Scarborough Public Schools
Weekly Newsletter - January 15, 2021
A Message From the Superintendent
With Inauguration Day soon upon us we are committed as a school community to search for understanding during these challenging political times. It is a time to lead discussions about social change and justice. Teaching history and civic engagement in a fair and unbiased way will be done in a safe and inclusive manner.
As a school community it is more urgent than ever that we will accept nothing less than respect, and inclusivity in our schools. Together, each of us will ensure that we continue to create a safe place for our students knowing this is a pivotal moment in our country today.
Some time ago at a National Education conference I was amongst thousands of educators anxiously waiting for the keynote speaker to address the crowd. Maya Angelou, a renowned poet, eloquently spoke to the solicitous crowd about her poem “On the Pulse of Morning”. Her poem communicated the importance of harmony and that every person despite our differences, can rise above and unite to conquer our challenges.
As we move forward in the coming days we must empower our learners into becoming all take the lead and set an example knowing our children are watching. Our actions will also empower them into becoming adults who can think critically and live and work successfully in our multicultural world. I am most proud of the community we have here at the Scarborough Public Schools and there is much more that unites us than divides us. At times such as this we can be a source of hope for one another.
Budget & School Funding Update
Now that January is here, the FY22 budget development process is getting underway in earnest. As we have done in the past, building and district leaders have scheduled staff listening sessions to gather input as we develop our budget proposal, although we’ve had to trade our usual in-person methods for online meetings. These sessions provide an opportunity to learn directly from staff as we look for creative ideas to help us move forward during this challenging economy and prioritize multiple requests for resources across the district.
Scarborough Schools received phenomenal news this week that additional relief funds are on their way to Maine school systems through the Federal ESSER 2 funds, which were included in the recently passed Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. If all goes well we should be able to apply for these funds by February 1. Along with the types of allowable expenses we have seen with prior Coronavirus Relief funds, this new round of funding, although much less financially, adds a focus on mental health services and planning and implementing activities related to summer learning. These funds will help us transition to next school year as we prepare the various options that we may face with the pandemic. These funds are surely welcomed during these unprecedented times.
The Leadership Council’s budget development process will continue to be a focus through the next few weeks, leading up to workshop presentations of the FY22 budget proposal to the School Board in early March. Stay tuned for more dates and information as we move into the public portion of this work!
Weekly SPS COVID-19 Update
We will continue to notify staff and families of positive cases as they occur in individual buildings or sites, via communication from building principals. All school level communications in regards to COVID will be uploaded on our district communications webpage as they occur for those of you who want to be informed more than once a week.
Cumberland County continues to be in the yellow category which suggests that our county has an elevated risk of COVID-19. This also means that all "in-person" athletics and student activities (afterschool programs) are currently postponed. Club Advisors and Coaches are working to stay connected to students remotely. As a reminder, color category data are publicly posted on the Maine CDC website. The next assessment for color coding will take place on January 29.
Please continue to reach out to your school nurse if your student tests positive and share any information about contact that may have been had with anyone affiliated with Scarborough Public Schools, even if that contact occurred outside of school.
Resources for Parents
What to Say to Kids When the News is Scary: National Public Radio
Early Childhood FAQs: ADL Fighting Hate for Good
- When Bad Things Happen: Tips for parents and educators on talking to kids about the unthinkable and inevitable events in life
Resources for Talking About Race, Racism, and Racialized Violence With Kids: Center for Racial Justice in Education
Dreams from Grade 1 Students at Eight Corners School:
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
Dear Scarborough Community,
The Board of Education continues to seek applicants for a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, and is extending the application deadline to Wednesday, January 20th to ensure anyone interested has an opportunity to participate in this important work. Here is the link to the original request with the details and application. Our goal is to form a committee that will advocate for our diverse district, including but not limited to, socioeconomic status, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin and disability status. Prior experience and/or expertise is not a requirement for participation. Please consider applying for this committee and helping our district identify strengths and areas for improvement.
Please email the School Board with any questions at email@example.com.
Upcoming SPS Events - Mark Your Calendar!
Be sure to check out the revised school calendar that was approved by the School Board at their December 17th meeting. The most significant change is the continuation of 1/2 remote learning days (AM) for students and 1/2 professional development time (PM) for staff for the remainder of the school year. We will NOT be reverting back to Late Start Wednesdays in January 2021 as the earlier approved calendar showed.
- January 18 - Martin Luther King Day - No school
- January 21 - School Board Workshop
- February 4 - School Board Meeting
- February 15 - Presidents' Day
- February 15 - 19 - School Vacation
Fully Remote Preparedness Plans
SPS District Email Newsletter Signup
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
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