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 equipment for our newly renovated fitness room at GHS.  Thank you to all of our community supporters who pay for advertising. has released its rankings of all schools in Maine:
  • MSAD #51 is 4th best district in Maine with grade A,  #558 in United States
  • Greely High School 5th best high school in Maine with grade A-
  • Greely Middle School 6-8 4th best middle school in Maine with grade A
  • Greely Middle School 4-5 5th best elementary school in Maine with grade A
  • Mabel I. Wilson School 7th best elementary school In Maine with grade A-
Martha Leggat, Gigi Sanchez, Scott Poulin and myself met with Pete Bingham, Bill Stiles, Tom Gruber, Bill Shane, and Heather Perreault from the Town of Cumberland as part of our commitment to regular communication with both towns regarding budget and capital expenses.  The town provided information on tax projections, bond schedules, and capital projects, which was very helpful as we begin planning for future capital projects through the work of the facilities committee.

Had an opportunity to visit the 7th grade classes of Shirley Storey-King and Anne Murdoch as they invited in several Muslim students who currently attend Lewiston High School.   It was a wonderful and enlightening discussion about their younger experiences living in Africa and their inspiring insights about America.  A great cultural experience for our students.

I would like to offer my very best to Karen Bubar, who will be moving on from the principalship at MIW to Kennebunkport Consolidated School over the holiday break.  I wish to thank Karen for all her accomplishments over the years in service to the students.             


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 system and answer their questions.

WMTW’s Mallory Brooke recently helped to shine the spotlight on Greely 
Middle School and the PTO’s Fill a Bus, Fill a Belly campaign. Ms. Brooke spent 
Tuesday morning broadcasting live from the parking lot. Thank you to the PTO and the Food
Pantry for sending representatives to help promote the event through live interviews. 
Students Jared Swisher and Parker Stair and Principal Mar-E Trebilcock represented GMS 
in their live interviews.


Also at GMS, recently 7th grade students celebrated African Culture Day with a feast provided by generous parents. The flags of African nations were draped across the school lobby and a buffet of authentic African dishes were set up in a buffet for students to sample. To top it off, African music was playing in the lobby while students moved through the buffet line. Back in the classrooms, 7th graders learned more about Africa from Wendy LePage, who returned to share details about her Peace Corps experience in Mali.

'Tis the season:  Ho Ho Ho, Scott Poulin's favorite time of year.  No, not the holidays.  The budget season has begun.  Our administrators are developing their FY 17 budgets at this time, including new proposals and supply budgets.  After the holidays, we will begin this work with the Finance Committee.

This is Spirit Week at Greely High School.  A host of fun activities have been planned, starting with a kick-off dance last Saturday night and culminating with an all-school spirit assembly this Friday.  

Next week is Drug & Alcohol Awareness Week at GHS.  Some highlights of activities include a video viewing in advisories and opportunities for kids to develop talking points for saying no to substances. Thanks to Erica Sarapas, Peter Scott, and Tiffany McPhetres for organizing this week.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of riding the routes through Cumberland with bus driver Diana Copp as she drove her elementary students home.  The students were well behaved and eager to share conversations with me.  My admiration for the work that Diana and all of our wonderful drivers do day in and day out.  



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 be relayed via:
5.  If school is canceled for the day, all after-school programs, activities, and athletic events are automatically canceled unless the district specifically communicates otherwise.

6.  There may be times when school is in session, but the weather worsens throughout the day, causing the district to cancel all after-school programs, activities, and athletic events. Communication on these occasions will be via announcements in schools, web site, Twitter, and Facebook.


Jeff Porter
Superintendent of Schools