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 Team All Star and sophomore goal keeper, Elizabeth Brown as a Second Team All Star. Seniors, Charlotte Benoit and Madelyn Day, were recognized with Western Maine Conference All Academic Team honors.  

Thank you to all players and coaches who participated in our Fall athletic programs.

2.  Strategic Plan Update.  Here are some current activities that have been part of the implementation of the district's Strategic Plan:

a.  The Environmental Stewardship committee, led by Scott Poulin, has begun its work fostering initiatives that promote the "greening" of the campus.  The committee has reviewed the single sort method of recycling, as is currently handled, is brainstorming potential projects in line with this action step, and will be identifying a couple of projects to be completed this year. (Plan link Goal II, Objective 3.3).

b.  All of our second-year teachers met with Sally Loughlin, Susie Robbins, and myself as part of our continued revamp of induction for teachers in their first three years of employment.  This session focused on helping teachers to reflect on their experiences during their first year as well as provide feedback to the district on their experiences. (Goal III, Obj. 1.1).

c.  The secondary late start ad hoc work group continues to work on adjusting the school day schedule for 2016-17.  This is in line with solid research on adolescent sleep patterns.  A survey will be sent out to all staff and families within the next few weeks. (Goal II, Obj. 1.3).

d.  Our Instructional Support office continues to refine district protocols around Section 504 plans, including converting all individual health plans to 504 plans, as recommended by legal counsel.  A new 504 data system was purchased and is being used to centrally track all student 504 plans. (Goal II, Obj. 2.2). 

e.  The district technology team is being assembled and will start its work shortly to develop a K-12 vision and plan for technology over the next three years.  (Goal II, Obj. 3.1).

f.  The Facilities Committee has met several times over the fall months and has begun discussions around developing a long-term plan for building repairs, projects, and timelines. (Goal II, Obj. 3.2).

g.  Staff Dialogue sessions begin tomorrow at MIW.  Martha Leggat, Board chair, and myself will be visiting with each school staff and asking for feedback on staff connections to the Strategic Plan.  Staff will be invited to review topics from the Plan and reflect on how these can be aligned with staff work.  (Goal III, Obj. 3.1).

h.  The Pathways program is up and running with around 15 students.  This program helps connect specific students with their learning in non-traditional ways.  (Goal I, Obj. 1.1).

i.  As part of the Monitoring Cycle, a monthly blurb and photo of a Strategic Plan activity or event will be highlighted through a number of communication vehicles.  The first one on the topic of student voice involving our two student Board reps., Kevin Cass and Hannah Smith-Erb, went out in the Ranger Connection, Twitter, and Superintendent's blog. 

Kevin Cass & Hannah Smith-Erb, student reps. to MSAD #51 Board

3.  The state visited SAD #51 recently for a regular food service program review and gave high marks to the program.  Hats Off to director Jon Carlson and all staff who work in our food service program. 

4.  I wish to thank Dale Denno and the Aging in Place group for inviting me to speak about the district this past weekend at their forum.  It was a great opportunity for me to communicate our budget and challenges with this wonderful group of about 150 attendees.

5.  Siemens Industry presented their final report to the Board of Directors on our district Energy project that was recently completed.  Siemens has reported that MSAD #51 will realize over $550,000 in savings after applying debt from the project.  More importantly, this highly successful energy project has reduced our carbon footprint by 30%.  This is equivalent to taking 30 cars off the road with emissions or saving two acres of forest. Special thanks to Tom Seekins, Charlie Roman, and the team from Siemens as well as the district's Finance & Operations director Scott Poulin and Facilities supervisor Don Foster for all their work on this project.  Also thanks to the MSAD #51 Board for supporting this important energy efficiency project.  Below are some of the projects that were completed:

  • New boiler at MIW
  • Duel fuel burners to account for variations in the fuel market
  • Natural gas conversion all facilities
  • New interior and exterior LED lighting in many areas of facilities
  • Building envelope upgrades, include weather stripping exterior doors
  • New control valves
  • Kitchen equipment retrofitting