July 31, 2020 Superintendent's update

July 31, 2020

Dear RSU #57 Community (Mustang Nation),

As we approach August, the start of a new school year is just a few weeks away and we understand that you have been patiently awaiting information from us on our plans for reopening schools. First, we are now planning to open school for all students after Labor Day, beginning the week of September 8th, with specific details regarding phasing in of all grades/programs to be outlined in the re-opening plan. This is a change to the adopted calendar and the Board will adopt the new calendar at the August 5th meeting (Meeting Link: https://rsu57.zoom.us/j/84923814205).

I know you have many more questions and concerns about how we will reopen our buildings safely in light of COVID-19 and I’m sure you too can understand that traditional school and routines will be forever changed. However, our commitment to school safety for students and staff will not change and we will adhere to the Maine Department Of Education Framework for Returning to Classroom Instruction guidelines as they are presented.

On Wednesday evening, August 5th, I will present the RSU #57 basic guidelines of the 2020-2021 school year plan to the RSU 57 School Board. The plan is devised from the guidelines established for us from the DOE, which includes recommendations from the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The RSU #57 administrative team is assembling our general guidelines which will be shared with constituents throughout the District. Our schools will accommodate all students in a daily program, with families choosing to access the classroom either in person or remotely with a common start and end time for both. We will continue to review our plan as adjustments may be required based on the Maine DOE guidelines as well as the conditions of staffing and safety in the district.

We will receive guidance from the State regarding the rating for our county, which will dictate how we will proceed with the reopening of school and the continuance of the school year. It is our current understanding that there will be biweekly State updates regarding the rating of COVID-19 spread in our county. As a result of this procedure, we will need to be responsive to any changes that would affect our current plan. This changing information will necessitate flexibility in all operations of planning. We will do our best to keep you well informed.

The ratings are as follows:

● Categorization as “red” suggests that the county has a high risk of COVID-19 spread and that in-person instruction should not be conducted.

● Categorization as “yellow” suggests that the county has an elevated risk of COVID-19 spread and that hybrid instruction models should be adopted.

● Categorization as “green” suggests that the county has a relatively low COVID-19 risk and that in-person instruction can be adopted – although a SAU may opt for hybrid instruction if its buildings or readiness make adhering to the Required Health and Safety Measures for All Schools a challenge.

RSU #57 will offer online and in-person learning throughout the school year, unless ordered (red rating) to close our facilities. Our online learning program will look and run differently than in the spring. Students will participate in the same schedule as the in-person students run at the school (Synchronized Learning). Our teachers will instruct students in both environments in order for all students to experience similar educational programming. Daily class attendance will be required and recorded. Grading will be reflective of the current grading structures of the District.

In-person learning will require adherence to the safety guidelines, which currently include distancing and the mandatory wearing of a mask/face covering by all students and staff. Current guidance per The Maine Department Of Education Framework for Returning to Classroom Instruction, states that face shields are not an alternative to mask/face coverings unless there are “medical, behavioral, or other [documented] challenges.”

It should be noted that there are significant limitations on the number of students we can place on the bus at any given time. The required safety measures include: daily pre-screening, the wearing of a mask/face covering, hand sanitizing, and assigned seating. We are encouraging families to transport daily if possible.

Our nutrition department will continue to offer breakfast and lunch programs. Details of how to receive these services for those in the online learning setting will be forthcoming. Those participating in the in-person setting will be required to maintain aforementioned safety measures. Self-service options will not be available and meal choices will be limited.

The 2020-2021 school year will be divided into segments of school days, after which each family can revisit their personal choice of in-person or remote school options based on the changing conditions and the risk mitigation strategy employed by the district.

The family survey is linked below asking that families select a choice of an educational plan for each of their children, as well as information regarding transporting their children to school daily. It is very important for our planning that all families complete this survey for each school-aged child in their household: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1a1jelFYl5Bb_1Q1wRKl5I45KPBCBMx0tsiBFnCUMJrA/edit. We ask that you help us by sharing this information with your friends and family.

A community information night will be held Tuesday, August 11th from 6:00 - 8:00PM. We will use this opportunity to share our most current guidance and planning as well as take questions from the community. A link for this event will be shared via the District Facebook page, RSU #57 website, and the RSU #57 app.

The upcoming year will present challenges for all of us. That being said, we look forward to working with your child(ren) and providing them with quality educational opportunities.

With appreciation,

Larry Malone


July 2, 2020 Superintendent's Update

July 2, 2020


Dear RSU #57 Community (Mustang Nation),

I hope this letter finds you well and enjoying summer activities. I would like to take a moment and update you on a few things that have been going on in the district since the end of the school year. Our 2020 graduation was held on campus in a unique “drive-in” setting. It was great to see the level of support for all the graduates and interesting to see how students and family personalized the experience with their means of transportation. The high school staff and administration are to be commended for supporting and organizing a memorable ceremony for our students.

Our administrative team has been discussing our options for opening school in the fall. Currently they are taking a few days off to rejuvenate and enjoy some downtime. The team will convene in mid-July and begin finalizing the details of a return to school plan for the fall. At this time there are restrictions that will prohibit the return of all students to a building daily, exclusive of a vaccine for the COVID-19. Two of the conditions we are working with include:

● Busing - The CDC guidelines include maintaining a distance of 6 feet on the bus which reduces our capacity significantly. Our regular daily bus run includes 38 buses and is established in 2 tiers (elementary and middle/high school) with an average of 44 students per bus. The distance guideline reduces the capacity to 12-13 students on our largest buses. This detail will limit the number of students the district can transport in our current structure to approximately 30% capacity.

● Classrooms - The capacity of our buildings are reduced due to the current distincing guidelines as well. Our administrators have measured each room’s capacity in their building using a guideline of 6 foot spacing for individuals in the room. Our available space is limited to 8 - 12 individuals depending on the room size. This detail will reduce daily capacity to estimated capacity of less than 40%, with some rooms well below this average. The estimates provided are at the highest level.

We plan to conduct another survey for parents in late summer to update your intentions for returning your children to a school-based location in the fall, as well as, specifics regarding transportation. We will share additional information on how we intend to meet the educational needs of students in the upcoming school year.

REMINDERS

School Nutrition

Meal Distribution

  • Open Meal Sites at Line & MMS will remain open for meal pick up on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays until further notice.

  • Open Meal Sites will be closed on Friday, July 3rd to observe the 4th of July holiday.

  • Watch for a separate update from Food Service with details of the summer menu.

Budget Vote - July 14

Budget Referendum - (3 items) The RSU 57 budget will be voted on by the public on July 14th at your local polling place. We encourage you to take time to vote.

  1. The budget information brochure has been sent out and you should be receiving it soon. The brochure includes a summary of the cost centers, comparison of expenditures, and local impact on assessments. You can also find additional details of the budget on our website.

  2. Adult Education - The Adult Education budget is an annual stand alone item.

  3. Bond - The referendum ballot for July 14, 2020 includes a question as to whether voters want to approve RSU #57 obtaining an interest free loan through the State of Maine School Revolving Renovation Fund Program. The $370,068 loan would be paid over 10 years with no interest (annual district payments of $37,007) and the state will also forgive an additional $273,528 for a total project cost of $643,596. The projects include putting additional security doors and containment areas in each school’s entrance vestibule to prevent visitors from being able to enter the classroom wings without front office approval. These security measures have been an item the Transportation/Security Committee of the School Board have wanted to do for many years based on security reviews and information from the public. These projects have been put on hold due to the lack of additional funding. The RSU applied for state funding in September and was awarded and Board approved in January. This is a great opportunity to receive state funding for approximately 42.5% of the total project costs and address this safety concern in our buildings.

Finally, the times we are facing in our country are challenging and reach well beyond the issue of a pandemic. Current protests across the country speak to the topic of anti-racism. Although RSU #57 works to ensure diverse acceptance and representation throughout the organization, it is important that we continue our intentional review of policies, practices and curriculum as it relates to this important issue. Please know that we plan to elevate our awareness and performance on this topic.

I want to wish you a happy and safe Fourth of July.

My Best

Larry Malone

June 5, 2020 Superintendent's Update

June 5, 2020

Dear RSU #57 Community (Mustang Nation),

The end of this unimaginable school year has come to a close for students today. I know that everyone has had to make adjustments in their family routines and commitments in order to support the educational needs of your child and the district. The district appreciates the support and cooperation you gave in order to adapt and sustain remote learning over the last 12 weeks. Your children will forever remember your support and participation in their learning experiences.


Our staff will continue to work next week on closing out the school year and to begin planning for a fall school opening, which will have a very different look and feel to the previous years we all remember. Although there are many uncertainties regarding the next school year, we do know that an educational school year will happen and we will need your support and cooperation again.


The planning for next year includes making adjustments from an emergency (crisis) approach of learning for the last twelve weeks, to a new model(s) of learning. We are waiting for additional guidance from the State regarding any restrictions and guidance for hosting a school-based environment in order to design for our unique building and transportation needs. In order to assist us in the design, we are asking that you and your children participate in the surveys below. We anticipate sending additional information and surveys out over the summer. We now know more about ourselves, our students, our teaching, and you and we plan to use this information to make adjustments for next year.


Again, I ask that you take time to complete the surveys below that are relevant to you. We value your feedback and will use the results to help inform our planning. Thank you.

Surveys

Fall 2020 Re-entry Survey: Parents All Grades (Respond by June 9th)

We are looking for your feedback to help us plan for opening in the fall. We appreciate your participation and anticipate seeking your feedback again prior to the start of next school year. Please respond by June 9th. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe1s1heSs-zLUxKGQJVsYjXfm4lJbhkjbfKMZ1wWSE980F pbQ/viewform?usp=sf

Learner Experience Survey: PreK-5th Grade - (Respond by June 11th)

Please assist your learner or encourage them to complete this survey independently, if possible. Complete one survey per learner PreK - 5th in your household. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfLmK5jlFo5XF7UKen9LCLpXCmnLFaR-g9ts9ZhgdX3tIN5 SA/viewform

Notes
● A learner experience survey for the middle and high school was completed on Friday, May 29th. Thank you to all of the learners who participated! Your voice is important!
For Paper Copies: *If you are completing this survey by way of paper copy, please return when you drop off your child's iPad at School.

District Health Update

Please check out the latest Edition of
Nurse News: https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/738013/Mustang_Nurse_News_1_4__3_.pdf

School Nutrition
Meal Distribution updates/changes:

● Last day for Meal Bus Routes will be Tuesday, June 30th.
● Open Meal Sites at Line & MMS will remain open for meal pick up on Mondays, Wednesdays & Friday
until further notice.
● Open Meal Sites will be closed on Friday, July 3rd to observe the holiday (4th of July).

Technology
The district is collecting all devices (PK-8). Each school will have an individual plan for how the actual drop off will work at their location and will communicate that plan with you.

● Please return both the device and charger. Lost items will be note
d.
● If you have children at multiple schools, you may drop them off at one location
● If you are unable to drop your device off at a school between the specified hours, please connect with
your child’s school.

Device Drop-off Dates (8:00 - 2:00)

● Middle School - June 8 and 9
● Elementary (PK - 5) - June 10 and 11
● Open Drop off (PK to12)-June15@MHS

I hope each of you has a safe and enjoyable summer and we look forward to serving you in the fall.

My Best
Larry Malone

May 22, 2020 Superintendent's Update

May 22, 2020

Dear RSU #57 Community (Mustang Nation),

We hope that this update still finds you and your family well and finding positive adjustments in your family routines during this unprecedented time. As I write this, I never would have imagined that our lives could be so impacted by an invisible foe. It is becoming very apparent that the repercussions of this outbreak will continue to create challenges for all us for an unknown duration.

As the State looks to phase in conditions to open our economy, the safety concerns will continue to impact the decision many will make to access the resources they had become so accustomed to. Here at RSU 57 the conditions of opening up educational services to school based locations limits our ability to offer traditional end of the year activities and summer programming. Administration is preparing for these changes and have or will be in contact with families and students affected with the alternative programming and celebrations. We ask that everyone help us adhere to the guidelines established for us, by following the conditions developed by the administration.

I have started to receive correspondence with questions regarding the plan for educational programs and services for the fall. As of right now, the reopening to a school based setting as we have known it is uncertain. The current conditions of distancing will bring many challenges to a school district to adhere to if schools were to be open with all students attending. Based on what we currently know, the administration is currently planning for three (3) options: (1) All schools open to site based learning, (2) Continued remote learning, and (3) a hybrid environment of both on-site and remote. As we become more aware of the guidelines or orders from the State and CDC, we will communicate our plans with you. Parents can expect to be asked to participate in a survey that will solicit responses that will help us better prepare the district to support you.

We continue to thank you for your support and adjustments to the remote learning environment. Your support is very important to the success of the educational system.

School Nutrition

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Benefit

Maine's Department of Health and Human Services has received approval from Food and Nutrition Services to partner with the Maine Department of Education to provide a Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefit to school-aged children who normally receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch at Maine schools. This benefit will help to replace the value of school meals while students are learning remotely. Families currently receiving SNAP or TANF and have a child aged five through eighteen will receive a P-EBT benefit on their Pine Tree card in May. Families who are not receiving SNAP or TANF and have a child who is eligible for free or reduced school lunch can request the P-EBT benefit by calling 1-855-797-4357. Some household information will be requested by a phone agent who will then verify eligibility with the Maine Department of Education. Families who have not yet been found eligible for free or reduced lunch can apply through their local school district at www.myschoolapps.com. Separate P-EBT cards will be issued for eligible families who do not already have a Pine Tree card.

Meal Distribution Update/Changes

  • No meal service on Monday, May 25th (Memorial Day)

  • Bus Routes will resume on Tuesday, May 26th

  • Open Sites will resume on Wednesday, May 27th & Friday, May 29th

  • Current meal programs will continue for the week of June 8th-12th (open sites & bus routes).

  • If your children are in need of food and you cannot access the open sites or bus routes please call our office. (207)247-3221 x 2257

  • Updates will be coming about extending the summer meal distribution.

Appreciation Parades

Recently, teachers and parents coordinated parades through to let students know how much they care and miss them. People decorated their vehicles with messages of hope, appreciation and well wishes. It has been amazing to see the level of participation and support for one another throughout the district. Below are links of recent parades. Enjoy!

Alfred https://youtu.be/SoPMxXHVZTY

Lyman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dx5PFGmddE&feature=youtu.be

Shapleigh https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2yivNjYKOk

Waterboro WES Parade Video

Line https://drive.google.com/open?id=1OHO58Rd9WGqqJXcuRaUSeJq2w2ePOPNs Part 1

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QsSccy0DTObAhcWJSVO0O9EWQEOWplbj Part 2

Technology

Summer Device Plan

The district will be collecting all devices (PK-12) in the first two weeks of June. Each school will have an individual plan for how the actual drop off will work at their location and will communicate that plan with you in the near future.

Here are some parts to the plans that will be the consistent district-wide:

  • Schools have coordinated the technology drop off to coincide with the pick up of any items your child had to leave in their school. These two events will occur simultaneously.

  • Device drop off will happen outside the school. Staff will direct you and come to your car to collect.

  • Please return both the device and charger. Lost items will be noted.

  • Drop-off times will be between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm

  • If you have children at multiple schools, you may drop them off at one location. (Ex: If you have a child at Line School and the high school, you will be able to drop both devices at Line School during the scheduled drop off time. We will deliver the high school device to the high school.)

  • If you are unable to drop your device off at a school between the specified hours, please connect with your child’s school.

Drop-off Dates:

Seniors/Class of 2020 - June 4 and 5

MHS

Grade 9 - June 8

Grade 10 - June 9

Grade 11 - June 12

Open Drop off (PK to 12) - June 15 (at MHS)

Middle School - June 8 and 9

Elementary (PK - 5) - June 10 and 11

Mobile Hotspots

The State of Maine has provided districts with a supply of mobile cellular hotspots for families that do not have access to the Internet. The devices come with 6 months of paid service through either US Cellular or Verizon. We received these devices at the end of last week and have worked on setting them up to sign out for use in homes without Internet or with only phone access to the Internet.

The down-side is that we only have two weeks of school remaining. As much as we would like to push these out to give families in need this service for two weeks, we believe that you will be better served if we hold off until we reopen in the fall. The 6 month activation period will begin when we reopen.

Another Resource

This is a reminder to go to rsu57.org/Continuous Learning site to find hints, instructions, and lessons on using technology, specifically for using the apps and tools that students are asked to use.

Don’t find what you need on the site? Please send an email to remotehelp@rsu57.org .

Enjoy the Memorial Day Weekend,

Larry Malone

May 1, 2020 Superintendent's Update

May 1, 2020


Dear RSU #57 Community (Mustang Nation),

As we all continue to adapt to the changes in our everyday lives, which were unimaginable just a few months ago, I hope you are in good health. This week Governor Mills extended Maine’s stay-at-home order through May 31, 2020. The order outlines a phased approach to reopening the State that may take the summer to see completion. These steps set limitations on gatherings and will have an impact on our end of year activities at any point during these steps.

On Wednesday, April 29th, the Board of Directors voted to end the student school year on Friday, June 5, 2020. From this point on, our staff will prepare for the end of school year as we would in a typical year. Their focus will include delivering on standards that are foundational to a successful start to a new year in the fall, and revisiting skills to help reduce the summer regression. If you need assistance in managing this for your children, I ask that you contact your teacher(s) and building principal for assistance. Many of you have done this and I hope that you were able to find an effective balance for your situation.

We recognize that these conditions continue to reveal many challenges and disappointments for our students and families. Although end of year events will not convene as we expected, we are committed to find a way to celebrate these important events for you and your children. You will be hearing from your building principal on plans and ideas for these events in the upcoming weeks. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation throughout all of this.


School Board News

The 2020-2021 School Budget has come out of the Finance Committee and is at the Board Level for consideration.

The School Board met on 4/29/2020 and voted the last student day to be June 5, 2020. Staff are expected to work or be available to work through the completion of their contract or employment agreement.


School Nutrition

Today is School Lunch Hero Day and this year we are especially appreciative of the work our Nutrition, Custodial and Transportation Teams have done. Please take a few moments to watch the RSU #57 District video at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pO6UlS3wMZi6TaWQBa1p6oBWwPKIDhxC/view

This is a link to a Maine DOE video in which RSU #57 employees are also featured: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY1wKGXAfdI


6th Grade Band

If you missed the 6th grade band signup notice in earlier notices from your school, there is still time to do so. Please use this link: https://forms.gle/7uXezfaNVXF1nAnZ7


Summer Projects

Spring is upon us and the RSU is gearing up for its summer projects. The custodial staff are planning for a very thorough deep cleaning of all facilities in the District this spring and summer. There is also work being planned for customary annual projects such as roofing. In addition the School Board has approved Phase II (the final phase) of the Waterboro Elementary School paving and septic improvements which will complete this important project before the start of school in the fall.


Appreciation

Recently, teachers coordinated staff parades through their towns to let students know how much they care and miss them. Staff members decorated their vehicles with messages of hope and love. It was an amazing experience for all involved and there are plans in place for other parades in the district. Below are links to two recent parades. Enjoy!

Lyman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dx5PFGmddE&feature=youtu.be

Shapleigh https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2yivNjYKOk


Technology

Need Wifi? Please remember that town libraries and schools have open wifi networks for you to use. Simply park outside the building and connect to the network. Each school uses a network titled Massabesic. The Massabesic network has no password. All filters used in the school day are still active.

Weekly Restart Please be certain to restart your device at least once a week. A computer picks up and uses tiny bits of information when it is in use, whether it is reaching out to the world on the Internet or creating a story directly on your device. The information that the device picks up and uses is stored on the computer until that information is cleared. Choosing ‘shut down’ or ‘restart’ clears the information.

Device Return We are making plans for collecting devices after school ends this year. We are collecting all devices (PK-12) with the exception of high school classes that will be requiring the use of devices over the summer. This typically includes AP classes. More information will come out in the coming weeks.


Stay Safe and Well,

Larry Malone

April 16, 2020 Superintendent's Update

April 16, 2020


Dear RSU #57 Community (Mustang Nation),

I hope this update continues to find you and your family well. This week Governor Mills extended the State of Civil Emergency through May 15, 2020. This proclamation does not affect any of our current conditions in RSU #57, but does provide for the authorization of resources and actions the Governor deems necessary to slow the spread of Covid-19.

We thank you for the positive feedback that we have been receiving from many of you for the work our staff has done to assist you. It pleases me to see the level of student participation and I appreciate the level of cooperation with families. It does bring to life the saying “It takes a village to raise a child”.

There is no school Friday, April 17th and Monday, April 20th. School will resume on Tuesday, April 21st.

Teaching and Learning

Thank you all for your ongoing support for continuous learning. Your child’s continual engagement for learning will be critical in ensuring their readiness for the coming academic year. Teachers and administrators have been painstakingly tuning the learning expectations of remote classwork so as to offer the greatest possible assurance of readiness through the intended progression of learning. Your continued support for the learning in your home will make a world of difference to these outcomes.

At this point, we know that remote learning will take us through to the end of the academic year. In order to support essential learning and maintain a focus on engagement, adjustments to grade reporting have been made. Please use this link to read the latest Curriculum Update outlining the grading adjustments: https://sites.google.com/rsu57.org/remote-learning-announcements/home#h.kpa54l4folaj

School Board News

The 2020-2021 School Calendar has been approved by the Board and can be found on the district website.

District Budget Meeting Postponed

The RSU #57 Budget Meeting scheduled for May 12, 2020 at the Massabesic Middle School has been postponed. Once a new date for the budget meeting is established it will be announced and posted to the RSU #57 website.

School Nutrition

Meal Distribution updates/changes:

  • Friday, April 17th No Open Sites or Bus Deliveries

  • Monday, April 20th No Open Sites or Bus Deliveries

  • Tuesday, April 21st Bus Deliveries will resume (Tuesday through Friday)

  • Wednesday, April 22nd Open Sites at Line & MMS will resume (Wednesday & Friday)

Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration

The PreK and K Screenings that were originally scheduled for May will be rescheduled to a date to be determined. New PreK and K registrants will still be given a time slot which you will be notified of at a later date. If you have questions about your child's PreK or K screening please do not hesitate to contact Nora Lantagne (noralantagne@rsu57.org) or Pam Ledoux (pamelaledoux@rsu57.org).

Registration is still open at RSU #57 during the current closure of buildings. Visit our registration page at www.rsu57.org/registration to start the process. Once you have completed the online registration or have any questions, please contact our District Registrar at 207-247-3221 ext 2264 or by email at pamelaledoux@rsu57.org .

Appreciation

A very special thank you goes out to the RSU #57 Nutrition Department for the flexibility and their tremendous commitment to serving our community. Under the direction of Vanessa Richardson, Director of Food Service, and her managers and staff they have prepared 38,000 meals. We recognize that food insecurity is present in our community and the work that this program is taking to address this is commendable.

Many thanks to our transportation department for delivering meals with smiles and kind words for our students and families. We have received lots of positive feedback.

Technology

Are You Planning a Move?

If you are planning a move outside of the District, we ask that you please contact your child’s school to arrange for the return of the device and charger package given them to use at home. Thank you!

Elementary iPad Printing

The Technology Department has opened the print feature on the elementary iPads. Go to Apple help for more information. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201387

Continuous Learning Site

Please remember to visit the Continuous Learning Web page for more information, help, schedules, contact information, and more!


Stay Safe and Well,


Larry Malone

April 15, 2020 Curriculum Update

April 15, 2020

Dear Families of RSU57,

Thank you all for your ongoing support for continuous learning. Your child’s sustained engagement for learning will be critical in ensuring their readiness for the coming academic year. Teachers and administrators have been painstakingly tuning the learning expectations of remote classwork so as to offer the greatest possible assurance of readiness through the intended progression of learning. Your continued support for the learning in your home will make a world of difference to these outcomes.

At this point, we know that remote learning will take us through to the end of the academic year. In order to support essential learning and maintain a focus on engagement, the following adjustments to grade reporting will be made in support of all learners for the remainder of the academic year 2019-2020:

Pre K - 5th Grades

Trimester III

Grade Reporting: Narrative (Comments) Only

This approach will serve to communicate important information to students, families and next year’s teachers while maintaining a focus on continued learning

6th - 8th Grades

Trimester III

Grade Reporting Possibilities: Numerical or Pass/Incomplete

This will serve to maintain a focus on continued learning emphasizing feedback for learners toward grade/content learning outcomes. The majority of students will see a typical Trimester III report card with course GPAs and narrative comments. However, teachers will have the option to use “Pass” or “Incomplete” in lieu of a GPA course score for students who are unable to be assessed numerically. “Pass” would indicate a student who engaged in distance learning but was unable to complete course expectations due to circumstances beyond their control; “Incomplete” would indicate a student who did not engage in distance learning and was unable to be assessed numerically.

9th - 12th Grades

Semester II

Grade Reporting Possibilities: Credit/Credit with Distinction/Incomplete

This will serve to maintain a focus on continued learning emphasizing feedback for learners toward grade/content learning outcomes

Semester II of academic year 19-20 will not be factored into the GPA of any learner

Please see Principal Hand’s letter with more information about MHS, specifically.

RSU 57 teachers and administrators have been giving careful thought to grading in the remote learning environment. We have studied approaches in districts across Maine, the country, and the world. The COVID-19 pandemic is truly a global event impacting school experiences everywhere. We are by no means unique in adjusting standard grade reporting practices. Both report cards and transcripts will contain qualifying statements explaining these unique circumstances and the necessary adjustments for years to come.

Our goal is to maintain the strong remote connections and routines that have been established over the past four weeks. Please continue to encourage your children to engage in class meetings with their teachers and classmates. We cannot emphasize enough how important these opportunities for connection are for your children and their classmates.

We are here to support your efforts. A reminder that a great many remote learning resources are housed on the RSU 57 Remote Learning website. Your continued outreach and communication will ensure the best possible learning experience for your children. Please be in touch with your child’s teacher or principal to let us know how we can support you!


Erica Mazzeo

Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

April 10, 2020 Superintendent Update

April 10, 2020


Dear RSU #57 Community (Mustang Nation),

I hope that this message continues to find you and your family in good health. In this update I am letting you know that based on Governor Mills’ and Education Commissioner Makin’s recommendation for schools to plan remote learning for the remainder of this school year, RSU 57 will continue with remote learning throughout the rest of the school year. Their recommendation is based upon guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that recommends an 8-20 week timeframe for avoiding large group/in-person instruction once there is evidence of community transmission of COVID-19. The majority of the area districts in Maine have already announced this, as well as neighboring districts. School districts are doing their part to slow the spread and to keep our communities safe.

We recognize that this announcement brings considerable disappointment to many people in our district; however, the safety of our community must be a priority right now. This situation will continue to bring challenges for our school families with managing the expectations of school while handling childcare, and other personal situations that are occurring in your lives. Please be assured that we are here to help support you.

With this announcement comes the reality that we will not hold some of our valued traditions, including prom, graduation, grade level transitions, field trips, and music and drama performances. Also, the loss of a sports season is disappointing for those who have prepared and anxiously waited for it’s return (the Maine Principals’ Association has officially postponed the Spring Season). Knowing this, we are already working on alternative ways to safely redesign graduation and other important end of the year happenings that will help with closure of the school year, especially for our seniors. More information will be coming in future weeks on these events.

In a few weeks we will be announcing the date for the end of the school year. Now that we are going to school during April break, we will look at ways of reducing the school calendar for students earlier than June 15th. I continue to be very proud and impressed with how everyone in our district – staff, students and families – is doing their best to not only cope with our new learning reality but also to make it as successful as it can be. We all miss your children and the life they bring to our buildings.

Please continue to adhere to the CDC guidelines and be kind and supportive to others. Take care of yourself and your families and do not hesitate to let us know if RSU 57 can support you.


Resources to Help Families during COVID-19

Resources Available to Families can be found at: https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/662942/RESOURCES_AVAILABLE_TO_HELP_FAMILIES_DURING_COVID-19.pdf


District Health Update

Our Partner, LET'S GO! 5-2-1-0 is offering a dose of "Wellness Matters" daily through the month of April! Please visit their FaceBook page to check-out all they have to offer including helpful links and resources. https://www.facebook.com/5210LetsGoYorkCounty/

A new issue of Nurse News can be found at: https://bit.ly/34yLo1C


Technology Update

Repairs - This week we worked out the details of our new repair process. It all begins with an email from families to remotehelp@rsu57.org to provide a detailed description of the damage. A technician will be in touch to get information and make arrangements to swap the damaged device for a replacement.

Online Safety - Please be aware that from the beginning our current adventure, RSU #57 has worked to employ best practices in the use of Zoom. We all see news reports and social media posts that share horror stories. Last night we heard that Google, the creator of a Zoom competitor, has banned the use of Zoom. There are a number of stories, but the response to the issues reported in the news is to properly set up the meetings with the correct safety settings. This is where we have placed our focus and energy.

While we did have one experience this past week with an incidence of Zoom Bombing, it was not with students and it was in our publicly-posted and open Finance Committee meeting. Our classroom sessions have been safe from intrusion because of the focus that teachers and staff have given to safety. We will keep you updated on our ongoing focus on online safety.

Questions? Check the “Continuous Learning Plan” on the rsu57.org website. Many of the answers to questions asked through the remote help are on the site.

Be Safe and Well,

Larry Malone

“MUSTANG NATION”

April 3, 2020 Superintendent Update

April 3, 2020

Dear RSU #57 Community (Mustang Nation)

I hope this update finds you and your family well. These are very unsettling times for everyone as we witness the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus across our state, nation, and world. The impact is complex and affects each individual in various ways. We expect you will make adjustments to your situations that best supports the wellness of you and your loved ones. We want you to know that we are here to support you and try our very best to balance the needs of families, students, and staff, especially in these unprecedented times. Please be sure to contact us if you are experiencing difficulties that we can assist you with, our staff is here for you and want to help!

Part of the procedures for ensuring our students are engaged daily and maintaining regular school routines is contacting homes. Although it may appear redundant, this communication provides us with the information to better serve your child’s needs. Let’s work together to ensure that children access schooling at this time.

Governor Mills has extended the shelter in place order through May 1, 2020. That means the earliest possible date schools could reopen is Monday, May 4, extending our previous date of April 27, 2020. Although everyone is hopeful that we can return on this date, we are making long range plans for the likelihood of ending school this year in a remote learning environment.

Teaching and Learning

We are making every effort to establish and support daily routines for your children. Maintaining daily connections with your children is our highest priority. It is through these connections that we are offering continuous learning opportunities to help students grow in their learning and remain engaged with all content areas. Teachers continue to be available for daily contact, instruction, and extra help through SeeSaw or Google Classroom as well as scheduled Zoom availability and email, as usual.

Initially, we had planned for a couple of weeks of remote schooling. More recently, it has become clear that our planning will need to sustain this remote learning mode for many weeks to come. We are working to ensure balance in learning expectations for the longer term. At home, this will look a little different depending on your child’s grade level. For more about what to expect at each grade level and resources to support the learning, please click here.

We encourage you to visit the RSU57 Remote learning website, which is linked to our homepage www.rsu57.org. For Tech support, please email remotehelp@rsu57.org.

School Nutrition

Due to the concerns brought to our attention regarding the time commitments in attaining the meals daily, we are announcing updated changes to the delivery and pickup of meals taking effect on Monday, April 6, 2020.

● Meals delivered by bus will be delivered once per day, Monday through Friday. The meal delivery routes will run at the current scheduled lunch times, starting at 11:00am. Please visit the RSU 57 website for a list of routes and times.

● Each child will receive a bag containing one breakfast and one lunch. The intent is for the lunch to be consumed that day and the breakfast will be for the following morning.

● The two open meal sites located at Line Elementary and Massabesic Middle School will remain open as follows:

● Monday 7:00am-9:00am -and- 11:00am-1:00pm

● Wednesday 7:00am-9:00am -and- 11:00am-1:00pm

● Friday 7:00am-9:00am -and- 11:00am-1:00pm

We ask that children are present at meal pick up each day. If your child cannot be present at the time of pick up, please call the Nutrition Office at (207) 247-3221 x2257 to obtain an alternative approval. We are committed to support you and will do our very best to assist you.

2019-2020 School Calendar

Reminder of the changes to the spring school calendar:

● April 17 & 20, Patriots Day and the preceding Friday, will be no student /staff days.

○ That allows a four-day respite.

○ All district buildings will be closed.

○ No Meal Program on these dates.

● April 21, 22, 23, and 24 will be school student /staff days.

We will review the calendar again and make adjustments based on a better understanding of any future executive orders. Perspective: A typical RSU 57 school year includes 176 student days, today is 127 (including converting the scheduled Early Release day as another student day). Stay connected with us.

School Board News

The RSU 57 Board will continue to conduct regularly scheduled meetings via zoom. The link to these meetings can be located in the events column on the district webpage. Click on the event and you will be directed to the meeting. Existing policies will be adhered to and all voting will be conducted by roll call.

Committee meetings are being addressed individually and held if deemed needed. The format will be similar to regular board meetings and can be found on the website as well.

News from Around the District

Playgrounds and outdoor spaces at RSU #57

During the Covid-19 pandemic the RSU is advising the public NOT to use the district’s playgrounds. It is not possible at this time for these surfaces to be monitored and they are not disinfected in accordance with CDC guidelines. The District would also ask the public to use safe and established CDC social distancing (6’) practices when using the district’s fields and outdoor facilities. We thank you for your help in keeping our entire community safe and healthy.

Transportation

Please join me in welcoming our new Director of Transportation, Peter Roy who re-joined us on March 30th. Peter’s name may be familiar to you as he served several years as our Dispatcher. He brings many years of experience in public dispatch and communication. We look forward to working with him in this capacity.

We said farewell to Matt Kearns last week as he moved on to his new endeavor. Matt is starting his own company, “School Transportation Training Services”. Our thanks to Matt for his years of service to the district and wish him well moving forward.

District Health Update

Click here to read Mustang Nurse News.

Staff Updates

New Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers, which includes school districts, to provide their qualifying employees with expanded paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These reasons are established by the US Department of Labor and will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. These new federal benefits are in addition to any current benefits which employees are entitled to.

Appreciation

I wish to extend my ongoing appreciation to the entire staff for your flexibility and commitment to the RSU 57 community.

In closing, I wish to recognize those individuals and family members who are on the front lines, employees keeping us safe and providing for our necessities. These individuals include first responders, public safety, law enforcement, health care, public health, and all other employees working every day to provide daily necessities. To those working directly with the “faces” of this virus, we commend you, and wish you wellness throughout.

Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.” Joseph Campbell

Stay Safe and Well,


Larry Malone

“MUSTANG NATION”

April 3, 2020 Continuous Learning Communication

April 3, 2020

Greetings RSU57 Families!

We hope this communication finds you and your family in good health! What unprecedented times these are for all of us. Four weeks ago, we suspect most of us never would have imagined the circumstances we’ve found ourselves in - and yet here we are!

On behalf of our teachers and principals, we would like to share our heartfelt gratitude for supporting our continuous learning efforts at home. We recognize the balance of work, home, and school looks more like a juggle most days. We commend you!

We are making every effort to establish and support daily routines for your children. Maintaining daily connections with your children is our highest priority. It is through these connections that we are offering continuous learning opportunities to help students grow in their learning and remain engaged with all content areas. Teachers continue to be available for daily contact, instruction, and extra help through SeeSaw or Google Classroom as well as scheduled Zoom availability and email, as usual.

Initially, we had planned for a couple of weeks of remote schooling. More recently, it has become clear that our planning will need to sustain this remote learning mode for many weeks to come. We are working to ensure balance in learning expectations for the longer term. At home, this will look a little different depending on your child’s grade level. This is what you should expect:

Pre K:

  • Daily engagement and communication with homeroom teacher

  • Estimated 2 hours of learning including Zoom and/or SeeSaw opportunities

  • NEW: If your child is attending school without a WiFi connection, we are preparing printed materials for you. Your child’s school will be in communication regarding how these will be distributed.

Grades K-5:

  • Daily engagement and communication with homeroom teacher

  • Estimated 3 hours of district grade-level learning content expectations

  • NEW: Beginning Monday, April 6th, in your child’s Seesaw or Google Classroom environment, you will see a Learning Menu which will guide consistent learning activities at each grade level for the week. A new Learning Menu will be posted prior to the start of each new week. Here is a brief video demonstrating how Learning Menus will look in your child’s Seesaw or Google Classroom environment (RSU57 Remote Help Youtube (20minutes)).

  • NEW: If your child is attending school without a WiFi connection, we are preparing a printed copy of Learning Menus for you. Your child’s school will be in communication regarding how these will be distributed.

Grades 6-8:

  • Daily engagement and communication with a member of the teaching team

  • Estimated 3.5 hours of learning content expectations

  • NEW: If you need to drop off or pick up items at the school, please contact Lisa Sawyer in the middle school office.

Grades 9-12:

  • Daily engagement and communication with each scheduled class

  • Estimated 4 hours of learning content expectations

  • NEW: If you need to drop off or pick up items at the school, please contact Ms. Liane or Ms. Tammy in the high school office.

We encourage you to visit the RSU57 Remote learning website, which is linked to our homepage www.rsu57.org. For Tech support, please email remotehelp@rsu57.org.

Please know that we are here to support your children, especially in these unprecedented times. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help!

RSU57 Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

March 19, 2020 NUTRITION Update

In addition to the two open meal sites at Line Elementary and Massabesic Middle School, we will be implementing ​a ​free meal delivery​ service​ via specific bus routes​​ starting on Monday, March 23rd. These bus routes have been set up to bring food to the areas in our communities with the highest need. In order to keep the meals as safe as possible and to allow time for staff to safely prepare the meals, we will be doing two deliveries per day. One delivery in the morning for breakfast and one delivery in the afternoon for lunch. The bus routes will run Monday through Friday. Please visit the RSU 57 website or app to access the route map​ and approximate delivery times​. Students will have the option to receive breakfast and lunch each day and on Fridays they will receive two additional meals for the weekend. Our focus is to get meals closer to the students in our district that desperately need them. If your student is in need of meals and you cannot access the daily bus routes or the open meal sites please call 207-247-3221 x​2257 and we will do our very best to assist you. The meals available through our two meal sites as well as our specific area bus routes are available to all children 18 and under, free of charge. We want to be able to offer all children in our district the nutrition they need during this closure. In order to continue doing so, we do ask that only families that are in high need receive these meals. ​We will continue this service as long as our food supply and staffing needs can meet the demand.​​​

March 17, 2020 Superintendent's update

March 17, 2020

Good Afternoon RSU57 Community,

I would like to again extend my appreciation for your understanding and cooperation as we proceed in this ever evolving situation. The administrative team has been meeting remotely to sort through different pieces of our work.

Our buildings are open and operational with limited access. Only authorized personnel are allowed access to buildings at this point. This allows us the ability to maintain a regular cleaning and sanitization schedule while still conducting essential business in limited areas of the buildings. If you need to pick up or drop off items from any of our buildings, you are asked to make prior arrangements by calling or emailing first.

Office hours for buildings are as follows:

Central Office 8am-3pm

Elementary Schools 8am-3pm

Middle & High Schools 7am-2pm

The Continuous Learning site is LIVE! Please bookmark this page, and check it regularly. This will be your source for everything remote learning. https://sites.google.com/rsu57...

From the District Website (www.rsu 57.org) you will find 4 new options under the menu:

We will work to keep you updated as more information arises.

Thank you.

Larry Malone, Superintendent


March 16, 2020 Superintendent Update

March 16, 2020

Good Afternoon RSU #57 Families.

Today, Monday, March 16th and Tuesday, March 17th are "no school" days. There is no remote work expected of your student. Remote check ins with your child and their teacher(s) will begin Wednesday, March 18th. Staff are vigorously working to compile resources and prepare for this launch. You will receive a notification with further details from your building and/or specific teacher(s) no later than tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17th.

We ask that students and families wait until tomorrow, March 17th, to come to schools if you need to pick up items - iPads, clothes, instruments, binders, books, etc. The buildings will be open starting March 17th, for you to access what you need. Individual buildings will be sending out the times and protocol for pick up, as each site has unique community needs. Please email or call your child’s school in advance if you 1) Need to pick up medication from the School Nurse and/or 2) Need to pick up items outside of the scheduled hours.

If you are dropping things off, please clearly mark them to say who it is for and who it is from.

We encourage you to stay in contact with your student(s) schools. We are also encouraging daily communication with your teacher(s). This communication could be through the use of Google Classroom, SeeSaw, logging in to an app that was assigned by your teacher, an email, a phone call, etc. We ask that you help by encouraging all learners to be engaged in daily school activities. Our staff are working hard to create purposeful assignments and interactions to help keep our learning going.

Parents, please be sure to monitor your child on his/her device. Our district firewalls do not provide protection off school grounds. While our staff will review best practices with students we will need your support to ensure all learners remain safe online.

We will continue to communicate with you and you are welcome to email or call your child’s school during the office hours. We deeply appreciate your patience, support, and cooperation as we take these next steps. We encourage you to reach out to your child’s school to let us know how we can best support needs in this new learning environment.

Be well,

Larry Malone, Superintendent

March 12, 2020 Superintendent Update

March 12, 2020

Dear RSU57 Community,

I am writing to provide an update on our planning and preparations around Coronavirus. As noted through prior communications, we are working closely with public health professionals through the Maine CDC and Maine DOE to guide and advise our work. Both have been tremendously helpful and are providing updates and support on a daily basis as needed. We have also met with York County Emergency Management Agency, to ensure that we are coordinating closely with the County in order to be prepared.

The best way to receive alerts and information is to download Regional School Unit 57’s app. With the app, you can access sports, news, updates, emergency notifications, and other school-related information. Download the app on Android: http://bit.ly/3278HxW or iPhone: https://apple.co/2NqwkOu.

As I write this, on Thursday afternoon, we have been made aware of one known Coronavirus case in Maine, but public health officials note that it is a matter of time before additional cases are reported. We will continue to monitor closely and communicate as we have more information.

At the same time, we believe it is important to make plans for continuity of operations and most importantly, to take steps to ensure that students continue to learn. Over the past week, we have begun to gather ideas and resources to support this effort. In working closely with teachers, staff, and administration we are developing Continuous Learning Plans. While we cannot truly replace school, we can offer support to students and families to keep learning going.

More information to follow on this, but here a few highlights in the event of closure:

  1. For K-5, we are developing home packets by grade level that will provide parents with student logins to online resources. We will be focusing on continued learning through teacher provided materials, the use of SeeSaw and/or Google Classroom, and email communication for sharing and communicating with families, which are already used by many teachers. The devices currently used in classrooms will be distributed to students.

  2. For 6-12, we will be using Google Classroom for sharing instruction and will continue to use staff and student email. Students have had a good deal of practice using technology for learning and independently accessing online resources. Each student has an assigned device that would go home.

  3. We have asked that all teachers make sure that their learning plans are up to date and readily available. We will work with teachers to ensure that everyone has access to resources for sharing learning activities with students.

Again, indications from public health officials are that school closures may be expected. We are working to be well prepared for the event of a school closure. If there are closures for any extended period we will work together, as we always do, to support our students and families. As a district we will also work to support our faculty and staff. We are working thoughtfully to support our community in uncertain times. We will offer clear guidelines as to how we will approach handling closures for different groups of staff, but please hear clearly that our aim is to support continuous learning for our students and our schools as well as to protect the health and welfare of our community.

Superintendent

Larry Malone

March 12, 2020 Superintendent Update (Events Update)

March 12, 2020


Dear RSU #57 Community,

We have received recent recommendations from Governor Mills and the CDC and are limiting large gatherings effective immediately. At this time, we are postponing all non-essential indoor gatherings with anticipated attendance of 250 or more people (for example: MHS Winter Ball, Line Pre-K & K Concert, MHS Academic Carnival). Specifics will be listed and updated routinely on our website and the RSU #57 app as events are identified.

In addition, we are cancelling all outside use of our buildings until further notice (for example: Girl Scouts, recreation departments). Again, specifics will be listed and updated routinely on our website and the RSU #57 app as events are identified.

These measures will enable our custodial staff the opportunity to continue thorough cleaning procedures. Please be patient with us as we work through these ever-changing situations and know that we will share new information as necessary.

For further information, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html for the most current information on COVID-19.

Thank you.

Larry Malone, Superintendent


March 11, 2020 Superintendent Update (COVID-19 Info)

Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Community Members,

RSU #57 has been carefully monitoring the status of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). Although at this time there are no confirmed cases in the State of Maine, the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) have encouraged all schools to review emergency plans and communicate universal precautions to our communities.

We have been following universal precautions and monitoring influenza and other illnesses for the past several weeks. Custodial staff at all RSU #57 schools are taking additional steps to disinfect all frequently touched areas (desktops, doorknobs, water fountains) on a daily basis.

It is also very important to recognize that we see Influenza and other respiratory illnesses at this time every year. The CDC continues to encourage individuals to receive the flu shot. In addition, the following CDC recommendations are essential in reducing the spread of germs:

· Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.

· Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover coughs and sneezes, then dispose of the tissue. When a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.

· Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.

· Wash hands for 20 seconds. Washing hands often under clean, running water can help prevent the spread of germs. If you cannot wash your hands, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60-95% alcohol until soap and water is available.

We have students and staff who have traveled out of state and out of the country recently. We have asked those individuals to self-monitor and follow CDC guidelines if symptoms develop. Going forward, if conditions change the district will act accordingly.

I will continue to provide you updated information as it becomes available. More detailed information regarding the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html . Stay well.

Sincerely,

Larry Malone, Superintendent of Schools

February 28, 2020 Superintendent Update

Dear Parents, Guardians & Staff,

RSU 57 recognizes that the recent outbreak of the respiratory illness known as Coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused concern for all. We continue to receive guidance regularly from local and state health departments, the York County Emergency Management Agency and the Maine Department of Education to aid in the efforts of preventing further transmission of COVID-19. We are pleased to report that there are currently no cases of COVID-19 in the state of Maine. For further information, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html for the most current information on COVID-19.

It is also very important to recognize that we see Influenza and other respiratory illnesses this time of year. The CDC continues to encourage individuals to receive the flu shot. In addition, the following CDC recommendations are essential in reducing the spread of germs...

  • Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover coughs and sneezes, then dispose of the tissue. When a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.

  • Wash hands for 20 seconds. Washing hands often under clean, running water can help prevent the spread of germs. If you cannot wash your hands, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60-95% alcohol until soap and water is available.

Please be aware that the custodial staff at all RSU 57 schools are taking additional steps to disinfect all commonly touched areas of the schools such as desktops, doorknobs and water fountains. This is being done on a daily basis.

Thank you in advance for following the recommendations above. Please review with your family how best to prevent the spread of germs.

Be Well,

Larry Malone, Superintendent