Regional School Unit No. 5
For information on the Freeport Withdrawal process, please visit the RSU5 Working Group page located here
For information on the Freeport High School renovations, please visit the Renovation Advisory Committee website at renovatefhs.org
Dear Parents, Community Members, and Staff,
Daylight Saving Time "springs forward" on March 9th so seasonal changes are in the air. It's such a wonderful time of new growth and potential; let's hope the bitter cold and snow are winding down for the season!
Our annual State of the Schools Report will be mailed to households later this month. This report provides our communities with information regarding our academic and financial commitments. These commitments were made by the Board to help us in attaining our goal of educational excellence while demonstrating a greater efficiency in the use of our resources. The Board is again hosting an opportunity to "Dine and Discuss" the information during the months of April and May. We look forward to sharing this information with our community members.
Schools Delivering on the Mission: A Musical Learning Adventure at Mast Landing School
Megan Shore, Mast Landing parent, reminds us of the important role the arts play in enhancing learning across subject areas. Mast Landing's 3rd Grade Sings arts night showcased our exceptional visual and performing arts programs. Reading her review of this event reminds us all of the importance of art education! Read the article here
The Use of Time advisory committee presented a draft 2014-2015 school calendar to the Board at their meeting this week. An electronic survey is being distributed to obtain input from parents, students, and staff. The survey window is open until March 14th and I encourage your participation in the development of our school calendar. The survey link can be found here.
The advisory committee will consider all input and will present a final proposed calendar to the Board for First Read at their meeting on Wednesday, March 26th. The Board plans to take action at their meeting on April 9th on final adoption of the calendar. We appreciate your involvement in the process!
Proficiency Based Diplomas at Freeport High School:
Ray McNulty, President of International Center for Leadership in Education and renowned author, scholar, and former Senior Fellow at the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation will be working with Freeport High School faculty over two days next month facilitating our visioning process related to the proficiency based diploma.
On Thursday, March 20th Mr. McNulty will conduct a planning meeting with select staff and then provide a brief presentation for parents, community members and staff at 5:30 p.m. in the high school library. The focus will be on educating the community about the proficiency based diploma and gathering their input on what a Freeport High School graduate needs to know and do in order to succeed beyond high school.
On Friday, March 21st, our professional development day, Mr. McNulty will be providing a keynote address and facilitating our work on performance standards and building solid connections between school and community. Mr. McNulty specializes in secondary school reform and believes that "education systems cannot wait for the children and challenges to arrive at school; rather, schools need to reach out and help forge solutions" in order to better prepare for the challenges ahead.
We hope that parents and community members will be able to join us in the high school library on March 20th to hear Mr. McNulty share his experience and advice on raising standards and building connections between our school and community.
Parent and Staff Presentations on Teaching Gifted Children and Differentiation of Instruction with Susan Winebrenner:
We are pleased to host Susan Winebrenner again this year as a follow up to last year's parent and staff workshops. Susan is a world-renowned author and speaker on the topics of differentiation for all students and teaching gifted children. She is best known for her books: Teaching Gifted Children in Today's Classroom, The Cluster Group Handbook, Teaching Kids with Learning Difficulties in the Regular Classroom.
The Parent Presentation is scheduled for March 19th from 6:30-8:00 pm in the FMS Library. On March 21st, Susan will help our staff to take differentiation to the next level. She will be working directly with classroom teachers to improve our programming for students through differentiation.
Susan was recently interviewed on Spotlite Radio. To hear the interviews, go to: www.spotliteradio.com and enter Susan Winebrenner in the search box to listen to the show.
Susan's work with parents and staff last year was highly acclaimed with requests for additional time with her this year. We hope you can join us for these informational presentations.
The Board believes we must make every effort to help our communities understand the Board's budget priorities and to hear your feedback. Parent groups at the schools have hosted budget meetings to provide information to our parents, staff and community members and to listen to your feedback. The first meeting was this week with Freeport High and Middle school parents but there are several remaining informational meeting prior to the formal presentation of our proposed FY 15 budget. These are scheduled as follows:
- Monday, March 3rd in the Durham Community School Library @ 6:30 pm
- Tuesday, March 4th in the Pownal Elementary School Library @ 6:30 pm
- Thursday, March 6th in the Morse Street School Library @ 6:00 pm
The formal budget process will begin on Tuesday, March 25th and Wednesday, March 26th with a detailed presentation of the proposed 2014-2015 budget. The Board encourages our citizens' involvement in this process. Please join us for these important meetings to learn more about our budget and the quality educational program we are working to provide. After each Board meeting, we will post the budget handouts at rsu5.org/budget1415 so please log on to get more information and to follow our progress. We welcome your participation!
- Monday, March 3rd - Informational Budget Meeting with the Superintendent at Durham Community School Library 6:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, March 4th -Informational Budget Meeting with the Superintendent at Pownal Elementary School Library 6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, March 6th - Strategic Communications Meeting at Central Office 4:30 p.m.
- Thursday, March 6th -Informational Budget Meeting with the Superintendent at Morse Street School Library 6:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, March 12th - Finance Meeting at Central Office 4:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, March 12th - RSU5 Board of Directors' Meeting at Freeport High School Library 6:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, March 19th - Susan Winebrenner's presentation at Freeport Middle School Library 6:30-8:00 p.m.
- Thursday, March 20th - Proficiency Based Diplomas presentation with keynote speaker Ray McNaulty at Freeport High School Library 5:30 p.m.
- Friday, March 21st - Professional Learning Day - No School for Students Tuesday, March 25th - Budget presentations to the RSU5 Board of Directors' at Freeport High School Cafeteria 6:30 p.m. The budget will be presented to the Board and public for the first time.
- Wednesday, March 26th - Budget presentations to the RSU5 Board of Directors' at Freeport High School Cafeteria 6:30 p.m. with opportunity for public and Town Governance from all three towns to comment on the proposed budget.
As always, your involvement and support is greatly appreciated.
Shannon L. Welsh, Superintendent