5:30 PM - 6:00 PM Budget and Finance Committee Meeting
6:30 PM - 7:00 PM Special Board Meeting Remote Dial In: 1-347-754-4883 (PIN: 982716023)
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Physical and Emotional Health Panel Discussion for Returning to School
6:30 PM - 7:00 PM Board Meeting
6:30 PM - 7:00 PM Special Board Meeting
202 Kidder Hill Road
202 Kidder Hill Road
INVITATION TO MEET
Hello RSU 63 Parents,
Please join me for some video/phone-in sessions through Google Meet next week. The sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday (August 11th and 12th) will share the same information regarding our plans for returning to school. (We thought it best to offer this twice.)
The panel discussion on Thursday, August 13th will include professionals from the fields of physical and emotional health.
We hope these opportunities and the more detailed information we will have ready to send to you next Tuesday (August 11th) will answer many of your questions and help you prepare your children for what to expect this year.
Thank you very much for your patience as we work together to provide safe learning environments for our students, staff, and community during this pandemic.
Susan Smith, RSU 63 Superintendent/Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Tuesday, August 11th at 6:30pm: RSU 63’s Plans for Returning to School
Join with Google Meet meet.google.com/ade-dcnh-mjt
Join by phone +1 502-791-5546 PIN: 742 377 457#
Wednesday, August 12th at 6:30pm: RSU 63’s Plans for Returning to School
Join with Google Meet meet.google.com/mzv-vaip-ecg
Join by phone +1 470-735-3403 PIN: 793 506 854#
Thursday, August 13th at 6:30pm: Panel Discussion – Physical and Emotional Health Considerations for Returning to School
Join with Google Meet meet.google.com/qih-ihtn-jid
Join by phone +1 541-362-4669 PIN: 313 552 347#
I recently received this invitation from the Maine Parent Federation and thought I would pass it along to you.
RSU 63 Outline for Returning to School
Below you will find a link to RSU 63's Outline for Returning to School.
This Outline represents our best thinking to date on how we intend to open our RSU 63 schools this fall. Our plan provides quality At-School and Remote Instruction while taking steps to protect the health of our students, staff, and community. While the number of COVID-19 cases in Maine is low, our vulnerability is high. As we implement new procedures and learn more about COVID-19, I anticipate we will need to refine and revise our plans. Thank you for your patience as we figure this out together.
Susan M. Smith
RSU 63 Superintendent
July 13, 2020
Dear RSU 63 Parents,
As we plan for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, our goal is to have as many students as possible come to school for instruction and other activities as quickly as we safely can. While we wish to return to our regular routines and procedures, we know we have to live and teach within the demands and constraints of the COVID-19 guidelines. We anticipate COVID-19 conditions to change for our community and for individual students throughout the school year. We are planning for three levels of instruction; Remote Instruction, Remote & At-School Instruction Hybrid, and At-School Instruction. Please see the attached document outlining these three Instruction Levels. We expect we will need to move back and forth between these levels during the school year as health and safety conditions require.
Using a Working Draft of the Maine Department of Education’s “Return to Classroom Instruction Framework,” we have formed several subcommittees. These groups have begun working on plans for School Safety (physical health and safety considerations), Transportation, Screening (of our Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Students), Food Service, Technology, Teaching and Learning Expectations, Human Resources/Employment, Social and Emotional Well-Being, and Childcare.
Our community recognizes that childcare for school-aged children will likely be a great need. Please know that area churches, childcare providers, and other organizations are working together to provide high-quality childcare options for you and your children. We know our kids need safe, welcoming, and consistent places where adults support their education and social emotional development. We are working on this – together as a community! Please let me know if you have any suggestions or are interested in providing flexible, safe childcare.
We hope to have many details of our RSU 63 draft plans available to you on July 28th. In early August, we anticipate the Maine Department of Education (DOE) and the Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) will make a recommendation regarding the level of instruction we will be able to provide our students at the start of the school year. Once we receive that recommendation, we will finalize our plans and share them with you as quickly as possible. Our first day of school for students is scheduled to be Wednesday, August 26th.
As our RSU 63 subcommittees continue to work out the details for each level of instruction, we would greatly appreciate your input and feedback. Please take about 10 minutes to share your preferences and concerns regarding safety, transportation, childcare, instruction, and extra-curricular activities by completing this survey by Monday, July 20th:
We value your perspective and will incorporate your feedback into our plans to the extent possible. However, our decisions will be driven by the need to educate our students safely and follow guidelines from the DOE and CDC.
(Note: You may have filled out a similar survey for the Maine DOE or legislators. The feedback to the DOE will be compiled by a research group and considered by the state team as they revise the Maine Framework over the next month. While the state surveys will provide a snapshot at the state and/or county levels, we need our own RSU 63-specific information to develop plans that will best meet your needs.)
Our hope is that Maine’s continued efforts to battle COVID-19 will allow our students to resume At-School Instruction for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. However, while we are hoping for the best, we need to be prepared for many possible scenarios.
Susan Smith, RSU 63 Superintendent of Schools
June 12, 2020
All of us at RSU 63 would like to commend you for your support of our students during these difficult times. To parents who are on the front lines as first responders and health care workers, we thank you for keeping our community healthy and safe. For those parents who continue to put your lives on the line to go to work to keep our grocery stores and gas stations open, we thank you for allowing the rest of us to get the supplies we need. For those parents working from home, we thank you for taking on the additional fulltime job of teaching and child care that changed to "in-home" when we had to close our school buildings. For those parents who have lost their jobs, our hearts go out to you. Please do not hesitate to reach out if we can provide food or other assistance.
2020 has proven to be a challenging year and unfortunately the future is still uncertain. All of our lives have been, and will continue to be, disrupted by the pandemic. Our nation is grappling with tough realities like high unemployment, incredible loss of life, and the quest for racial equality. We want you to know we are appalled by the tragic death of George Floyd, disturbed by the riots and looting, and stand in support of the peaceful voices speaking for change. All of these events can be difficult for children to understand and talk about. As educators, we have committed ourselves to creating schools that are safe and welcoming places for everyone. With our students, we think and talk about things like race and skin color. We believe we all have a role in working together to develop a more peaceful and inclusive society. We encourage you to talk with kids of all ages about race and help them understand the information they may be getting from the news and social media. We know some of you are hesitant to talk about what is happening across the nation. We do not expect families to talk about the violence, but hope you will share in general terms how people of color are being treated unfairly and how we can all play a role in helping our world be kind and fair. We know your child's safety and emotional well-being is the first priority so below are some links to tools and resources to help facilitate these conversations.
On a much lighter note, we also wanted to leave you with some safe, family-friendly, summer time activities here in Maine.
We are proud and grateful to be a part of this community.
Susan M. Smith, RSU 63 Superintendent of Schools
TO: COMMUNITY MEMBERS
FROM: SUSAN SMITH, SUPERINTENDENT/DIRECTOR OF CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION
RE: FY21 BUDGET and PROCESS
DATE: JUNE 8, 2020
There was a flurry of activity last week in anticipation of and in reaction to Gov. Mills' Executive Order regarding the budget approval process. We have looked closely at Executive Order 56 as well as guidance from the Maine Department of Education and the Maine School Management Association. RSU 63 will continue with our traditional budget approval process as planned, being careful to provide public access and information while following the rules and safety practices regarding physical distancing and face masks. The timing and dates are different than we are used to, but our process will remain the same.
Dates for RSU 63 FY21 Budget Validation Process
Under the “Quick Links” on the left hand side of our homepage is the draft budget for FY21 (2020-2021 School Year) and a summary. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about the budget or the process.
If you are a resident of Clifton, Eddington, or Holden, please mark your calendars and grab your face mask!
Food support is available to any resident of Eddington, Clifton, and Holden. Because of the holiday, food pick-up will be on Tuesday, May 26th from 9:00am - 11:00am at the Holbrook School.
We will resume our Monday food support schedule on June 1st, 8th, and 15th; with pick-up at the Holbrook School from 9:00am - 11:00am.
We are waiting for information from the state and the USDA regarding summer food support. Once we have the details worked out, we will publicize our plan for the rest or June, July, and August.
TO: RSU 63 PARENTS, STAFF, and COMMUNITY MEMBERS
FROM: SUSAN SMITH, SUPERINTENDENT/DIRECTOR OF CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION
RE: REMOTE LEARNING UPDATE and END-OF-YEAR PLANNING
DATE: May 1, 2020
THANK YOU PARENTS! All of us at RSU 63 would like to commend parents for their support of our children during this challenging time. We are proud and grateful that our entire community is putting others first by staying home, staying safe, and participating to the extent possible in remote learning. We know it has been, and continues to, be challenging. Your child's safety and emotional well-being is the first priority as we navigate this new normal together. All our lives have been disrupted by this pandemic and we are all juggling multiple roles. We know it is hard and some days feel impossible. We recognize that whatever self and family care you need to get through this has to come before any schooling expectation. You are doing an exceptional job. Again, we thank you and appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we adjust to the slow reopening of the state and guidance provided to us by Governor Mills, the Maine CDC, and the Maine Department of Education in the coming months.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH We want every student, parent, and staff member to be physically healthy and receive help in managing any worries or anxiety they might be feeling. If you are concerned about someone, call 2-1-1 or the NAMI Maine Hotline at 800-464-5767, press 1 (email@example.com). Please view RSU 63 as a support as well. Our Central Office number is 843-7851. We also have resources for parents on our website (https://www.rsu63.org/domain/217).
FOOD SUPPORT RSU 63 (and CHEFS) continues to provide food to our students (and any resident of Clifton, Eddington, or Holden). Clifton & Eddington residents can pick up food from the Holbrook School on Mondays from 9:00am – 10:00am. Holden residents can pick up food from the Holbrook School on Mondays from 10:00am – 11:00am. CHEFS is open to residents of Clifton, Eddington, and Holden on Thursdays from 4:00pm until 6:00pm.
The Clifton Community Food Bank can be reached at 949-3238 or at the Clifton Church at 843-5441. Leave a detailed message. It's free and confidential. The food bank is located at the Clifton Church at 742 Airline Road.
REMOTE LEARNING RSU 63 is continuing with remote learning for the remainder of this school year. Friday, June 5th was originally planned to be the end of our third trimester. Friday, June 5th will still be the last day students have assignments due to their teachers. Make-up/late work will be accepted during the week of June 8th – 12th. Friday, June 12th will be our last day of school. Final report cards will be mailed (regular US Postal Service or emailed) to parents/guardians the week of June 15th.
END-OF-YEAR PLANNING Similar to the last week of a regular school year, we will celebrate with our students and provide some special activities from Monday, June 8th through Friday, June 12th. Many of our regular celebrations, like Grade 8 Promotion, will need to be redesigned. We will have to find alternatives to things like class trips and field days. However, we will continue to work hard to provide both continuity and closure for students as we end this unique school year together.
As we think about the start of the 2020-21 School Year (our first student day is planned for Wednesday, August 26th), we are also considering ways to have students spend some time with their classmates and teachers from this year; maybe a picnic or ice cream social.
Please keep your eye on our school newsletters, SchoolMessenger emails, website, and Facebook page for additional information and details regarding the end of this school year and the start of next year.
RSU 63 FOOD SUPPORT: APRIL 27, 2020 – JUNE 15, 2020
In order to continue providing food during the COVID-19 School Building Closure, we need your help!
On Friday, April 17th, we will deliver a large food box to each family on our RSU 63 food delivery list. April 20th - 24th is April Break. There will not be remote learning nor food delivery during April Break.
Starting Monday, April 27th, please plan on picking up food for the week on Mondays at the Holbrook Middle School.
Please come to Holbrook’s back parking lot and display the sign (provided) in your car window.
Residents of Eddington and Clifton, please come 9:00am - 10:00am.
Residents of Holden, please come 10:00am – 11:00am.
Monday, April 27
Monday, May 4
Monday, May 11
Monday, May 18
*Tuesday, May 26 (*Monday the 25th is Memorial Day)
Monday, June 1
Monday, June 8
Monday, June 15
Thank you for helping us make food support safer and more sustainable during these difficult times.
If you cannot make it to Holbrook Middle School or if you would like to be added to our Food Support list, please email or call Shelley Wyman firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-7851, ext. 1.
ADDITIONAL FOOD SUPPORT in OUR AREA
CHEFS (Clifton, Holden, Eddington Food Support). In the “snack shack” by the ball fields behind the Holbrook School. Open Every Thursday from 4:00pm – 6:00pm
The Clifton Community Food Bank is ready to respond to any food need during this trying time of social distancing and quarantines. You may reach the food bank at 949-3238 or at the Clifton Church at 843-5441. Leave a detailed message. It's free and confidential. The food bank is located at the Clifton Church at 742 Airline Road.
March 24th Update
Dear RSU 63 Parents, Students, and Community Members,
Following the Governor's orders, the Eddington and Holden School buildings are closed. Mr. Spencer will be working with a bus driver to deliver materials to our Holden students tomorrow (Wednesday, March 25th).
The Holbrook School is only available to those who are providing essential services related to food and finance. We already have wonderful staff members signed up to help with food prep and delivery through April 17th.
Food deliveries will occur this week on Wednesday, March 25th and Friday, March 27th.
Next week, food deliveries will move to Tuesday & Friday afternoons between 12:00 and 2:00.
Tuesday, March 31st Friday, April 3rd
Tuesday, April 7th Friday, April 10th
Tuesday, April 14th Friday, April 17th
We will continue to connect with you remotely. We are all getting better at this every day!
Take a deep breath, look around, find a spot to do school work from, and a spot to relax in. We will “see” each other soon - through Google Hangouts, Facetime, Zoom, etc.
Take care of yourselves and each other.
RSU 63 schools will be closed through April 17th and off for the scheduled vacation (April 20th - 24th).
Thank you for your patience while we gathered the most recent, accurate information we can to develop a plan for RSU 63. I am confident these are the right steps – for now. I also expect the situation will change.
RSU 63 will be closed at least through Friday, March 27. We will continually reassess the situation to determine when it is possible to reopen beyond the 27th.
I will continue to communicate with you through phone calls (for the most important, time-sensitive information), emails (for detailed information) and our RSU 63 Eddington, Holden, and Holbrook Schools Facebook page (for sharing other resources and re-posting emails and announcements). Information can also be found on our website www.rsu63.org.
You can call 2-1-1 to get general information regarding Covid-19, health care information, and crisis support. You can also email me (email@example.com) or call our RSU 63 Central Office at 207-843-7851 if you have questions about RSU 63’s plan or resources. The office will be open, but if you need an in-person meeting, I ask that you call first.
Below is additional important information. Our goal is to stay connected and work together as a community to support one another through this difficult time.
Food Distribution: We will begin using our buses, routes, drivers, and cooks to deliver food to families in need on Wednesday, March 18th (between 12:00pm and 2:00pm). We plan to continue this service on Friday, March 20th as well as Monday, Wednesday, and Friday next week. If you are in need of something to eat (and not already receiving free lunch) please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you are able to help, please consider making a monetary donation (checks payable to “Holbrook - CHEFS”) or dropping off non-perishable food, personal hygiene products, and/or reusable cloth grocery bags in the lobby area of the RSU 63 Central Office (the back side of Holbrook School).
Important Items Left at School: For these two weeks, we are asking families to call our schools between 9:00am and 2:00pm if they believe their child(ren) have left essential items in one of our buildings or on a bus. This includes medication, a warm coat, eye glasses, or other health related items. It does not include musical instructions, books, school supplies, computers, or other items students can live without for the next two weeks. If the item is deemed essential, school personnel will retrieve it and bring it to the school’s lobby/entrance area.
Learning/Engagement Opportunities: Our staff will be providing ideas and resources for optional at-home activities that will help keep your child(ren) engaged. More information about this will be coming from teachers soon. These activities will not be mandatory or part of any student’s school program. They will not be graded or incorporated into any part of your child(ren)’s school record. However, we do feel it is important for students to have a chance to use their brains and imagination during this extended time away from school.
Help Everyone in Our Community: We are not only concerned about our students and staff. Please help us all protect each other, especially our older adults.
1. Wash your hands frequently
2. Maintain social distancing (stay 3 feet away from others)
3. Avoid touching your face
I would like to thank RSU 63’s Pandemic Management Team for their input and on-going support of our schools and community. We are truly blessed to live in Clifton, Eddington, and Holden.
Eddie Benjamin – Holden Police Department
Dawna Bickford – RSU 63 School Nurse
George Cummings – RSU 63 Technology Coordinator
Ryan Davis – Holden Fire Dept./Parent
Jim Ellis- Eddington Fire/Penobscot County Sheriff Dept
Jesse Gauthier – RSU 63 Director of Special Services
Linda Graban – RSU 63 School Board Vice-Chair/Clifton Resident
Chris Greely – Holden Police Department
David McCluskey – Community Care Director/Eddington Resident
Richard Modery – Holbrook School Principal
Jake Morgan – RSU 63 Transportation and Facilities Director
Craig Russell - Eddington Fire/ Parent
Don Spencer – Eddington and Holden Schools’ Principal
Kelly Theriault – RSU 63 School Nutrition Administrator
Chris Watson – Penobscot County Sheriff Dept.
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. – Arthur Ashe
Thank you to all of you who have expressed support and asked good questions as we work together to understand the COVID-19 outbreak and react responsibly.
In an effort to proactively slow the spread of COVID-19, RSU 63 Schools will be closed beginning Monday, March 16th. I anticipate they will remain closed at least until Monday, March 30th. No classes, clubs, or activities will be held at the Eddington, Holden, and Holbrook Schools. All three school buildings will be closed. This closure is subject to change as new information becomes available.
I do not take this action lightly but feel it is in the best interest of the health of our students, staff, and community members.
I will be meeting with RSU 63’s Pandemic Management Team on Monday. Further communication and information will be coming as we learn more and monitor the situation.
I will continue to communicate through School Messenger phone calls, School Messenger emails, our RSU 63: Eddington, Holden, and Holbrook Schools Facebook page, and our website (www.rsu63.org).
During this school closing, teachers, administrators, and office staff will still have access to the buildings. However, our buildings will be locked and not open to the general public. Custodial staff will conduct extensive cleaning. All our business functions will continue. We will return phone calls and emails as quickly as possible.
These are stressful times. I know the uncertainty of COVID-19 makes many things difficult. Thank you for your patience and your help in keeping our community safe.
Grant Awarded! Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries
RSU 63 received a competitive, federal grant for $49,711 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This year (2019-20), the grant will allow us to purchase some new furniture for the Holbrook, Holden, and Eddington libraries and add library instruction at the Eddington and Holden Schools. Next year (2020-21), we will be able to have additional after school programs at the Holden School. Yay Ms. Hardy!
District and School Reports
Each year the Maine Department of Education issues a report for each district. These reports summarize state assessments and other data for students in Grades 3-8 and 11. The report also contains information about teacher qualifications. State law requires those to be made available to the community. The ESSA Dashboard at the Maine Department of Education allows you to review report cards for schools and districts across the state, including those in RSU 63.
We are proud to continue to perform above the state average in literacy and math while spending less per pupil than the state average.
CHEFS (Clfifton, Holden, Eddington Food Support) continues its schedule of every Thursday evening from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. CHEFS is also open the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. If you or someone you know is in need of additional food, please come!
Holden, Eddington, and Holbrook Schools all promote, recognize, and expect positive behavior. Our expectations are taught through our Core Values; Honesty, Kindness, Respect, Responsibility, Compassion, and Courage. Students are recognized for making good choices in a variety of ways including gold slips, kudos cards, and “Busted” slips. We are also aware that incidents of bullying and harassment have a negative impact on school climate and culture as well as academic achievement. This year we have added an online, anonymous reporting system. CLICK ON HEADLINE LINK TO READ MORE.