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Superintendent's Weekly Update 10/9/2020

posted Oct 9, 2020, 11:02 AM by Bruce Bailey   [ updated Oct 9, 2020, 11:05 AM ]

October 9, 2020

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

Today is the last day in the sixth week of in-person instruction and the start of the long weekend to recognize Indigenous Peoples.  I am very relieved to realize that we have reached this point in our academic calendar with zero coronavirus cases in our student and staff populations. While I hope and pray that this trend will continue, I am mindful of how quickly it could change. For that reason, I thank you and ask you to continue the strict adherence to safety protocols around wearing masks, maintaining social distance, practicing hand hygiene, and doing daily symptom-checks.  Science on the pandemic points to these efforts making a positive difference in avoiding contagion. 

We have been ecstatic and grateful to learn that the second wave of Coronavirus Relief Funds -- 1.4 million dollars -- is coming our way. Our application is due on Thursday of next week and needs to be spent by December 30th. So we have been busy collecting feedback from all stakeholders about what more we can purchase to assist our students’ safe education during the pandemic. We will easily spend this money wisely in technology, instructional supplies, transportation, nursing, facilities, food service, PPE (personal protective equipment), outdoor furniture and equipment, and staffing.

We are making good progress on installing improved ventilation systems in all our schools; the bulk of the work will be done in advance of the cold weather when we need to keep windows and doors shut.

Students are continuing to be fabulous about protocols and staying engaged in their learning. Staff members have been nothing less than heroic in meeting student needs and designing instruction that enlivens, empowers, and elevates our students and promotes healthy growth. 

NWEA testing is nearly complete, and we look forward to using this data to better tailor our teaching to our students’ needs. 

We will soon be embarking on an RSU # 71 Strategic Planning Process. Students, staff, parents, and community members who wish to be involved should contact administrative assistant Chris Guerette (email cguerette@rsu71.org or call 338-1960) to get on the participants’ list. We hope to have the bulk of the work done in advance of developing our district budget for the 2021-2022 school year so that we can prioritize expenditures that will best assist us in achieving our vision and strategic goals. 

As always, please feel free to be in touch with members of our talented administrative team and with me. Questions, suggestions, feedback, ideas, and concerns are always welcome and promptly received and addressed.

With warm wishes for a happy and healthy long weekend,      

Mary Alice

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