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Superintendent's Weekly Update - 10/16/2020

posted Oct 16, 2020, 10:43 AM by Bruce Bailey   [ updated Oct 16, 2020, 10:47 AM ]

Dear RSU 71 Students, Parents, Staff, School Board, and Community Members, 

Difficult News: Today is the last day of our seventh week of in-person instruction, and I write to you with difficult news. We learned this morning that an individual at the Captain Albert Stevens School has tested positive for the coronavirus. It is the first case of a student or staff member in RSU 71 testing positive. Students at CASS are not in the school today on account of parent conferences. School nurses and administrators are in the process of notifying all students and staff who have been in close contact with this individual, all of whom will be required to quarantine through October 28, returning to school on October 29. More information will be coming to individuals affected on Monday, including information about remote learning plans in place through October 28th. To ensure confidentiality, we cannot provide additional information about the specific case. However, CASS school nurse Chris Kiley and all our school nurses will be happy to answer general questions and share information about COVID-19.

Good News: Yesterday, we were able to submit our application for the second round of Coronavirus Relief Funds for 1.4 million dollars. This will greatly assist us in being able to safely remain open for in-person instruction, fortify our resources for students involved in remote learning, and provide additional technology if we all need to move to remote learning at any point this year.

Invitation: Next month, we are launching our district’s Strategic Planning Process. Students, staff, parents, and family members who wish to participate should be in touch with administrative assistant Christine Guerette by calling the central office (338-1960) or emailing Chris (cguerette@rsu71.org).  

A meeting involving the administrative team, students, teachers, parents, and community members will be on Tuesday, November 11, from 3:00 - 5:00 pm via ZOOM. This group will help design the structure of meetings involving a much larger set of stakeholders via ZOOM. We plan to hold meetings with all aspects of our RSU 71 community in November, December, January, and February, and to have the RSU 71 School Board vote on the proposed plan at the meeting on March 1, 2021.

Fall Sports and Theatre- I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing snippets of several teams competing, including 7:7 football, girls’ soccer, and field hockey. The students play hard, observe safety protocols, and have tons of healthy fun as the gold and red leaves of autumn swirl around them in the cool and blustery wind and sunshine. Yesterday was the high school musical opening, which this year is Rock of Ages. It looks excellent, judging by what I have seen in rehearsals. I am so grateful to the staff, students, and parents who have worked creatively and collaboratively to keep our young people active and healthily engaged despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Learning and Growing: Our NWEA testing is nearly complete, and its results will enable us to tailor our design of instruction further to meet our students' needs better. Anecdotal data and observation attest to a high level of engagement and rigorous work on our K-12 students.  The school board has been hard at work developing meeting norms, goals, and self-evaluation tools for the 2020-2021 school year. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated and caring governing board leading our school district and modeling the professional learning and growth that is critical for all of us.

As always, please feel free to be in touch with any member of our administrative team and with me with questions, suggestions, ideas, and feedback. Please stay safe and continue to observe all safety protocols during this historical period of the pandemic.

Sincerely,    Mary Alice

Mary Alice McLean
Superintendent of Schools, RSU 71
(207) 338 - 1960