Message May 16, 2016

We received RFQs from 8 architectural firms interested in working on a concept design for the Performing Arts Center.  A subcommittee of the facilities committee has narrowed the list to 4 firms that will be interviewed in the near future as part of the selection process.  Once an architect is hired, a building committee will be formed to begin development of a concept design.

The finance committee approved up to $135,000 in funds under Policy DJ to support minor renovations at MIW that will take place over the summer to reconfigure internal space and create additional classrooms, small group areas, and offices.  The district has been working with architect Steve Blatt's office to design these spaces and is interviewing two local contractors for the project.

The district budget meeting will be held this Thursday, May 19 @ 7pm at GHS.  Registration begins at 6:30pm. This meeting is open to all registered voters in Cumberland and North Yarmouth.

The Evening of Excellence was held last week, recognizing students at GHS who excel academically.  Awards were given to students with high honors, book awards for academic achievement in the content areas, and world language awards.  A school-wide art show was also part of the festivities, showcasing so many beautiful student creations.

Last week, the SAD's finance committee met with the Town of Cumberland's finance committee to discuss capital projects and timelines for potential projects on the horizon.  It was a productive meeting with both groups sharing future plans and asking questions about implications of anticipated facilities work.  

In case you haven't seen it yet, the annual paper version of the Ranger Connection was mailed last week to every household in the district.  Many thanks to Ashley Caswell in the Development & Community Resources office for her work on this project.

Students in Bob O'Neill's 9th grade science class designed and launched their own model rockets.  A focus on precise mathematical calculations, with special attention to velocity, was learned prior to launching the rockets.  

MIW has a new school song, many thanks to music teacher Jen Caton and all of her young students in grade K-3. The school held an assembly last week to try out their new song's lyrics.  

This week, all students in grades 4-5 will be taking a bike ride through the Cumberland Town Forest as part of their physical education classes.  PE teacher Becki Belmore arranged this bike trek for her students in cooperation with Maine Winter Sports as a culminating event to the curriculum around bike safety, including safe and responsible riding.

Our annual Staff Recognition event is this Wednesday @ Val Halla to say thank you to our staff who have been with the district at decade-long service increments, as well as honor our retirees and those achieving National Board certification and graduate degrees.  We also will be awarding the Glendine Bunker Award and our new MSAD #51 Employee of the Year award.  Last week, Board chair Martha Leggat, Ashley Caswell, Scott Poulin, and myself took the five finalists for Employee of the Year out for a special lunch off campus.  Next week, we will be recognizing our third-year teachers as they transition from probationary to continuing contract status.

The GHS service learning class has been working on securing a new bottle filling station for the high school gym.  This is being funded through athletic advertising, many thanks to Eliza Miller and the athletic advisory committee. Thank you Don Foster and Frank Coffin for installing this new addition.

It's that time of year again:  The Greely Prom is this Saturday night @ Ocean Gateway.  I wish all of our students a fun-filled night that is full of safety and great memories.