Message May 2, 2016

The FY 17 budget was approved 8-0 on May 2 by the MSAD #51 Board of Directors.  The budget stands at $34,959,382 with a variance of $1,182,543, or a 3.50% increase over the current year.  The tax impact reflects a 1.1% increase in both towns.  For the owner of a $350,000 home in Cumberland, it means an increase of $70/ year and for the owner of a similar home in North Yarmouth it equals an increase of $66.50/year.

Please help!  We have had several recent reports of drivers passing school buses with their flashing lights loading or unloading children.  This is a significant safety concern that continues to provide a challenge to our students and bus drivers.  Please pass the word about the importance of stopping a safe distance from all school buses with their red lights on.
I had an opportunity to visit 10 classrooms across the district last week.  In each one of them, I was struck by the engagement of our students and the talent of our teachers and staff.  It reminds me how fortunate our students are to have such dedicated staff in all of our schools and departments.  Please join me in recognizing the MSAD #51 staff during this national Staff Recognition Week.  Take a moment to thank your child's teachers, administrator, ed. tech., school office secretary, bus driver, cafeteria worker, custodian, nurse, librarian, guidance counselor, coach, and any other staff member your child is connected with.

Congratulations GHS 2016 National Merit Scholarship Finalists

Andrea Bryant
Abigail Israel 
Harry Pershing
Matt Pisini

Congratulations GHS 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholar Semifinalist

Matt Pisini

Congrats Lions Club community service award winners Calvin Soule, Jaime Coyle, Brad Spoerri, Evan McCarthy, Samantha Kane, and Alyssa Lovering. 

Greely students visited the State Capitol last week and were honored for their work in the Visual and Performing Arts.  In addition to student art work, the GHS Madrigal Singers and Jazz Combo band played for Maine's First Lady Ann LePage.

We are making a change in how our top-performing seniors are recognized.  In the past, the top 10 seniors have been announced each year.  Starting this year, we will be recognizing the top 10% of the senior class each year. This is because of the variability in class size from year to year, which creates an imbalance proportionally based on a class's size.  This change will create more equity and fairness in our recognition of academic standing.

We had our first meeting of the Pre-K task force last week.  The group settled on these outcomes for the work to be completed over the next 6 months:
  • Needs Assessment, including a status check, inventory of current programs, and data review.
  • Define the feasibility of offering public pre-K in the district.
  • Define the scope of programming once feasibility has been established.
  • Define the plan for implementation moving forward, should the task force recommend this.
A flexible target date of November 2, 2016 has been set to update the Board of Directors as to the work of the Pre-K task force.  The Board will make the final decision about a public Pre-K program based on the recommendation of the task force.