K-5 Board Report

TO: RSU #74 Board of Directors

FROM: Jean Butler

DATE: May 27, 2020


Connecting With Families

As we wrap up the 2019-20 school year, we are doing our best to continue to connect

with students and families in positive ways before the summer break begins. Teachers are

preparing their last learning packet for their students to be delivered on June 3 rd . They are

calling or emailing parents to check in before summer, and many are holding zoom

meetings with their students or are posting videos or messages in their Google

Classrooms for their students and parents to see. We wish the spring had been different,

but we've made the best of what we had in supporting students and families during this

difficult time. Our staff members have really risen to the challenge.

Providing Food for Families

We continue to provide breakfasts and lunches at our food hubs at the three elementary

schools, the Embden Community Center, and the New Portland Town Office through

June 5 th . We also have been able to give boxes of food to families in need through

donations from the Good Shepherd Food Bank, staff, PTO's, and community members.

KVCAP has provided us with packages of diapers and baby wipes for families with little


We look forward to being able to provide food to our families for the next few months

through the Summer Feeding Program at the three elementary schools. Mr. Tracy and

Tammy Conners are working on plans for that program.

Transitioning Preschoolers to Kindergarten

To transition preschoolers into kindergarten, we traditionally hold meetings between the

preschool and kindergarten staffs to go over a data binder on each student. This year

Scott Hall helped preschool teacher Jennie Mirlocca to develop a digital data binder

template so that she could share files with the kindergarten teachers. We held zoom

meetings to give the preschool teachers a chance to talk to the kindergarten teachers

about their incoming students.

Professional Development Activities for Staff

Math coach Brian Twitchell and I have organized seventeen workshop opportunities for

the district staff that were delivered through zoom this spring. Staff could choose to

attend workshops on a variety of topics on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:00-

2:00 PM. We are pleased with the level of participation in these workshops.

This summer we are offering a Trauma-Informed Online Academy that was highly

recommended by Somerset Public Health as a comprehensive training that would support

the work we did this year. One of our district goals was to learn how to help students and

families dealing with trauma in their lives. The academy includes ten modules for a total

of twenty-four contact hours, and staff members can complete the course at their own

pace at home over the summer. We are requiring our teachers and professional staff to

participate in the academy, and we offered it an an optional activity to our ed techs if they

wanted to participate. Of the thirty-five ed techs we have in the district, twenty-three have

elected to join us in this training, which is very impressive and indicates their interest in

and commitment to their students. A bonus for us is that Somerset Public Health is

footing the bill for this professional development opportunity for our staff through a grant

they have.

Looking Ahead to the Fall

We will be working this summer to plan the trainings that staff will need as we look

toward the 2020-21 school year. We know that we will all need training in health and

safety protocols to prepare for schools to open up. Teachers will need training in the new

online platforms (Seesaw for grades PreK-3 and Google Classroom for grades 4-12) that

they will be required to use next year so that we are ready for distance learning if we need

to do that again. We also plan to find or create online trainings to replace the traditional

face-to-face trainings that are required for staff such as child abuse prevention, suicide

prevention, blood-borne pathogens, and sexual harassment. It will indeed be a busy


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

please contact me.

Have a safe summer!