TO: RSU #74 Board of Directors

FROM: Jean Butler

DATE: October 25, 2016



Teachers in the elementary schools will be holding fall parent-teacher conferences during the month of November. At these meetings, teachers will review each student's classroom progress with his/her parents, and together they will set goals for the year. We ask teachers to involve students in developing their goals in order to create more ownership of the goals in our students. We hope to meet with 100% of our parents during the month.

The students of the elementary schools expressed their thanks to their bus drivers for the great job they do during Bus Safety and Bus Driver Appreciation Week, October 17-21. Bus drivers taught bus safety lessons to our youngest students. Drivers received handmade cards and gifts as tokens of appreciation for their efforts to keep students safe on their way to and from school every day.

Members of the K-5 Civil Rights Teams at the Garret Schenck Elementary School, Solon Elementary School, and Carrabec Community School will attend the Civil Rights Team Conference at the University of Maine at Farmington on November 17th. The focus of their work this year will continue to be the effort to eliminate biased behaviors.

All three schools will hold assemblies in November to recognize students for accomplishments during the first quarter. Parents are invited to attend these assemblies.

Our school nurse Laurie Hanson-Hiscock has organized Seasonal Influenza Immunization Clinics for both staff and students in RSU #74 this fall. The staff clinic was held on October 5th, and the student clinic will take place on November 4th at CCS.

I want to congratulate our music teacher Dan Gilbert, who has received the donation of a number of new musical instruments for his band program from a grant through as well as donations of used instruments from community members. These instruments will greatly enhance the band program in RSU #74.

A focus of our Preschool Expansion Grant this year is to form a Professional Learning Community (PLC) with preschool and kindergarten staff to align curriculum and to ensure a smooth and successful transition for our preschoolers into kindergarten. Our PLC will include preschool teacher Kim Pooler, kindergarten teacher Chelsea Fournier, Head Start coordinator Brenda Robinson, Head Start coach Tammie Davis, district curriculum coordinator Jaime Ela, and K-5 principal Jean Butler. We will attend our first meeting with other districts' PLC's in Augusta on November 2nd.

Our math coach Brian Twitchell is running a book study on the book Principles to Actions in each of the elementary schools this fall. The book covers the eight teaching practices that have been proven through research to be the most effective at ensuring math success for all students. Staff members at each school will meet with Mr. Twitchell after school once a month to discuss the book and how they can apply the principles into their own classroom teaching.


We want to recognize and thank our fifth grade teacher Joyce Knowles, whose last day is October 28th before she begins her retirement. Mrs. Knowles has taught in RSU #74 for thirty-four years, both at Embden Elementary School and Carrabec Community School. She was the girls' basketball coach at Embden and served on a number of committees including the Math Committee, the Career Awareness Committee, and the Technology Committee. She has been an excellent teacher, a leader, and a role model. She will be greatly missed, but we wish her the best in her retirement.

CCS held its first Walking School Bus activity on October 12th. K-8 students and staff met at Carrabec High School that morning and walked to school. This program is promoted by Somerset Public Health and our district's Wellness Committee. We will plan a second activity of this kind for the spring.

Second grade teacher Doug Larlee has been selected to serve on the Department of Education's new ESSA Committee. The committee's charge is to develop the new state accountability system under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaced the No Child Left Behind Act. Mr. Larlee will have a chance to share ideas from tour district to help shape the process by which schools are judged on their students' scores on the Maine Educational Assessment. Mr. Larlee also serves on Governor LePage's Blue Ribbon Commission to Reform Schools.

Garret Schenck

The Cromwell Center for Disabilities Awareness will visit Garret Schenck on November 3rd. They will present programs to students in grades 1-5 during the school day and will offer a program for parents from 5:00-7:00 in the evening along with a meal and child care. The Cromwell Center's goal is to help children understand differences and develop awareness, empathy, and respect for those with special needs.

The Garret Schenck PTFO will sponsor a Thanksgiving Food Drive from November 7-18. Classrooms will compete to see who can collect the greatest number of items in this drive, and the winning class will receive a prize. The food will be donated to the People Who Care Food Cupboard in Madison.


The Solon School held their second Walking School Bus activity of the school year on October 20th. Students, staff, and parents met at the Solon Thrift Shop and walked to school. Once at school students enjoyed breakfast pizza prepared for them by school cook Cindy Lawrence.

Fifth grade teacher Terry Corson held a Parent Math Night in the evening on October 25th. Mr. Corson does this every fall to give parents information and tips with which to assist their children with their math homework.

The Solon Staff will hold a “Lunch & Learn” activity on November 9th. Students will be divided into multiage groups, and each group will meet with a staff member to eat lunch on that day. During lunch each staff member will read a book to his/her group and then the group will do an activity related to the book.

If you have any questions about anything in the elementary schools, please contact me.

Happy Thanksgiving!