Showing posts from 2015

December 21, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Foundation 51 raised $10,791 at their annual Fall Fling, which is used to fund grant projects for classrooms throughout the district. The PTO "Parent Power Appeal" brought in $10,270 for a variety of events and field trips and their Box Tops for Education drive has raised $1,900 so far. Thank you to both of these organizations for their continued support of MSAD #51 schools!

The GMS Color Guard has steadily increased its enrollment over the last couple of years, with over 50 participants now in the program.  Many thanks to all of the students and coach Carrie Begley for their terrific routines in supporting the Greely spirit.  Recently, the district was pleased to support this program with funding to purchase new jerseys and flags.

Our athletic advertising account has accumulated $9,000 this fall, thanks to the many business partners who support our schools.  The athletic advisory board, led by chair Eliza Miller, has opted to use these funds to purchase new e…

Message December 8, 2015

We recently implemented a new feature called "Links" in our district monthly edition, the Ranger Connection.  This month's feature is our Secondary Start Time committee, which is linked to Goal II (Every Child, Every Classroom, Every Day) Obj. 1.3 Adjusted Start Times. This committee has continued their study of whether or not to adjust the start times for our schools next year.  The committee will be reviewing survey results that were completed by 1,300 students, staff, and parents this week to determine next steps.  The committee is currently proposing an 8:00 am start time for grades 6-12 and 8:45 am for grades K-5. 

I have had the privilege lately of visiting classrooms of 1st year teachers to the district with our principals and have been impressed by the high quality of learning experiences offered by our new hires.  Sally Loughlin and myself also met with all 1st year teachers for our regular check-in meetings last week to help them better understand our evaluation…


December 2, 2015

Dear MSAD #51 Families,

It's that time of year again:  SNOW.

With snow comes the possibility of school cancelations and delays.  Below is information to assist you as we enter the winter months.

1.  Cancelations and delays are based on general road conditions in Cumberland and North Yarmouth and the ability to safely run buses, clear school access roads, and plow sidewalks.  Cancelations and delays may also be based on forecasted conditions.

2.  Whenever possible, school will be delayed by two (2) hours if it is safe to do so, as opposed to completely canceling the day.  Below is the start time schedule if there is a two hour delay:

Grades 9-12:  9:30 am
Grades 6-8:  9:33 am
Grades K-5:  10:30 am

3.  For two hour delays, buses will arrive at bus stops two hours later than normal.  For example, if a student normally is at the bus stop at 7:45 am, then they should be at their bus stop by 9:45 am on these days.

4.  Communication regarding cancelations and delays will b…

Responding to Unscheduled Events

November 6, 2015

Dear MSAD #51 Families,

As many of you know, a written bomb threat was discovered on Thursday at Greely Middle School. After assessing the threat, I decided to evacuate that school.  Students and staff went to the high school and remained there for about an hour until the police gave us the all-clear to return.  Students resumed their regular schedule for the rest of the school day.

I wish to acknowledge the smooth response by students, staff, and administration to this event and thank everyone for their patience and understanding.  I also wish to thank the Cumberland police and fire departments for their quick response and support.

This event has prompted some questions and concerns from families.  Though these kinds of events are (fortunately) infrequent, I think it would be helpful to all families for me to share how we handle these kinds of situations when they arise.

1.  The district has a comprehensive K-12 emergency response plan, which includes additional resp…

Message November 2, 2015

1.   Our athletic teams have had a great Fall season.  Many exciting events occurred this weekend, including the football team in the playoffs; cross country and volleyball vying for the state title; and both boys and girls soccer in the semi-finals. 

Noteworthy accomplishments over the weekend include both boys and girls cross country teams qualifying for the New Englands after the girls came in #2 and boys #3 in the state. Special note to 1st place finisher Katherine Leggat-Barr and in 2nd place Carolyn Todd. #7 seeded Rangers football defeated #2 Leavitt to win their first playoff game in Rangers history, off to Marshwood this week.  The Girls Volleyball team was runner-up for the state title after a strong season.

Recently, the golf state individual championships were held with Erin Holmes the state champ runner-up. Finally, in a challenging conference, the field hockey team qualified for playoffs. The Western Maine Conference recognized senior midfielder, Danita Storey as a  First…

Message October 19, 2015

Message October 19, 2015
At a home football game with Leavitt High School on Oct. 11, Leavitt senior Adam Smith was injured during the game and was treated by Greely trainer Tom Spencer and Dr. Kate Quinn, who then diagnosed this player with a spleen injury, a very dangerous condition.  Adam was rushed to Maine Med by an ambulance that was already on-site as part of our protocols for sporting events.  

This protocol has been broadened recently to include all athletic home games for most programs, thanks to the Town of Cumberland and specifically Bill Shane, with district support.  The ambulance's on-site presence and the quick diagnosis by Dr. Quinn may have saved the life of this player.  Many thanks to Dr. Quinn, Tom Spencer, and Cumberland rescue personnel Craig Weeman, Stephanie Weeman, Kevin Foster, Andrew Breitbel, and Adam Cafro.  Adam Smith is doing much better and is expected to make a full recovery.

I met with Superintendents Geoff Bruno of Falmouth and Andrew Dolloff of Ya…

Message October 5, 2015

Message October 5, 2015
Two weeks have gone by since the unexpected passing of one of our seniors at GHS, Will Robinson. This has been a very trying and unsettling time for our entire school community. We continue to monitor the mood and response of students and staff. No amount of planning can prepare us completely to respond to these kinds of events.

Will's obituary appeared in the Press Herald this weekend:

"Known as William to his family and neighbors and Will to the faculty and students at Greely High School, he was kind, considerate, and polite and was loved and admired by all who knew him. Candlelight vigils were held in his memory on Chebeague and at Greely, and each drew more than 200 people. The student body at Greely High School decided to honor William by holding doors open for others just as he did. A teacher at Greely described the event: "When I walked into school this morning and saw senior students holding the doors open for people as Will had done for…

Important Notice from Superintendent of Schools

September 28, 2015

Dear MSAD #51 Families,

I would like to take this opportunity to update you on two timely issues that are of immediate concern to our school community.

First is a follow-up to the unexpected passing last week of an 18-year-old senior who attended Greely High School.  The state Medical Examiner's office has confirmed that the death was a suicide.

I have been struck by the incredible response that students, staff, and the community have made in light of this traumatic event.  I wish to give special thanks to GHS Principal Dan McKeone and Assistant Principal Jayme Jones, the K-12 guidance counselors, and K-12 social workers.  Their leadership and efforts have helped to provide comfort to our grieving high school. Thank you also to the senior class and student council for their organization of a candlelight vigil that provided compassion and support for each other and the entire school community.

Inevitably, when these kinds of incidents occur, there is an attempt…
Message September 14, 2015

The first couple of weeks of school are behind us and so are a number of well-attended events so far, including the MIW annual welcome back picnic and the GHS open house. School has started on a smooth note as students and staff settle in for the year ahead.
Strategic Plan Update: The pathways program has identified most of the students who will be served.6-12 grading and reporting committee membership has been identified.Implementation of the new version of Everyday Math K-5 has begun.New tech program for 504 plans (Acuity) has been rolled out to track and monitor all 504 plans in the district.Membership for the 6-12 late start ad hoc work group is almost complete.New ed. tech. protocol in place to better assess whether or not a student requires ed. tech. support before making this decision.Facilities committee has begun developing 5-year plan.Evaluation initial stakeholder group continues to meet to define how student assessment will interface with the evalua…

Superintendent's Message September 3, 2015

We opened the school year on Wednesday on a smooth note with 2,041 students in grades K-12, up from the projected 2,016 students.  This represents no change in our enrollment from the 2014-15 year.

MIW:  571
GMS 4-5:  307
GMS 6-8:  496
GHS:  667

I would like to recognize Phil Blake and Larry Lare at the transportation department for earning the district a flawless state inspection for our 28-vehicle bus fleet.  This inspection report is unheard of in most districts and speaks volumes of our excellent mechanical skills at the bus garage.

Sally Loughlin and myself met with consultant Reed Dyer from Great Schools Partnership to plan district-level policy and communication work around proficiency.  In October, Reed will be joining us to present an update to the Board on proficiency work, including looking ahead at policy implications and communication avenues with parents and community members.

Many thanks to all of our maintenance and custodial staff members for their hard work over the…

Message August 3, 2015

Many people ask what school administrators actually do in the summer.  Even though students and staff are on vacation, summer is a very busy time of the year for administrators as we gear up for the new year.  This includes hiring new staff, developing schedules, assigning students and staff to classes, planning agendas for opening programs, orientations, and professional development days, meeting with various individuals and groups, and catching up on our own professional learning.

As an example, the GHS leadership team met with Principal Dan McKeone and Asst. Principal Jayme Jones for two days last week to review their plans for moving the school forward with regards to proficiency.  The school continues to make progress on many aspects of their proficiency plan with the assistance of Great Schools Partnership and consultant Reed Dyer. 

At the district office, we continue to process superintendent agreement requests.  To date, we have received 47 requests, including 42 to attend MSAD …

Message July 23, 2015

Welcome to my Blog!  I will be posting various informational items about the district on this site regularly.  Thanks for visiting and visit often.  

The Teacher and Principal Evaluation stakeholder group, under direction of Sally Loughlin, has been meeting this summer and working through subcommittees to address the Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) and then how to use these SLOs as part of a summative rating. Thanks to Pete Wilson and Karen Campbell, Board member reps. on the stakeholder group.

Many thanks to Foundation 51 for providing $11,528 for K-5 STEM education, in line with Strategic Plan Goal II, Objective 3.1. Thanks Ashley Caswell for working with Foundation 51 president Anne Robbins and the 51 Exec. Board in securing these funds.

Scott Poulin, Don Foster, and the facilities department have been very busy this summer cleaning all schools and working on larger projects. Some major projects include resurface work on the GHS floor, stripping, sanding, and new base coat compl…