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The district recently replaced its outdated snow remover with this new Bobcat (below).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

Message November 7, 2016

Voters Approve Performing Arts Center
Voters in Cumberland and North Yarmouth approved the proposed Performing Arts Center on Election Day with 4,149 in favor, or 51.2% of the total votes cast. This $9.5 million facility should be ready for ground-breaking in early summer 2017.  Many thanks to the building committee for their hard work on this project: Gigi Sanchez (chair), Sarah Bailey, Peter Bingham Sr., Steve Blatt, Doug Breer, Mike Brown, Mary Charlesworth, Harper Lee Collins, Heather Giandria, Nick Kurlanski, Sally Loughlin, Martha Leggat, Dan McKeone, Mike Perfetti, Jeff Porter, Scott Poulin, Kevin Rollins, Liz Rollins, and Jen Segal.   

School Spirit Challenge Inaugural Event
Greely finishes in 3rd Place!


School Spirit Challenge is a program that helps raise needed food for area food pantries by creating friendly competition between high schools as to who can raise the most goods.

We received high praise from WGME's Jeff Peterson and Adam Epstein as well as the Good Shepherd Food Bank's representative, Courtney Kennedy. They agreed that Greely displayed some of the best spirit, energy, and musical talent they had seen in the four years of this competition.  BE PROUD GREELY RANGERS! 3rd Place winners!

WGME presented 3rd place trophy to Greely HS
Public Pre-Kindergarten? 
As part of the district's Strategic Plan, the Pre-K ad hoc task force has completed its work after meeting six times between April and October 2016.  The task force examined the current status of preschool offerings in the community, the feasability and scope of offering a public program, and identified the various logistical considerations that would require planning for a public program.  A full presentation of the committee's recommendations will be made to the Board on January 3.

The new regional STRIVE program aired on Maine Public Radio recently.   This novelty program helps devlopmentally disabled students from several area districts (including MSAD #51) connect with the greater community.   Click here for the full story.

Fall Sports Season Wrap-Up
The fall seasonhas ended with all of our fall teams making it to the post-season. Congrats to the girls volleyball team and both boys and girls cross country teams for earning their respective state title wins.  Also congrats to Erin Holmes for co-champ for the state golf title. GO RANGERS!
Boys & Girls X-country teams both win Class B state title

Greely Girls Volleyball beat Scarborough 3-1 for the Class A state title

New iReady Assessment helps screen for interventions
This fall, all students in grades 2-8 and Algebra I students at GHS took part in a universal screener called i-Ready to assess individual progress in math and reading. This assessment replaces the STAR screener that has been used in the past. The assessment, which is computer adaptive and aligned with standards, provides information on student progress toward grade level expectations. We are using this data to make informed instructional decisions tailored to the learning needs of each student.

GHS hosts 1st UMaine Senior Application Review Day

Interested students at GHS had an opportunity to have on-site applications and interviews with UMaine admissions officers. Thanks to GHS Guidance Director Melissa Fowler for working with UMaine to offer this terrific service for our seniors.
  1. 20 students interviewed
  2. 19 students were admitted
  3. 1 student received a full ride (room & board not included) for being a National Merit Semi-Finalist
  4. 1 student received a $8,000 Presidential Scholarship
  5. 6 students received a $6,000 per year Flagship Scholarship
  6. 2 students received a $4,000 per year Dean's Scholarship
  7. 4 students received a $2,000 per year Black Bear Scholarship 
  8. 5 students received a $500 Maine Matters per year Scholarship 
  9. 16 students were accepted into their 1st choice major:  International Affairs, Natural Science, Biology, Chemistry, Political Science, Electrical Engineering, Elementary Education, Environmental Science, Mechanical Engineering, Ecology, Finance, Business, Social Work, Business Administration, Mathematics. 
  10. 3 students were accepted into their 2nd choice major:  Pre-Business, Pre-Engineering, and Undecided in the explorations program.
Ranger Report Launched
A new news program has been launched at GHS to help keep students informed and feature various aspects of school life.  The program was created by Mr. Hasch's Video Production class and so far has examined topics such as the PAC, sports, interviews with various people including Officer Dalbec, and the School Spirit Challenge, among many others.

Water Testing Completed
Due to recent concerns in another local district, MSAD #51 had the water tested at all schools for both lead and copper.  Portland Water District test results showed that all indicators for lead and copper are below the EPA's required action levels.