Scarborough Public Schools
Weekly Newsletter - February 26, 2021
Message from the Superintendent
Today Governor Mills did announce a vaccination timeline that continues to prioritize eligibility based on age. The planned schedule is as follows:
March 3 - Eligibility expands to residents age 60 and older
April - Eligibility expands to age 50 and older
May - Eligibility expands to age 40 and older
June - Eligibility expands to age 30 and older
July and beyond - Ages 29 and under, including children pending authorization of a vaccine for them
As part of the update on the vaccination strategy, Governor Mills also directed the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Maine Department of Education (DOE) to provide in the coming weeks vaccination opportunities dedicated to public preK-12 school staff who are eligible for vaccination with the age categorizations. Specifically, that means in March, approximately 10,500 education personnel aged 60 and older will qualify for vaccination. More details will be forthcoming.
Stay healthy and remember spring is approximately three weeks away.
My best always,
Learning Model Parent Survey
As part of our ongoing efforts to monitor the successes and challenges of our learning model, we are seeking your input. In addition, the STRRT team that met this summer to plan for school reopening will also be reconvening. We have been closely monitoring the positive COVID-19 case rate in our state and community, and a steady decline has been noted. This is an opportunity to re-examine family preferences, and consider what possibilities might exist to increase in-person learning within CDC and DOE recommendations.
Thank you for taking the time now to provide us with your feedback, if you have not done so already. The survey will remain open until March 5.
Weekly SPS COVID-19 Update
2021-2022 Kindergarten Pre-Registration
We are eager to welcome our newest Kindergarten students to Scarborough Public Schools! We are currently planning for Fall 2021 and will be able to release more information about what school will look like later this spring. If you have a child who turns 5 on or before Oct. 15, 2021 and you are considering sending them to school in the fall, please complete this form. Formal registration packets will be available on our website at a later date.
The information you provide is important for us to accurately plan for the number of classrooms, teachers and materials we will need in the fall. Please complete the form so we can contact you through email with updates and news about the 2021-2022 school year as the situation evolves and decisions are made. We will hold registration appointments at each school later in the Spring.
Superintendent Search Process
The search process for a new Superintendent is still open and we are looking for your input and/or participation in the interview committee. It is important we have robust input from Scarborough staff, students, and the community at large in various phases of the hiring process, including involvement in the interview committee and providing feedback about the qualities and characteristics most valued by the community when selecting the next Superintendent.
The interview committee will be a collaborative team of community members, students, staff, board, and administration, who will conduct the first round of interviews. It is important to note there are three mandatory dates for the interview committee, which will be held in the evenings via Zoom:
March 15th for discussion about the interview process
March 22nd and 23rd for candidate interviews
If you would like to be considered for the interview committee, please click this link. The interview committee application will be open until March 1st.
Additionally, a superintendent search feedback survey will also be open until March 1st. Please click this link to provide your feedback and insight. Your participation will provide valuable information to the interview committee and Board so that stakeholder input can be prioritized during the superintendent search process.
If you have any questions, please contact the Board at email@example.com.
FY22 School Budget Process
Creating and maintaining the school budget is a continuous cycle, constantly being refined throughout the year as administration reviews areas for cost containment and improvements for the next fiscal year. This year has been particularly difficult for district staff and administrators as they have been working through one time costs associated with the pandemic and managing revenue from multiple sources with varying restrictions for how it can be expended.
The public portion of the FY22 budget process is about to get underway as district leadership will present their budget in detailed workshops with the school board. This year there will be two virtual workshops held: Tuesday March 9th at 8:00 - 10:00 am and Wednesday March 10th at 4:30 - 6:30 pm. These meetings will provide insight into the district’s FY22 school year priorities and the district leadership’s decision making process for reaching their proposed first reading of the budget, which will be formally presented at the Thursday March 18th School Board meeting. Be on the lookout for Zoom links on the Scarborough Public Schools website to join these meetings as they are occurring or to watch at a later time, so you can be involved in the budget process from the beginning.
As highlighted in the February 15th edition of the town’s newsletter, the board has officially begun a search for a new superintendent. The board is in the process of reviewing community applications for the interview committee which are due on March 1st, as well as collating the data from the key criteria feedback survey, which is also due on March 1st. Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out the survey or apply for the interview committee. The board will be announcing the committee members at the Thursday, March 4th meeting.
The FY22 budget and superintendent search will be a large focus for board efforts in the coming months, which will be reflected in future communications.We are looking forward to hearing from the community as these projects progress. Please reach out with any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federal CRF Update
Prior to the FY21 budget going to referendum and being approved on July 14, 2020, Scarborough Schools had received $106k in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds via the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER1) . Those funds were used to hire two full time subs to meet staffing demands resulting from COVID. Since that time, Scarborough has received a total of $4.3M dollars in Federal funds through two Coronavirus Relief Fund allocations (CRF1 and CRF2). CRF allocations were allotted based strictly on student enrollment, while ESSER funds were based on the district’s Title I status (Title I is an entitlement program whose calculation is based upon the number of students receiving free and reduced lunches), resulting in a significantly smaller allocation for Scarborough. Obtaining this funding has been instrumental in successfully and safely reopening schools.
The money that has been received thus far has allowed the district to strategically invest in areas that meet the demands of educating during a pandemic, while not increasing our local taxes or reducing programming. As would be expected in a time of hybrid learning, technology has been the largest area of investment using CRF funds. Investments in technology include: remote services software and subscriptions, live streaming equipment, laptops, chromebook cases for safe transport of devices, and audio equipment to address sound quality challenges in an environment of masking and online learning. These funds also provided Town Hall with the necessary wiring and equipment to live stream all meetings by the various councils and boards to ensure business was conducted safely. Staffing and personnel costs was another major category, including increased staffing to address new safety protocols and expected absences across all departments, in class staff support for remote teachers, professional development training opportunities, and new hire training.
Opening the doors to aging facilities has included substantial investments, such as: a thorough HVAC system review and modifications as needed, new safety dividers, expanded health care facilities, air purifiers, fans, various pieces of cleaning equipment, and increased outdoor learning spaces. Of particular note is the construction of a new storage shed which has been an ongoing need for the facilities department. The new demand to accommodate the necessary PPE, furniture and soft goods removed from classrooms to meet social distancing requirements, and extra educational and cleaning supplies exacerbated this already known need. In partnership with the town council, a site was selected at the bus depot and the shed was erected in December 2020. For those interested, here is a detailed look at all CRF expenditures.
Initial direction from the state was that all CRF funds had to be spent and accounted for by December 30, 2020, and more specifically, on items not already accounted for in the budget. In response to districts across the country struggling to meet this requirement, in late December the federal government extended the CRF expenditure deadline to June 30, 2021. This provided the opportunity to pull back some planned facility spending and redirect those dollars to continue to fund the additional covid staffing needs through the end of the 2021 school year. In addition to the funds already discussed, a second Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund allotment (ESSER2) was released last week. Scarborough is set to receive an additional $438,893. ESSER2 funds can be expended through September 30, 2023 and (unlike most federal grants) may be used to supplant normally budgeted costs. As such, ESSER2 funds are expected to be incorporated into the FY22 budget development process.
In the coming months, school administrators and the school board finance committee will be discussing the impact of these funds and investments on the FY22 budget. As always, please reach out to the board with any questions that you may have at email@example.com and stay engaged as FY22 budget discussions get underway.
Blue Point School Displays Heart!
Upcoming SPS Events - Mark Your Calendar!
- March 1 - Superintendent Interview Committee Applications Deadline
- March 1 - Superintendent Search Feedback Survey Deadline
- March 4 - School Board Meeting
- March 9 - BOE/LC Budget Workshop #1
- March 10 - BOE/LC Budget Workshop #2
- March 12 - Staff/Student day for Cohort B Students (changed at the 7/30/20 BOE meeting)
- March 18 - School Board Workshop
Fully Remote Preparedness Plans
Health & Safety
Please make sure you review the UPDATED Student Health Self Assessment questions EVERY DAY before sending your child off to school.
TOGETHER, we can make our schools as safe as possible!
Links to Our Schools
Services & Information
Transportation | Sarah Redmond, firstname.lastname@example.org