol Public Schools, 76.92 percent
RSU 78 (Rangeley Lakes), 75.56 percent

 Comparison to Area School Districts: % Proficient

MSAD #51

The district recently replaced its outdated snow remover with this new Bobcat (below).  This important piece of equipment is what keeps the campus cleared during all snow storms.  I gave the new vehicle a whirl (just to make sure it worked OK, of course).  It'll do the job, I figure.  

OK, I may be enjoying this a little too much...

Performing Arts Center Update:  

Soil testing continues at GHS in the designated area where the PAC will be built.  Many thanks to the members of the new building committee, who will be helping to develop a more detailed concept design that will guide the construction of the PAC.  Construction bids should be ready to be sent out in March 2017 with ground breaking in early summer.

The new building committee membership
Gigi Sanchez, Chair
Mike Brown, Board of Directors
Karen Campbell, Board of Directors
Jeff Porter, Superintendent
Scott Poulin, Director of Finance, Operations & HR
Dan McKeone, GHS Principal
Edmund Paquin, Student
Kevin Rollins, GHS Band Director
Margo Harrington, Parent/Community Member
Ryan Wallace, Parent/ Community Member
Jen Segal, Parent/Community Member
Steve Blatt, Architect
Doug Breer, Architect
Martha Leggat, Ex officio
Don Foster, Consultant

Soil testing continues in the designated spot for the PAC

School Spirit Week
was held December 5-9 at GHS.  A great week of students and staff getting into the spirit of Greely culminated with class skits in front of the student body recently.  The senior class won (surprise!) with their rendition of Star Wars, with the school and district portrayed as the Empire and the students portrayed as the Rebels.  

Mrs. Perkinson gets into the spirit along with members of the GHS staff,
singing rendition of "Welcome to Our House"

Congrats GHS teachers Kelly Welch and Brian Mason for being awarded this grant:

The University of Maine College of Engineering is partnering with the College of Education & Human Development and several local school districts in a proposal to provide grant-funded professional development to in-service K-12 teachers in schools. The award provides resources to pay UMaine faculty in Engineering and Education to offer two 3-credit courses to approximately 20 Maine teachers.

NEW USM "On the Spot Admission Day" was hosted on Tuesday, December 20th in the Guidance office. It was another great opportunity and success for our students. 

9 students interviewed. 
7 students were admitted On the Spot. 
2 students need 1st semester grades for a final decision. 
7 student was admitted to their 1st choice major:
Social Work, Nursing, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Economics & Undeclared. 
5 students received the Dirigo merit Scholarship.
2 students received the Presidential merit Scholarship.

On January 3, the Board of Directors sanctioned a new Sailing Club at GHS, at the recommendation of the Athletic Advisory Board and based on student interest.  This new club will be affiliated with Sail Maine and a booster group will be formed to support this new program.

Message December 5, 2016


All 4th and 5th grade students will participate in “The Hour of Code” during technology class the week of Dec. 5th. This is an introduction to computer science to help nurture their problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. As an extension of this week, students and their families are invited to attend The Coder Express from 6-7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 in the Greely Middle School cafeteria. Participants will have the opportunity to take part in computer programming and coding activities using iPads. Students are encouraged to wear pajamas and bring stuffies and blankets as they take part in a fun evening of coding. Thanks in advance to our Greely PTO for providing cocoa and cookies. This is in line with our Strategic Plan action step around STEM.

All sophomores participated recently in Challenge Day, a national program that helps build relationships between students and promotes empathy as an important tool in combating bullying and bias. Many thanks to all of the adult staff members, parents, and community members who participated. Special thanks to Jayme Jones and Ashley Caswell for their work in securing this program for a second year. I had an opportunity to participate and was impressed with the wonderful students we have at Greely.

GHS Science teacher Brian Blum was one of 16 teachers from across Maine who spent a week at Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor learning the laboratory science and ethical implications of personal genomics. Personal genomics is new area of research that examines subltle variations in each person's unique genetic code to help diagnose, treat, and prevent disease. Brian continues to participate in professional development and research with Jackson Lab, in conjunction with the National Institutes for Health and alongside representatives of 64 New England high schools.

Senior standout Ryan Twitchell makes Greely baseball proud! Signs letter of intent to play D-1 ball at The University of Rhode Island. Congrats, Ryan!

Congrats to Julie Olsen and the entire Instructional Support department for recieving no citations on the state's periodic IDEA audit. The state found that the district has fully coplied with all provisions of delivering services to students with special needs and requires no areas for improvement.

Sally Loughlin and myself had fun visiting 9 classrooms at the high school last week as part of the district's new evaluation program, where we conducted walkthroughs of Year 2 teachers. It was great to see our terrific teachers facilitating learning in our classrooms in ways that engage student interest. This is in line with the Strategic Plan action step around staff evaluation.

The FY 18 budget process has begun. Administrators are currently working with their staff to develop school and department budgets, with alignment to the Strategic Plan around new priorities. In January, the district office will meet with each school and department leader to further develop the new budget.

Many thanks to Cumberland Police Chief Chip Rumsey for his help in training a new crossing guard to help with the elementary school walkers and bikers. The district now has a crossing guard stationed at Tuttle Road for those students who need assistance. We will be reviewing the best location for the crossing guard in the coming weeks to maximize safety.

Composting has begun in grades K-8. All students attended a kick-off assembly in November to learn about composting and opportunities for practice occurred during the lunchtime for several days. This is tied to the environmental stewardship action step in the district's Strategic Plan and is in partnership with Garbage to Garden.

MIW students learn about composting

The PAC project is moving ahead. A new building committee has been formed, consisting of Board members, administrators, students, parents, staff, and community members. The building committee will begin meeting this week and will be in place until late winter helping to guide a detailed version of the concept plan that voters approved. Soil testing is currently being completed, which is standard protocol. Related to the PAC project is the refunding of the 2009 high school renovation/addition bonds at a lower interest rate. This will take place quickly due to the imminent rise in rates since the election. Scott Poulin is also working on securing bond anticipation notes to begin funding the project.

The PAC project is moving ahead