K-5 Board Report

TO:                  RSU #74 Board of Directors


FROM:            Jean Butler


DATE:             May 29, 2019






It is almost time to wrap up the 2018-19 school year and to release our students and staff for their summer vacations. Lots of special activities and trips are planned for the last few weeks of school in addition to end-of-year assessments.


Once again we held Career Days on three Thursdays for the grades K-1 students on May 2nd, the grades 2-3 students on May 16th, and the grades 4-5 students on May 23rd. Careers that were presented by guest speakers were truck driver, baker, nurse, scenic dog sledder, horse trainer, banker, physical therapist, rock painter, probation officer, trapper, dog trainer, meteorologist, newspaper reporter, college professor, radio station executive, insurance salesperson, and EMT. We thank School Board member Troy Dunphy for being one of our speakers and School Board member Dwight Barron for helping with one of the presentations. The focus of these Career Days is to introduce students at a young age to career options for their future.


Our library media assistant Shirley Mellows is taking elementary students in the district on field trips to the public libraries in or near their towns to encourage them to visit these libraries over the summer. Our goal is to have students read all year round! Mrs. Mellows is also organizing a book swap at each school in early June in conjunction with the Community Literacy Team.


Our band and chorus director Dan Gilbert will hold his annual Spring Concert on June 4th at 6:00 PM at CCS. That afternoon students from Solon and Garret Schenck will travel to CCS for a concert from 12:30-1:30.


On June 7th, first graders from Garret Schenck will travel to Solon to visit the first graders there. The two classes have been pen pals this spring, learning how to write friendly letters and exchanging letters back and forth. They are excited to meet their pen pals on the 7th, when they will do some activities, enjoy lunch, and play outside together.


Our fifth graders will attend a Step-Up Day at Carrabec Community School in the afternoon of June 13th. This will give them a chance to meet their sixth grade teachers and other students who will be in their classes. We also hold PreK-4 Step-Up Days within the schools so that students can move up to the next grade and hear what their teachers will expect from them for the following school year. 


Each school will hold a Volunteer Recognition Program to thank the parents and community members who have helped out in our schools this year. It's a small token of our appreciation for all that our volunteers do to help our students and our schools.


We are currently getting ready for our Summer School Programs. Each elementary school has a Title I Summer Reading and Summer Math Program for ten days this summer. The goal is to help Title I students in grades K-5 to maintain their skills over the summer break. We will also offer a three-week Preschool Summer School Program as part of our Preschool Expansion Grant. The program is for incoming kindergarten students who need more practice with their early literacy skills. The program will be held at CCS, and bussing will be provided through the grant.


Garret Schenck and Solon will hold assemblies to determine the winners in the K-5 Bikes for Books Program on May 29th at 8:00 at Garret Schenck and 1:30 at Solon. This program is sponsored by the North Anson and Solon chapters of the Masons. Students could enter the drawing by filling out a form on each book they read in April and May. The Masons will award two bikes per class, one for a girl and one for a boy. Each winner will also receive a helmet. Deputy Mike Pike will attend the assemblies to talk with the students about bike safety. We appreciate the support of the Masons in promoting both reading and physical fitness with our K-5 students.


Garret Schenck


The first grade students at Garret Schenck visited Maplecrest Nursing Home in Madison on May 8th to perform several readers' theaters and to read individually to the residents. This was a very rewarding experience for the students and staff, and we hope to visit on a regular basis next year.


On June 5th, staff from the Chewonki Foundation in Wiscasset will visit Garret Schenck to do programs for the PreK-5 students. One program will be “Tide Pools” for grades PreK-2, and the other will be “Fins and Flippers” for the grades 3-5 students. The cost of the program came from a donation from one of our families.


The Garret Schenck leadership team has been working diligently all year to develop a more effective Response to Intervention (RTI) plan for our school. They have received guidance from two coaches from the Maine Department of Education, Amy Peterson-Roper and Marsha Cottrell. At a meeting on June 6th, the team will present their plan, which will be implemented in the fall. We are inviting staff from other schools to join us if they are interested in what we have done. Chelsey Fortin-Trimble, ESEA Team Coordinator from the Department of Education, will attend this presentation.


The preschool class will have their last day on June 7th. A graduation ceremony will take place at 9:00 for the whole school and families to attend. Then the students will take part in Field Day activities outside.


June 12th will be a busy day at Garret Schenck. Our Field Day will take place in the morning with outdoor activities for K-5 students. Our annual Flea Market will be held that same day from 12:45-2:00 PM.  Each class is responsible for running a booth and/or an activity at the Flea Market. Students can visit others' booths, and some parents and community members usually attend. The Flea Market will be held outside, weather permitting. Please stop by if you're in the area! 


The K-5 students of the Garret Schenck School will take a field trip to the Maine State House and Museum on June 14th. Students will tour both facilities and have a picnic lunch in the park across the street.


The Awards Assembly for Garret Schenck will take place at 9:30 AM on June 17th, when teachers will present awards for academics, improvement, attendance, and other accomplishments to their students. Fifth grade teacher Julieanne Belanger is preparing a slide show for her students as a good-bye to them as they head to CCS in the fall.




Deputy Mike Pike visited Solon on May 23rd to speak to the grades 3-5 students on Internet Safety. He had some great advice for the students about safe practices when they are on social media to prevent cyberbullying and online predators.


June 5th features two field trips for Solon students. Grades K-1 students will visit the Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor that day, and grades 2-5 students will visit Fort Western in Augusta. We thank the Solon PTO for covering the fees for these trips.


On June 10th, students in grades 3-5 will visit the Margaret Chase Smith Library and Center in Skowhegan. Students have read the biography of Senator Smith by Maine author Lynn Plourde and will get to learn more about her on this field trip.


The K-1 students are hosting an ice cream social for residents from Tissues Country Estates in Athens on June 10th at 1:00. The students have visited Tissues several times this year, and the residents have enjoyed seeing them. The Solon School has connections with both Tissues and the Somerset Residential and Rehabilitation Center in Bingham.


Solon Elementary School held a Walking School Bus activity on May 12th and will hold another on June 11th. Students, staff, and parents meet at 7:15 at the Solon Thrift Shop and walk to school as a healthy alternative to riding in a bus or other vehicle. When they arrive at school, students enjoy a special breakfast made by school cook Cindy Lawrence.


On June 14th at 8:00, the Solon students and staff will celebrate Flag Day with a ceremony around the flag pole on the front lawn of the school. Students will sing patriotic songs and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.


Solon's Field Day will take place on June 17th. Volunteers from New Balance will be on hand to help with the activities. Solon's Awards Assembly will be held on June 18th at 9:30 AM.


If you have any questions about anything at the Garret Schenck or Solon Schools,

please contact me. Have a great summer!