K-5 Board Report
TO: RSU #74 Board of Directors
FROM: Jean Butler
DATE: May 27, 2020
PreK-5 ELEMENTARY REPORT
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
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!