From: Mike Tracy, Superintendent
To: RSU # 74 School Board
A. Current Legal Update:
II. Governance / Policy:
A. Current Local Update:
1. Building and Grounds is scheduled for September 4th, at 4:30 pm
2. Policy Subcommittee is scheduled for September 25th, at 6:00 pm
3. Next regularly scheduled School Board Meeting is scheduled for October 2, 2019, at 6:00 pm
B. a. MSMA Updates:
Please see Legislative Updates below.
C. Legislative Update:
Return to Two-Year Teacher Probationary Period
This bill takes the state back to two-year probationary periods for teachers. It affects teachers hired for the 2020-21 school year. (L.D. 345, PL. Ch. 132)
Preventing Food Shaming in Maine's Public Schools
1. It requires a public school to provide meals to a student who requests the meal and is otherwise eligible for the meal regardless of the student's inability to pay for the school meal or failure in the past to pay for school meals.
2. It prohibits a public school from punishing a student in certain ways solely because of the student's inability to pay for a meal or because of any payments due for previous meals. It also prohibits a public school from refusing a meal to a student as a form of or as part of a disciplinary action.
3. It prohibits a public school from openly identifying or stigmatizing a student who cannot pay for a meal or who has payments due for previous meals.
4. It requires a public school to communicate about a student's meal debts directly to the parent or guardian of the student rather than to the student. A public school may ask a student to carry to the student's parent or guardian a letter regarding a student's meal debt.
5. Requires DOE to develop guidance relating to the collection of debt.
(L.D. 167, PL. Ch. 54)
Columbus Day is Now Indigenous Peoples Day
This bill changes the Columbus Day holiday in the State to Indigenous Peoples Day. (L.D. 179, PL. Ch. 59)
Requirements Around After-school Food Program for At-risk Students
Unless local School Boards vote to opt out, this bill requires school districts beginning in 2019-2020 to participate in the federal child and adult care food program to serve at-risk students who attend after-school programming. It affects district that have at least one public school in which 50% or more of students qualified for a free or reduced-price lunch during the preceding school year. Districts can opt out of the program through a vote of the School Board after notice and a public hearing, if it is determined that operating such a program would be financially or logistically impracticable.
(L.D. 577, PL. Ch. 428)
Common Sense Changes to Regional Service Centers
- Center agreements can be approved by the School Board instead of voter approval;
- Withdrawal requires demonstration to the Commissioner of Education that it is in the best interest of the withdrawing district and remaining members;
- Regional Service Center is now the official name;
- Contracting for leadership services is an option to hiring an executive director; and,
- Geographic boundaries for centers are eliminated.
(L.D. 1341, PL. Ch. 219)
D. Policy Update:
Mr. Tracy has been reviewing the use of social media as a school district and is launching a social media campaign to help with more coordinated electronic communications. Take a moment to check out the new Facebook page. Additionally, the school board will be reading the Social Media Policies for the second time at their September meeting.
III. Budget and Finance:
A. State Level:
B. Finance Local:
The summer financial audit was conducted in July and we are happy to announce a clean audit once again, and a bit thank you to the central office staff. This would not occur year after year if we didn’t have such a competent and committed staff.
A. Facilities Department & Transportation Department:
The buildings look amazing and Ms. Agren and her team have done an outstanding job, highlights will be presented at the September Board meeting.
V. Principal’s Reports: (GSS, Solon, CSS and CHS)
Each Building/Department Administrator has submitted their report in writing to you in this packet.
VI. Academics and Instruction:
Academic Goals for School Year 2019-20:
Mr. Tracy will present the district Academic Goals for the school year at the September 4th School Board meeting. The focus this year, in short, surrounds a. data driven instruction, b. community centric initiatives and b.professional development activities on trauma and childhood crisis.
Fact Finding for Potential School Closures:
For our September School Board meeting we will be reviewing the financials and enrollment reports for the projected discussion of potentially closing schools within the RSU #74 school district. At this time, we only have preliminary figures, and the School Board will need to discuss what their next options are, such as options for maximizing programing, and or other facilities concerns which may be pending. This discussion will only occur if the Board deems it necessary to take the next step of discussing this?
Mr. Tracy presented the staff with a symbol of the “red thread” uniting all of our efforts this year. He will speak about opening day, and the positive indicators of starting the school year off right! We are hoping for an all hands on deck approach with our district initiatives this year!
Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan:
Mr. Tracy worked with various stakeholders last year to research, and update the School Emergency Team and School board regarding the ALICE protocol inclusion into the Lockdown section of the emergency plan. He will explain further detail at the School Board meeting. Staff is scheduled to be trained in September.