School News

School  Important information

School Board Member Report  9-16-2020

8-14-2020

See attached information from our School Board Member, Linda Graben

School Information

August 11, 2020

Dear RSU 63 Parents and Guardians,

I am proud of the way our students, parents, staff, and community members have responded to the COVID-19 crisis.  The attached “RSU 63 Guide for Returning to School” represents our best thinking to date on how we intend to open our RSU 63 schools and provide instruction and support for students this fall.  Our plan is based on the requirements and guidance provided by the Maine Department of Education (DOE) and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  It incorporates creative, solution-oriented ideas from our staff as well as input and feedback from our community.  The guide provides quality At-School and Remote Instruction while taking steps to protect the health of our students, staff, and community.  While the number of COVID-19 cases in Maine is low, our vulnerability is high.    

We know our students receive vital services through our schools.  We also know many students and parents struggled with Remote Instruction and are concerned about childcare.  These reinforce our desire to return to At-School Instruction and have as many students as possible come to school for instruction and other activities as quickly as we safely can.  In order to do this, RSU 63 will begin the 2020-2021 School Year with a Hybrid Yellow Model of Remote and At-School Instruction.  We will also provide and all Remote Option for parents who do not feel comfortable sending their child(ren) to school.  We need time with all staff and small groups of students to teach, implement, and refine new protocols and procedures.  However, shortly after we start school, we plan to increase the number of days per week of At-School Instruction for many students. When necessary, we will also back off At-School Instruction and increase Remote Instruction. 

Please take some time to read through our Guide for Returning to School.  If you are a current or incoming RSU 63 family with students in PreK through Grade 8, please complete the Family and Student Action Items below after reading the Guide for Returning to School.

To support our planning process, we need to know your plans for the 2020-2021 school year and understand your needs for transportation by Monday, August 17th.

Family & Student Action Items

FOR FAMILIES: After reviewing the guide,please complete this form for each student enrolled at the Eddington, Holden, or Holbrook School during the 2020-2021 school year.

This form includes:

·      Family/student choice for Hybrid Instruction or the Remote Option

·      Transportation needs

·      Childcare needs (for those who did not have a chance to respond to this item on our survey in July)

FOR STUDENTS Grades 5-8:  Please complete this Student Input Survey to provide your feedback.  We are interested in learning what you think about returning to school.

Also attached are Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) as well as a slightly modified calendar for the 2020-2021 school year.  Friday, September 4th is now a Remote Day for students (with teachers working to complete plans for the following week).

Thank you very much for your continued support and patience as we work together to provide safe learning environments for our students, staff, and community during this pandemic.  This pandemic makes things hard for everyone.  However, we are excited about seeing our kids again! Thank you for working together to help keep our schools and children safe.

Sincerely,

Susan M. Smith, RSU 63 Superintendent of Schools

RSU 63 Guide for Returning to School 

Frequently Asked Questions 

2020-2021 School Year Calendar 

School Brd Agenda  August 10th, 2020

Hello RSU 63 Parents,

Please join me for some video/phone-in sessions through Google Meet next week.  The sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday (August 11th and 12th) will share the same information regarding our plans for returning to school.  (We thought it best to offer this twice.)

The panel discussion on Thursday, August 13th will include professionals from the fields of physical and emotional health. 

We hope these opportunities and the more detailed information we will have ready to send to you next Tuesday (August 11th) will answer many of your questions and help you prepare your children for what to expect this year. 

Thank you very much for your patience as we work together to provide safe learning environments for our students, staff, and community during this pandemic. 

Sincerely,

Susan Smith, RSU 63 Superintendent/Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Tuesday, August 11th at 6:30pm: RSU 63’s Plans for Returning to School

Join with Google Meet  meet.google.com/ade-dcnh-mjt

Join by phone +1 502-791-5546 PIN: ‪742 377 457#

Wednesday, August 12th at 6:30pm: RSU 63’s Plans for Returning to School

Join with Google Meet  meet.google.com/mzv-vaip-ecg

Join by phone +1 470-735-3403 PIN: ‪793 506 854#

Thursday, August 13th at 6:30pm: Panel Discussion – Physical and Emotional Health Considerations for Returning to School

Join with Google Meet meet.google.com/qih-ihtn-jid

Join by phone +1 541-362-4669 PIN: ‪313 552 347#

I recently received this invitation from the Maine Parent Federation and thought I would pass it along to you. 

Dr. Laura Blaisdell  Provides Medical Guidance on COVID 19   THURSDAY AUGUST 20TH 10:00 AM VIA ZOOM & FACEBOOK    Dr. Laura Blaisdell is a Pediatrician and a member of Maine’s Academy of American Pediatrics. She will present a webinar on navigating the social distancing recommendations as it pertains to school and in-person learning as well as any updated research on how COVID 19 and children.   Register here   If you have any questions, call Maine Parent Federation at 800-870-7746 or E-mail: parentconnect@mpf.org.  

Regional School Unit 63 would like to continue connecting with you via email. If you prefer to be removed from our list, please contact Regional School Unit 63 directly. To stop receiving all email messages distributed through our SchoolMessenger service, follow this link and confirm: Unsubscribe

SchoolMessenger is a notification service used by the nation’s leading school systems to connect with parents, students and staff through voice, SMS text, email, and social media.

This is good information for all parents !  From what I understand, July 31st we will know what category (Color) our district falls under.  Please read the below link.

Returning to School Presentation_

School Agenda

APRIL 8, 2020

Dear RSU 63 Students, Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

Cases related to the COVID-19 crisis continue to rise in Maine.  CDC guidance recommends an 8 to 20 week timeframe for avoiding large group/in-person instruction once there is evidence of community transmission of COVID-19.  Therefore, the Commissioner of Education, with the support of the Governor, recommends we replace classroom instruction with remote learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. 

Together with other superintendents across the state, I am announcing that RSU 63 schools will extend our school closure and continue with remote learning for the remainder of this school year. 

We realize this closure will be difficult for families.  There are many challenges with childcare, employment, and managing school expectations on top of the other significant impacts of this state, national, and global emergency.  

We will continue to work hard to support our students and community during this longer period of remote learning.  We will also redesign celebrations and find alternative ways to provide both continuity and closure for students as we near the end of the school year. 

April Vacation (April 20th through 24th) will be remain a vacation week.  There will not be remote learning during April Vacation.  We all need a break.  Monday, April 20th is a holiday and our Central Office will be closed.  We will not be delivery food during vacation week.  However, we will bring a larger food delivery on Friday, April 17th

We want every student, staff member, and community member to be physically healthy and receive help in managing any worries or anxiety they might be feeling.  If you are concerned about someone, call 2-1-1 or the NAMI Maine Hotline at 800-464-5767, press 1 (helpline@namimaine.org).  

Please see RSU 63 as a resource as well.  Our Central Office number is 843-7851.  We will get through this by continuing to care for one another.  I have seen that caring exhibited in many ways over the last few weeks.  We are blessed to live and work in Clifton, Eddington, and Holden.  We are right here with you.

Sincerely,  Susan Smith

TO:  RSU 63 PARENTS, STAFF, and COMMUNITY MEMBERS

FROM:  SUSAN SMITH, SUPERINTENDENT/DIRECTOR OF CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION

RE:  REMOTE LEARNING – THROUGH AT LEAST FRIDAY, MAY 1st

DATE:  APRIL 2, 2020

We hope you are healthy and that your family is doing as well as possible in this very difficult state and national emergency.  Our warmest thoughts and our concerns go out to you. 

As you know, our priorities during the initial school closure period were to make sure our students and staff were safe, healthy, fed, connected, and engaged.  Our experiences the first couple of weeks, the feedback you gave us through the survey over the past weekend, and meetings with our teachers and educational technicians this week have all helped us figure out which tools, resources, and processes will help us best support our students during this crisis. 

We now have systems in place we believe will enable us to provide additional remote instruction and learning experiences for all our students.  Teachers will be adding more assignments, providing more feedback to students, and monitoring the academic progress of students.  We will continue to check in on the health and well-being of our students and will continue with food support.  Our hope and expectation is that these resources, assignments, activities, and opportunities will allow your child(ren) to benefit meaningfully from the programming and support we provide to the extent they (and you) are able. 

We feel we can sustain our system of remote learning and support for a substantial length of time, through Friday, May 1st and beyond, as the situation requires.

Attached you will find additional information regarding the topics of communication, remote learning, video conferencing, grading and promotion, food support, and internet access/devices.

Additional Remote Learning Information 

I have been impressed by the commitment made by all our RSU 63 staff to ensure our students are safe, fed, and engaged.  We very much appreciate the wonderful patience and support we have been receiving from parents.  Our RSU 63 staff, families, and community members are strong.    Our students will eventually return to school and we will have learned things that will help us be an even better as a system.   In the meantime, we are here for you during these difficult times.  Please see us as a resource and let us know what is working and what is not. 

Important Information Needed from RSU 63 Parents

Dear RSU 63 Parents,

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is working hard to make sure every student has internet access from their home and a computer or tablet to use while at home.  Please help me share your internet and/or computer needs with the DOE by taking a few minutes to complete a survey using the link below.  (I need this information by Friday afternoon, March 27th.)

RSU 63 is also working to improve the ways we communicate with you and provide distance learning to your child(ren).  Filling out this 7-question survey will help us help you.

https://forms.gle/1DyHRj8GzVRTRXGt9

Thank you! Susan Smith

March 24, 2020

Dear RSU 63 Students, Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

Food:  Food deliveries this week will continue on Wednesday, March 25th and Friday, March 27th.

Next week, food deliveries will move to Tuesday & Friday afternoons between 12:00 and 2:00.  

Tuesday, March 31st      Friday, April 3rd      

Tuesday, April 7th          Friday, April 10th

Tuesday, April 14th         Friday, April 17th

Facebook:  These are different times and we will be using our “RSU 63: Eddington, Holden, and Holbrook Schools” Facebook page differently.  Beginning this morning, we will start allowing our students, parents, staff, and community members to add comments and photos.  At least once a week, we will host a “virtual” community event, inviting others to participate and share with us.  Our first “community event’ asks about things found outdoors. 

PLEASE remember this is a Facebook page for our students.  If you have frustrations or questions, please email me (ssmith@rsu63.org).

Other Resources:  Our www.rsu63.org website has an updated page “For Parents.”  Under the “For Parents” tab, we will continue to add “Resources for Families During the Coronavirus Pandemic.”

HOLBROOK PARENTS: Computer pick-up will be drive-through style at the Holbrook School today, Tuesday, March 24th.  Please remain in your car.  Please wait until at least 10:00 before arriving so we can get the snow cleaned up.  Please try to stagger your arrival between 10:00 and 2:00 so we don’t have long lines.  Thank you!

Holden Parents: School supplies and materials will be delivered to your home tomorrow (Wednesday).

Eddington Parents:  School supplies and materials were delivered to your home yesterday. 

Please check us out on Facebook and visit our web site!

Susan Smith

TO: RSU 63 PARENTS, STAFF, and COMMUNITY MEMBERS

FROM:  SUSAN SMITH, SUPERINTENDENT/DIRECTOR of CURRICULUM & INSTR.

RE:  COVID-19 UPDATE

DATE:  MARCH 14, 2020

Thank you to all of you who have expressed support and asked good questions as we work together to understand the COVID-19 outbreak and react responsibly.

In an effort to proactively slow the spread of COVID-19, I am announcing that RSU 63 Schools will be closed beginning Monday, March 16th.  I anticipate they will remain closed at least until Monday, March 30th.  No classes, clubs, or activities will be held at the Eddington, Holden, and Holbrook Schools.  All three school buildings will be closed.  This closure is subject to change as new information becomes available.

I do not take this action lightly but feel it is in the best interest of the health of our students, staff, and community members. 

I will be meeting with RSU 63’s Pandemic Management Team on Monday.  Further communication and information will be coming as we learn more and monitor the situation. 

I will continue to communicate through School Messenger phone calls, School Messenger emails, our RSU 63: Eddington, Holden, and Holbrook Schools Facebook page, and our website (www.rsu63.org).

During this school closing, teachers, administrators, and office staff will still have access to the buildings.  However, our buildings will be locked and not open to the general public.  Custodial staff will conduct extensive cleaning.  All our business functions will continue.  We will return phone calls and emails as quickly as possible. 

These are stressful times.  I know the uncertainty of COVID-19 makes many things difficult. Thank of for your patience and your help in keeping our community safe.

TO: RSU 63 PARENTS, STAFF, and COMMUNITY MEMBERS

    FROM:  SUSAN SMITH, SUPERINTENDENT/DIRECTOR of CURRICULUM & INSTR.

    RE:  NOVEL CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

    DATE:  MARCH 10, 2020

These are stressful times.  We know the uncertainty of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) makes things even more difficult.  We work hard to keep our students safe and are following guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).   As the situation changes, we will continue to follow CDC guidance and share information with you.

Steps RSU 63 is Taking to Help Stop or Slow the Spread of Infectious Diseases (3/10/20)

  • Following the CDC’s “Guidance for schools which do not have COVID-19 identified in their community”
  • Providing handwashing lessons and reminders (soap and water for 20 seconds)
  • Providing additional time for handwashing
  • Reminding students to sneeze or cough into their elbow
  • Installing additional hand-sanitizer dispensers in office areas as they become available (currently these are in most classrooms and several other spaces in all three schools) 
  • Regularly disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (doorknobs, light switches, etc.)
  • Using our electrostatic sprayer to disinfect surfaces at each school and on each bus (rotating equipment between schools and the bus garage)
  • Encouraging staff and students who are sick to stay home
  • Monitoring absences – specifically those with a fever and respiratory symptoms
  • Establishing additional precautionary procedures for students and staff who become sick at school or arrive at school sick
  • Reminding teachers to review and update their substitute plans
  • Suspending the use of attendance awards and incentives
  • Working closely and sharing information with other schools and agencies in our area
  • Receiving regular updates and guidance from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Maine Department of Education, and Homeland Security
  • Sharing information with parents as it becomes available or changes (Facebook, website, emails, and phone calls when needed)
  • Planning for and preparing to implement the CDC’s “Guidance for schools with identified cases of COVID-19 in their community”

School Meeting Agenda

School Budget WorkshopBudget

FY21 Workshop – March 11 2020