K-5 Board Report

TO: RSU #74 Board of Directors

FROM: Jean Butler

DATE: May 26, 2021


With only two weeks left in the 2020-21 school year, we will take the time to celebrate the achievement of our students, applaud the hard work of staff and parents, and send everyone off on a well-deserved summer vacation. We look forward to resuming school in the fall under more normal conditions with full weeks and full days. We will continue to follow the CDC guidelines which are in place at that time to continue to keep our students and staff safe and healthy.

Our students have been busy taking the NWEA, which has become the new Maine Educational Assessment. All students in grades 3-5 are testing in reading, language use, and math, and fifth graders are taking a new science assessment from New Meridian. All tests are done online. Parents of remote students have been very cooperative in allowing their children to come into school to take their tests. We appreciate the hard work of IT Manager Scott Hall in overseeing the district testing program for us.

At Solon Elementary School, classes are competing in a Bobcat Movement Challenge. Students and teachers keep track of the minutes of physical activity they put in each day, and those totals are being charted on the big bulletin board in the lobby by 5-2-1-0 School Champion Melody Rich. The class with the most hours of movement time for the first week (Grade 1) won some recess equipment such as balls, hula hoops, outdoor games, etc. to use now and take with them to the next grade in the fall. For the second week, the winning class will win for each student a backpack filled with a water bottle, granola bar, a map, and free pass to Lake George Park. Funding was provided by Somerset Public Health.

The Garret Schenck staff took on the project of painting the paved area of our playground on May 21st. Using bright paint colors, staff members repainted the four-square area and hopscotch areas as well as other images related to the creation of sensory activities for students to do at recess. This brightened up the playground as well as provided reminders to students to keep moving to stay healthy. We appreciate the work of 5-2-1-0 School Champions Brenda Mullin and Billie Lawrence to organize this activity and Somerset Public Health to pay for the paint.

At each school we are wrapping up the year with an outdoor Field Day and barbecue and awards assemblies. The Field Days (June 2nd at Solon and June 4th at Garret Schenck) will involve students from each class in a number of activity challenges set up around the fields. Because we can’t put all of our students in the gym at one time, we will hold a K-2 awards assembly and a 3-5 awards assembly at which teachers will recognize students for academic achievement, good behavior, improvement, good attendance, helpfulness, citizenship, and hard work. Hopefully next spring we will be able to invite parents and family members to join us for our Field Days and Awards Assemblies once again.

At Solon Elementary School, we are saying good-bye to first grade teacher Carol Campbell, who is retiring this spring after forty years of teaching. Mrs. Campbell spent three years teaching in Skowhegan at the beginning of her career and then spent thirty-seven years in RSU #74 teaching at Solon Elementary School, Central Elementary School, Garret Schenck Elementary School, and Embden Elementary School. We thank Mrs. Campbell for her many years of dedicated service to the students of RSU #74 and wish her much happiness and many adventures in her retirement.

RSU #74 is also bidding farewell to technology teacher Roxann Waugh, who is also retiring this spring. Mrs. Waugh has worked in RSU #74 for seventeen years, starting at Carrabec High School as a business education teacher and then moving to teaching technology at the three elementary schools. She will be traveling west to Oregon with her husband to visit their daughter after school gets out but plans to return to the area and possibly to substitute for us in the fall. We extend best wishes to Mrs. Waugh for a happy and healthy retirement.

Special Ed Director Grace Cram and I are organizing a joint PreK-5 summer school program using Title I, Special Ed, and COVID relief grant funds for three weeks in July at CCS. We hope to address students’ learning needs through a hands-on, theme-based “Camp Carrabec” experience. The program will be open to all PreK-5 students, and we will use students’ NWEA spring scores to group them for instruction at their levels. We hope to have some guest presenters and some outdoor activities.

If you have any questions about anything at either of my schools, please contact me.