RSU 57 Community Newsletter

February 27, 2023

Message from the Superintendent

Good Afternoon RSU 57 Community,

I hope this newsletter finds you all healthy and surviving the onslaught of winter weather. Similarly, I hope that our RSU 57 families and staff are feeling recharged and rested from last week’s school break.

Heading into the month of March there is much happening in RSU 57. The process of creating the district budget is in full swing. Our Finance Committee and I are taking a detailed and thoughtful look at the budget. Together, we will prioritize proposing a budget that supports the growth and improvement of RSU 57 schools and programming, while balancing the fiscal realities of our community members in these times of high inflation for most goods and services. I’m confident that the School Board’s final proposed budget will be good for students and will also be respectful of taxpayers.

Additionally, I would like to share an update on the work of our Strategic Planning Committee. Thank you to those in our community who have taken the time to complete the Strategic Planning Community Survey. This feedback is vital to the work of the Committee and will help inform the goals and action steps our district establishes with the formalization of a Strategic Plan. We’ve had over 600 respondents to date and this high level of participation is greatly appreciated. For those who have not yet completed the survey but would like to do so, you can find it HERE. The next steps in the Committee’s work will be to establish specific goals in the areas of (1) Students, (2) Staffing, (3) Community Connections and (4) Facilities and Resources. I see our district is poised to make great strides both in the short and long term and I’m eager for the finalization of our Strategic Plan to guide our work across every school building and classroom in RSU 57.

Lastly, I would share that it’s clear that we are not yet out of the winter weather. Please be sure to monitor your phone and/or email for announcements regarding potential school delays or snow days as the weather does look particularly challenging this coming week. Additionally, notifications are posted on our RSU 57 Facebook page and with the three major local TV stations. With snow day decisions we always prioritize student and staff safety while balancing the desire to maintain the original school calendar to the greatest extent possible. These early morning decisions are often difficult ones to make, so please know that we do our best to make as informed decisions as possible.

Wishing you all a safe and productive week ahead.

Dr. Stephen Marquis

Shapleigh Landform Presentations

2nd graders at Shapleigh Memorial School wrapped up their unit on landforms with presentations that showcased all they had learned about glaciers, islands, canyons, and more! Students created models of their assigned landforms using various art materials including modeling dough, paint, crayons, and colored pencils. Each student displayed a model of their landform and a packet of information they had researched and written themselves. PreK-5th grade students were invited to view all of the materials, and ask questions to the presenters about what they had learned. Great fun was had by all! (pictured below)
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MMS Food Drive Assembly

Massabesic Middle School celebrated the success of their York County Shelter Programs' Food Drive with a fun and silly assembly. Team Sabattus collected a remarkable 3,957 food items, and the school as a whole collected a total of 6,870 items! MMS extends a wholehearted thanks to all MMS families, the Waterboro Eagles, and Hannaford for their contributions, and to Mrs. Miller and the fantastic MMS Student Council for coordinating the event. In celebration, over forty MMS staff members were bombarded with silly string and whipped cream as excited students cheered on. Amazing job, Mustangs! (pictured below)

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In the Heart of the Sea Museum

Ms. Neidlinger's classroom at Massabesic East welcomed staff, students and community members to their In the Heart of the Sea Museum the week before February break. The students did an amazing job pulling together the multidisciplinary unit that centered around reading In the Heart of the Sea and researching the history of the whaling industry as well as the tragedy of the Essex whaling ship. Exhibits were well curated and contained interactive features for guests to explore. The students were very knowledgeable about their topics and able to answer guests' questions. The museum welcomed 53 guests in just 3 days! Everyone did an amazing job and helped to create a sense of community at Massabesic East by welcoming staff and students to visit the museum. (pictured below)

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MHS vs. Sanford Unified Basketball

On Thursday, February 16th the Massabesic High School Unified Basketball Team faced off against Sanford High School in an amazing showcase of skills and sportsmanship. Coach Katherine Fournier and Assistant Coach Andrew Soldati thanked the dozens of RSU 57 staff who were in attendance, and even joined the student athletes on the dance floor for an incredibly fun half-time performance. (Click below to watch!)

February Model Mustang Staff

The Public Relations and Technology Committee has created the "Model Mustang Staff Award", which recognizes staff members who exemplify at least one of the following qualities: inspirational, is a leader, creates a positive culture, perseveres, and is excellent at what they do. RSU 57 Staff Members can nominate their peers, and each month, one person is randomly selected to win a gift certificate to a local business. This month, Terry Gould of WES was the winner! Congratulations to all of our wonderful staff nominees for making a difference in the lives of students and their families. (View the list of nominees below.)

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From the Office of the Asst. Superintendent

Dear RSU 57 Families.

I wish you all a happy Monday and hope this newsletter finds you well. In this newsletter I’d like to share a resource with families that I have found particularly helpful as both an educator and as a parent. Navigating the digital world of media with my own three children can certainly be a challenge. Understanding ways in which I can foster the emotional competency of my own kids has been something I’ve had to work at as a dad. As a teacher and as a school administrator, helping my students build social and emotional skills has been one of my priorities because my experience has told me that children with strong social and emotional competence are more likely to be successful academically and in life. One resource that I have used successfully as both a parent and as an educator is the vast amount of helpful information found on Common Sense Media’s website. Below is a link that will bring you to their Social-Emotional resource page and when you scroll halfway down on the page you will see some Family Engagement resources. Students today are “digital natives” which means their interactions with social media, traditional digital media and newer modes of entertainment like television streaming services are second nature to them. For many of us raised before the advent of cell phones and Netflix some of this landscape can be intimidating. Hopefully this resource will be one that for those who feel intimidated in supporting their student’s use of these new types of media will find helpful.

Wishing you all a safe and happy week ahead.

Kyle Keenan

Assistant Superintendent

Dates to Remember...

February 28: Transportation/Security Meeting* @ 6pm - East Training Center

March 1: Strategic Planning Committee Meeting* @ 4:30pm - East Training Center

March 1: Finance Committee Meeting* @ 5:30pm - East Training Center

March 7: Policy Committee Meeting* @ 6pm - Policy Committee Meeting - East Training Center

*All meetings are open to the public and available to join via Zoom at this link.

March 8: Early Release Day