K-5 Board Report

TO:                  MSAD #74 Board of Directors


FROM:            Jean Butler


DATE:             February 27, 2019



                             PreK-5 ELEMENTARY REPORT




The winter continues with lots of snow and huge snowbanks on which the students are having lots of fun during recess when it is warm enough to go outside. We hope for warmer temperatures in March. 


The district fifth graders will travel to Sugarloaf Mountain for a day of skiing on March 16th. Physical education teachers Mat Brown and Heidi Day with the help of Garret Schenck teacher Dorrie Dunham have organized this annual trip, which gives fifth graders a chance to get to know other fifth graders from the district and to enjoy a day of fresh air and exercise.


Elizabeth Comstock from the L.C. Bates Museum in Hinckley came to the Garret Schenck and Solon Schools once a week for six weeks this winter to present natural science programs to our second and fourth grade students. Funding for this outreach program came from a grant secured by the museum. Students enjoyed lots of hands-on activities around topics such as wetland habitat, forest habitat, ocean habitat, Maine birds, bugs, and pollination.


This year the testing period for the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) begins on March 18th and runs through April 12th for students in grades 3-5 to take the reading, English language arts, and math portions of the test. During the period of April 22-May 3, fifth graders will take the science portion of the MEA. Teachers are using practice items and test-taking strategies to prepare students to do their best on this important test.


We want to congratulate the winners in our District MEA Awards Program for last year's tests. In this program, which started in 2010, we annually recognize the top scorer in the district on the reading/ELA and math parts of the test in grades 3, 4, and 5. There is also an award for the top scorer in fifth grade science. Each winner receives a certificate, a check for $50, and his/her name on a plaque in the lobby at CCS. Community member Chet Hickox donates the money for the math awards, his wife Sara Hickox donates for the science awards, and the three PTO's donate for the reading awards. This year there were some ties for the top score, and Mr. Hickox generously donated additional funds to cover the awards for those students. See the attached sheet for the winners.


Garret Schenck


Children's Stage Adventures from Sullivan, New Hampshire will be coming to Garret Schenck during the week of March 4-8 for a theater residency program. Two actor-educators are spending the week at the school helping the students to stage a musical production of “Cry Wolf.” Performances of the play will be held at 12:30 and 6:00 on March 8th.  Our students are very excited about this activity. We thank the Perloff Foundation and the Garret Schenck PTFO for covering the costs of the program.




The Solon School is holding a week of special activities to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday during the week of February 25-March 1. Activities will include guest readers, dress-up days, raffles, and fun. Guest readers will be Solon firefighter Todd Dixon, Officer Mike Pike, retired teacher Maria James, town librarian Megan Myers, and our school library media assistant Shirley Mellows. The following week, Mr. Tracy will read to our students as they eat a green eggs and ham lunch that our cook Cindy Lawrence will prepare for them on March 4th.


The Solon fourth graders will participate in the National Assessment of Academic Progress (NAEP) on March 1st. Each student will take a test in reading or math. First administered in 1969, NAEP is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what students know and can do in various subject areas. It is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics, within the U.S. Department of Education. NAEP is different from state assessments because it provides a common measure of student achievement across the country. The results of NAEP are released as The Nation's Report Card, which provides information about student achievement to educators, parents, policymakers, and the public.


Solon Elementary School is collaborating once again with the Coolidge Public Library in Solon to hold a bookmark contest. For the sixth year in a row, Solon students in preschool through grade 5 have designed bookmarks around the topic of reading. Town librarian Megan Myers and RSU #74 art teacher Richard Reichenbach have judged the bookmarks and have chosen a winner from each grade. Each of the winners will receive a free book from the town library, presented to them at an assembly later in March. With parents' permission, their bookmarks will be copied so that they can be distributed to patrons of the Coolidge Library. 


Two Solon fifth graders, Cody James and Elenoar McKinnon, have been selected to participate in the District IV Chorus Festival, a nomination-based festival for schools in the Central/Western Maine region. They were nominated by their chorus director Dan Gilbert and were chosen along with six other fifth and sixth grade students in the district to sing at the festival, which will be held at Spruce Mountain Middle School in Jay on April 3rd. We are very proud that Cody and Ella will represent their school and district at this special event.



If you have any questions about activities going on

at Garret Schenck or Solon Elementary Schools,

please contact me.