K-5 Board Report

TO: RSU #74 Board of Directors

FROM: Jean Butler

DATE: August 26, 2020


Next week we will welcome our PreK-5 students to a new school year at Garret Schenck and Solon Elementary Schools. Some will be in-person learners, and others will be remote learners. We will have the CDC guidelines in place, and we'll spend a great deal of time during the first couple of weeks teaching and reinforcing those expectations and protocols. We know that parents feel anxious about how their children will do with all of the changes so we hope to be able to reassure them that their children will adjust and do fine. We are looking forward to having our students back and starting a new school year.

I have been working all summer with the Head Start supervisor and staff to plan the preschool programs for the fall. Our preschoolers will attend school four days a week, Tuesday through Friday. We are enrolling a few less students than our maximum capacity to be sure we have room to maintain physical distancing. There are a few preschoolers who will be remote learners.

On August 18th, we offered workshops for the K-12 teachers on our two new digital platforms, Seesaw (grades K-3) and Google Classroom (grades 4-12). These were presented by teachers who are skilled in using these platforms: Chelsea Fournier and Melody Rich with Seesaw and Stacey McCluskey and Tammy Long with Google Classroom. We plan to offer more training and support to our teachers and some of our Ed Tech III's throughout the fall at full day workshops and Early Release Day workshops. This training is important to enable our staff to deploy their lessons out to remote learners as well as to students who are attending in-person school two days a week but learning remotely the other three days. We will update you on how this program is going at our Special Board Meeting on September 16th.

We had to postpone our Kindergarten Screening which was originally scheduled for May 7th due to the coronavirus. Since we still didn't want to gather in a large group for our typical Kindergarten Screening day, the kindergarten teachers decided to each screen their own students at their own school over the last week. Parents still had a chance to meet their child's teacher and ask questions, and the students could see their classroom and meet their teacher. The screening information will help teachers plan lessons that best meet each student's needs.

The district will hold its third Drive-Thru Food Give Away on September 1st from 1:30-3:00 pm at Carrabec High school. We thank the Good Shepherd Food Bank for donating food for these food give aways, and I thank social workers Beth Higgins and Alicia Bedard for organizing these events for us. Again this year the Good Shepherd Food Bank will deliver nonperishable food and fresh produce to Solon and the high school on the first Tuesday of each month for us to give to our families.

We cannot hold in-person Open Houses at our schools this year due to COVID-19, but we are thinking about offering virtual Open Houses, which would be posted on our school Facebook pages. I'll keep you informed as those plans materialize.

If you have any questions, please stop by or contact me.

Have a nice fall!